PATTAYA: — Tourism and sports minister Kobkarn Watanavarangul has told the Thai media of her plans to rid Pattaya of its sin city tag and make it the hub of sports tourism.
This comes as it was announced that the minister is threatening to make a visit to the resort in March Thairath reported.
The minister – who last July said she intended to wipe out the sex trade in Thailand – has now accepted that “the service entertainment” industry exists in Pattaya but sports is the way forward.
She said you only have to look at world class sporting events like the Jetski World Cup to see that. The ministry needs to get the word out to foreigners interested in sports and they will come flocking, she said.
Khun Kobkarn was speaking to ThaiRath in the wake of foreign media claims about Pattaya being nothing but a crime ridden knocking shop with 27,000 prostitutes.
“From my perspective,” she began, “Pattaya needs to have zones for the service and entertainment industry. This kind of trade exists in every city worldwide but it is restricted to certain areas and cannot be easily accessed”.
In Thailand it is often by the side of main roads and plain for everyone to see, she commented. She intimated this needed to change by zoning.
“We at the ministry are working hard to raise the image and profile of Pattaya and Chonburi in general as a place for sport and sports tourism as we have already announced.
“There are many events in the province that are world class. We just need to get the word out and let the foreign tourists find out all about them. Then many will come”, she said.
Kobkarn cited the Jetski World Cup Pattaya and the Bang Saen Triathlon as prime examples.
“Such events need our promotion abroad to attract sports tourists and visitors”.
The minister who was noticeable by her absence when officers from her ministry made an inspection visit to Walking Street last week told Thai Rath that she hoped to visit Pattaya herself sometime this month.
Report shared by Thairath and ThaiVisa