City government and business leaders presented the budget request to Kasin Sarasin, chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand and a consultant to the government on the EEC initiative, at a June 5 meeting at the Cape Dara Resort.
The EEC, laid out in a June 2016 Cabinet resolution, aims to promote and develop target industries on the Eastern Seaboard through public-private partnerships. Examples of such projects include expansion of the Buraphavithi Highway to U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport, high-speed rail links, and expansion of the Burapha Highway from Rayong to U-Tapao.
Pattaya officials argue tourism should also be considered and said the government should give money to the city to fix its infrastructure woes to boost visitor numbers.
The hotel and tourism business in Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, judging by forward bookings made for 2018, with more visitors set to arrive from emerging markets, particularly China and India. The Korean and Russian markets are also bouncing back.
The main targets for the upgraded facilities include the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) market; the corporate sector, including automotive, oil and gas companies; and the local leisure market.
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