NORTH Pattaya Alliance (NPA) has officially launched destination and branding campaign North Pattaya – More than you think to overcome its reputation for having Thailand's largest red-light district, with the help of MICE business and Indian weddings.
"We're using the slogan: 'You think you know Pattaya, think again', to get potential clients to take another look at Pattaya," said David Barrett, executive director for events at Onyx Hospitality Group, who has been a driving force behind the initiative.
"(Within North Pattaya) we have a synergy of products. All (member hotels) have meetings space. All are targeting corporate members and Indian weddings."
Barrett said the Indian weddings market has proven more resilient than MICE in the face of Thailand's political crisis (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 21, 2014).
Part of the NPA's campaign is focused on establishing Pattaya as the top destination for Indian weddings in Thailand. It currently enjoys third place, accounting for 15 per cent of such events, after Phuket (40 per cent) and Hua Hin (30 per cent).
Ittipol Khunpluem, mayor of Pattaya, said the initiative will help the city recover from the political crisis as well as develop more sustainable business in the long term. "We fully support the initiative and have set up a special budget for the alliance, so we can also allocate more funds to help mitigate the crisis."
NPA will hold the Festival of Rice in October, which will include a number of special events and dining options across NPA’s member hotels. Corporate and media fam trips, brochures, a new website and dedicated YouTube channels are in the works as part of promotions.
The alliance comprises seven hotels – Amari Pattaya, Cape Dara, Dusit Thani Pattaya, Holiday Inn Pattaya, Pullman Pattaya Hotel G, The Zign Hotel and Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort – Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Tourism Authority of Thailand and City Hall.