Pattaya business operators discuss future with Pheu Thai leaders
Operators of tourism businesses in Pattaya on Sunday sent representatives to meet senior members of the Pheu Thai Party to discuss how the next government should develop the seaside resort.
They met Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew and Prommin Lertsuridej, chairman of the party’s economic affairs committee, at the restaurant Prego Pattaya.
Joining them were Pattaya Mayor Poramet Ngampichet and Sonthaya Khunpluem, leader of the powerful Palang Chon group, which defected from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party to join Pheu Thai.
The business representatives called for neighbouring U-Tapao airport to be upgraded to increase tourism in Pattaya.
They also called on a Pheu Thai government to re-zone Pattaya to give priority to tourism.
Zoning in Pattaya is based on an outdated law enacted over 20 years ago, they said.
They also want closing hours for bars extended beyond 2am, the current cut-off.
Prommin said Pheu Thai will decentralise administrative power to tourist cities, like Pattaya, if it becomes the next government to ensure that tourist-dependent businesses receive better support.
Pheu Thai has raised tourism issues with the government several times to no avail, he said.
Cholnan told the representatives that several of their proposals were already in the party’s main election policies.
Pheu Thai plans to turn Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Songkhla, and Pattaya into ”new business zones” to remove restrictions that hinder their economic development.
Sonthaya told the business representatives that Pattaya would be a role model for eight eastern provinces with high gross domestic product and that all eight provinces should be turned into new business zones.