MARCH 2018

Sports tourism flourishes in Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard.

Hardly a month goes by without a major sporting event taking place in Pattaya or the wider Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). With excellent connectivity, world-class facilities and a plethora of entertainment options, the region is regularly on the top of the list when organisers decide where to host their events.

Over the past few years, sports tourism has become a buzzword in the sporting industry, and with reason. Governments, organisations, rights holders and stake holders are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of hosting sporting events, with positive impacts being measured not only in economic terms but also in terms of wider society and community building.

Thailand is no different. The country was ranked as the top MICE destination among ASEAN countries in 2016, and Pattaya and the EEC are some of the top contributors to the industry. Just a few hour’s drive from the capital, Pattaya and the ECC are by many considered the ideal sports tourism destinations: the region is rich in beautiful natural landscape which includes a long coastline, and at the same time offers plenty of hospitality and entertainment options. It is not uncommon for participants in the region’s sporting events to bring along friends and family to enjoy a few days of relaxation before or after the main event.

The benefits of sporting events on the tourism industry have not escaped the autohorities. Already in 2014, then-Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul pledged to upgrade and promote Pattaya as a world-class sports destination, involving relevant public and private organisations, local communities and provincial administration. As recent as the end of February this year, Pattaya Municipality and the Chonburi Office of Tourism and Sports held a press conference to announce Pattaya Night Run 2018, which is aimed at promoting tourism in the area. Chonburi’s Deputy Governor Chaicharn Aeimjaroen said that the purpose of the Pattaya Night Run is to encourage a new trend of tourism in Pattaya which will help increase the national economy and also promote healthy exercise.

One of the sectors driving high end tourism is the yachting sector, in Pattaya most noticeably represented by Ocean Marina Yacht Club and the popular Top of the Gulf Regatta. The 14th Top of the Gulf Regatta will take place in May this year and is expected to attract hundreds of sailors from all over the world to compete in no less than 12 classes, including keelboats, multihulls, one-design Platus (competing for the Coronation Cup), beach catamarans, dinghies, Optimists (competing for the Thailand Optimist National Championships), and an IOM Class RC Yachts. However, what goes on on the water is only a little part of the Regatta; the benefits on land are increased spending in hotels, restaurants, entertainment and other services.

Running races is another category that attracts huge numbers of tourists. This year, Bangsaen21 and BANGSEAN42, the two popular races, are expected to draw competitors and visitors in the thousands, while the Scenic Marathon Series takes participants to the peaceful shores of Rayong. For those looking for a more family-oriented race, KhaoKheow10, which takes place in the Khao Kheow Open Zoo, is not only a day of activity but also education, giving the young an opportunity to learn about wildlife.

In a different category, Kane Shepherd, a young 16-year old Thai racing driver from Pattaya, is fast becoming Thailand’s biggest racing hope, and his future success is guaranteed to impact the racing industry in Pattaya and beyond.

Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. offers a number of sponsorship opportunities for sporting events in Pattaya and the EEC, including Bangsaen21, BANGSAEN42, Kane Shepherd Racing, KhaoKheow10 and Scenic Marathon Series.

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Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. is an independent marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand specialising in commercial sponsorship and partnership marketing, working with both rights holders and brands - acting as a catalyst by bringing them together and maximising the relationship.

We have packaged, sold and managed sponsorship and partnership opportunities for a wide range of rights holders and worked with many of the world’s leading brands to source and engage the right sponsorships and partnerships for them to maximise.

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