Pattaya plans to ride the current tourism boom with a series of festivals throughout this year, starting with its 60th anniversary celebrations next month.
The popular Thai destination is expecting more visitors to events such as The Bikini Beach Race, Pattaya Music Festival and Pattaya International Fireworks Festival, according to a Bangkok Post report.
This weekend, the city’s colourful annual festival, Pattaya International Fireworks Festival, will feature elaborate fireworks displays by teams from four countries. From Friday to Saturday, the fireworks will be launched in front of the Pattaya Beach Central Festival shopping mall.
Ekasit Ngampichet, president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, expects 19-20 million visitors to Chon Buri province -- with the focus on Pattaya City, which receives more than 10 million tourists each year.
Visitor numbers to the province have enjoyed significant growth, increasing from 16 million in 2017 to 18 million last year, in part due to transport improvements connecting Pattaya City with Bangkok and other towns.
Ronakit Ekasingh, deputy mayor of Pattaya, said the expansion of U-Tapao, the main aviation gateway for Rayong and Pattaya cities, will attract more investment, while a new high-speed train will stop in Pattaya.
Investment in the retail sector is also on the rise, Ekasit added.
"A feasibility study for a big retail project from the shareholders of Iconsiam somewhere around the Jomtien area is being conducted", he said.