Government-backed holidays inspire tourists
CHONBURI: Pattaya’s beaches and tourist attractions were packed with tourists yesterday, the first day of a six-day long holiday, with hotel rooms on Koh Larn, about 7 kilometers off the coast, fully booked.
Many Thais and foreign tourists boarded a ferry at the Bali Hai pier in southern Pattaya yesterday to arrive at the island, and the Pattaya City Government and Maritime Office sent officials to facilitate their travel at the pier.
Authorities sought the cooperation of the ferry operator to strictly adhere to safety rules regarding the number of passengers on board, while requiring passengers to wear life jackets.
More parking spaces have also been arranged to accommodate the growing number of vehicles, the local authority said.
Since the beginning of the month, there are an estimated 3,000 rooms on the island, with room occupancy at 100%, hoteliers said.
On July 25, the caretaker cabinet approved a cabinet secretariat proposal to declare Monday a special government holiday, setting up a six-day holiday from July 28 to August 2 to stimulate tourism, after which the small Demand for rooms in Coral Island has increased.
Yesterday was His Majesty’s birthday, August 1st is Asanha Bucha Day and August 2nd is the start of the Buddhist fast – all of which are government holidays. The extra day allows government employees to enjoy an uninterrupted six-day weekend.
The long holiday period is expected to generate more than 100 million baht in revenue for the island.
Meanwhile, Koh Samui airport in the southern province of Surat Thani was bustling with Thai and foreign tourists, who started arriving on the island yesterday due to a cabinet decision.
All Bangkok Airways flights from Suvarnabhumi to Koh Samui and all direct flights from Hong Kong and Singapore to Koh Samui are fully booked.
Many other tourists arrive on the island by ferry from Surat Thani.
It is expected that at least 20,000 tourists will visit Koh Samui during the long holiday, which will greatly boost the local economy.
Some tourists are expected to continue from Koh Samui to other islands, including Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, especially the younger generation who are looking to join the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party at Hat Rin Beach on 3 August.