No doubt, even from a sympathetic point of view, one would estimate that tourist numbers in Pattaya dropped significantly last year – and we mean like 20% or more. After all, only the number of Russian visitors in 2014 was reported to have dropped by some 50% from the previous year. And Russia – like it or not – is by now Pattaya’s biggest source of tourists, ain’t it?
But hey – surprise surprise – despite all the badmouthing by “old hands” and dire estimates by tourism “experts”, it looks like all the doomsayers were once again proven wrong and that tourist numbers for Pattaya in the first three quarters of 2014 were actually considerably better than what even the most dewy-eyed optimist would have expected – at least on paper and/or if we’re to trust Thai tourism officials.
Never mind the largely empty bars and beaches and the justified (for the most part) annual moaning and groaning by frustrated bar owners – according to figures now released by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), tourism in Pattaya during the first nine months of last year obviously declined just less than 5%.
As reported by the Pattaya Mail in its current issue (which also has more details regarding average length of stay, spending and tourism-related revenue etc.):
Pattaya saw 7.14 million Thai and foreign visitors for the first three quarters of last year, down 4.49 percent. Foreign tourists dropped 5.95 percent to 6.72 million visitors.
Hotel occupancy for the first nine months of the year averaged 69.6 percent, down 0.8 percent for the year.
Pattaya’s fourth-quarter numbers may not stand up as well due to its reliance on Russian tourists, which have declined more than 25 percent due to the historic devaluation of the ruble.