Pattaya is a rapidly developing city, what started out as a rural fishing village followed by being an R & R play town for US troops during the Vietnam War is now rapidly developing into one of South East Asia’s top multi-cultural seaside tourist destinations. Following the war time recreational role of this Eastern seaboard fishing village many sex tourists have continued to visit Pattaya as the reputation grew, but there has been a change in recent years in the type of tourist coming to stay here. Over the past few years the number of Russian tourists, for example, has risen from a few hundred thousand to 1.3 million in 2012, and is still on the increase. Many of these visitors are couples or families with children. They are not visiting Pattaya for the girls or Go-Go bars, but for the climate and reasonably priced package holidays. Many of the Russian families visiting Pattaya prefer to stay in a beach hotel and enjoy getting a good tan during their vacation. They like to shop too and can be easily spotted picking up bargain buys in the Thep Prasit night market and also big shopping malls like Central Festival on Beach Road. There are also many new attractions in Pattaya that are designed specifically for family days out. These include Mimosa, the village of love, the Teddy Bear Museum, Mini Siam, Non Nooch Gardens, The Elephant Village and the soon to be open Ramayana Water Park; which will be the largest water park in South East Asia.
Other foreign family visitors to Pattaya include Chinese and Koreans. The Chinese actually outnumber the Russian visitors, many travel here on package coach tours, whereas the Russians will fly to Thailand. There are many new hotels that cater for all the family needs, most of which are much less expensive to stay at than in other tropical seaside destinations. Good value for money is key to attracting families to come and holiday in Pattaya and combined with tropical balmy climate and excellent tourist attractions is a win, win for Thailand.
Pattaya City Hall together with its forward thinking Mayor, Khun Ittipol Khunpluem, are actively working on Pattaya becoming the number one family seaside holiday destination for South East Asia, with Bangkok in 2013 now being the most visited city by international tourists in the world, this dream could become a reality. Many improvements to local public facilities and services are planned and some already completed like the newly paved promenade on Beach Road. Pattaya’s reputation for being a sex tourism town will be hard to change, but with the big money here now focusing on the needs of the family this has already become less of a reason to visit. So we should expect to see some big and impressive changes in Pattaya over the next few years and is currently a great place to invest in property.