Monday, May 11, 2009


Tiffany's Show owner says resort city needs a major cleanup.

By: Parista Yuthamanop
Published: 7/05/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Business

Sutham Phanthusak, the owner of Pattaya's best-known entertainment business, has a grim face as he ponders the challenges the resort city faces.

Sutham Phanthusak, owner of Tiffany’s Show, frets about Pattaya’s latest blow, the Asean summit riots: ‘‘I worry hotels with tight cash flow might close down.’’ TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

The Trang native who founded Tiffany's Show three decades ago has seen Pattaya evolve from a tranquil seaside resort, renowned for its sunsets, into a town bustling with activity and nightlife.

"Pattaya itself has potential. But its growth has come with poor-quality zoning and management. It is killing itself, which is quite regrettable," he says.

But reviving Pattaya's business has now become an urgent question of survival after protesters from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) violently disrupted the Asean summit on April 11. The incident was a prelude to street fighting in Bangkok a few days later.

"Pattaya survived many crises in the past. First was the Gulf War in 1991. Then we encountered the Sars epidemic and bird flu. If we can compare those to catching a cold, Pattaya now has cancer," says Mr Sutham, who also owns the five-star Woodlands Hotel and Resort.

"This could be the end of Pattaya after 40 years."

Even before the H1N1 influenza outbreak, the occupancy rate of five-star hotels in Pattaya stood at 10% in April, compared with a typical rate of 70-80%. Occupancy at lower-ranked hotels was only 30-40% last month.

With 1,490 cases of H1N1 flu now reported worldwide, tourism globally is braced for a heavy blow.

In any case, Mr Sutham hopes the government's efforts to calm political tensions can help resuscitate the battered tourism sector.

"Even if the political situation returns to normal, tourism will take a year to recover because it is about advance planning. I worry we could see hotels with tight cashflow close down," he says.

Mr Sutham adds that Pattaya desperately needs to improve its zoning - and shed its image as a mafia haven and a hub of the sex trade - if it wants to attract more sophisticated tourists.

"How can Pattaya attract quality tourists if it has no proper zoning for beer bars and night pubs and allows go-go dancers to perform in the middle of the streets?" he asks.

In his view, rebranding Pattaya will also require an overhaul of its police force - which he accuses of taking far too long to examine crimes. For him, the ability of protesters to break into the Asean summit venue was yet another instance of the police's inadequacy.

"The fact that the protesters were outnumbered by security officers from the police and military should have allowed the government to block them without violence," he says. "There is just one road leading to the hotel entrance and the other side of the hotel is enclosed by the beach. There were 1,600 UDD protesters compared with more than 2,000 officers."

But he dismisses reports that Pattaya residents participated in the turmoil as members of the "blue shirts" opposing anti-government protesters.

"There are very few locals among the blue shirts. I would say fewer than 1% of them are locals," he said.


Osman Mohammed said...

Do you need finance to start up your own business or expand your business, Do you need funds to pay off your debt? We give out loan to interested individuals and company's who are seeking loan with good faith. Are you seriously in need of an urgent loan contact us.
First Name:
Last Name:
Date Of Birth:
Phone No:
Zip Code:
Monthly Income:
Loan Amount:
Loan Duration:
Purpose of the loan:

Agent Of Global Online Finance said...

Good Day Sir/Madam: Do you need an urgent loan to finance your business or in any purpose? We are certified and legitimate and international licensed loan lender we offer loans to Business firms. Individuals, companies firms, corporate bodies at an affordable interest rate of 3%. It might be a short or long term loan or even if you have poor credit. We shall process your loan as soon as we receive your application. We are an independent financial institution. We have built up an excellent reputation over the years in providing various types of loans to thousands of our customers. We offer Educational loan, Business loan, home loan, Agricultural loan, Personal loan, Auto loan with either a good or bad credit history. If you are interested in our above loan offer you are advice to fill the below information and return to us for more details. You can contact us with this email ( we shall respond to you as soon as we receive your loan application details below.

First name:
Middle name:
Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):
Marital status:
Total Amount Needed:
Time Duration:
Currency Needed
Zip/postal code:
Monthly Income:
Which sites did you know about us.....
( )for immediate attention. Contact
us now and get an urgent loan within two (2) days!!!
Mr Hameed Youssef