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saneroad

Patong Feels The Downturn Bite

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By Phuketwan Reporting Team

Monday, February 16, 2009

WE SET out to survey Patong's beach economy, with our reporting team fanning out along the ever-popular beach road.

And yes, we did get jumped by an aggressive time-share tout. And yes, he was difficult to shake off, and a pain in the neck, the kind of experience that tourists (and reporting teams) should not have to endure.

In taking Patong's pulse, we did find some interesting pointers. Shop owners were usually happy to give their names. Employees tended to not want to do that.

The conclusion from our survey: business is down on last high season. Regular guests return because they love the place. But they are spending much, much less.

Newcomers are harder to find.

People who once were prepared to stretch out on the beach and buy drinking water from the nearest vendor now go without a lounger or an umbrella, and bring their own drinking water, purchased more cheaply at a convenience store.

It may seem an over-simplification, but it sums up the reality. And the forecast is for more of the same for now.

Full story and photo album: Patong Beach Feels the Downturn Bite

Edited by saneroad

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And just by way of a contrast, Mrs Chiang Mai works in a very smart boutique hotel in Patong that has sixty seven rooms and they are fully booked for all of February and March. Similarly, the Hilton Arcadia in Karon is fully booked this month.

But by way of a contrast: I've just returned from Bangkok and Pattaya where my usually reliable sources inform me that business is dead. Not being too trusting I made a few checks and can confirm that businesses of all types are struggling, my confirmation points being:

My favorite guesthouse/bar on Soi Yamoto whose takings for the past three months are down fifty percent over previous years;

The sheer volume of would be middle class farmgirls now working Beach Road at all times of day and night;

The ease with which a seat can booked on any airline to any destination in Thailand during high season.

My money says that Phuket is probably faring better than most Thai holiday destinations.

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And just by way of a contrast, Mrs Chiang Mai works in a very smart boutique hotel in Patong that has sixty seven rooms and they are fully booked for all of February and March. Similarly, the Hilton Arcadia in Karon is fully booked this month.

But by way of a contrast: I've just returned from Bangkok and Pattaya where my usually reliable sources inform me that business is dead. Not being too trusting I made a few checks and can confirm that businesses of all types are struggling, my confirmation points being:

My favorite guesthouse/bar on Soi Yamoto whose takings for the past three months are down fifty percent over previous years;

The sheer volume of would be middle class farmgirls now working Beach Road at all times of day and night;

The ease with which a seat can booked on any airline to any destination in Thailand during high season.

My money says that Phuket is probably faring better than most Thai holiday destinations.

Only because of cheap direct flight from Europe to Phuket.

Who wants to pay extra money for internal flights and transport costs to their destination, when you can fly direct.

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And just by way of a contrast, Mrs Chiang Mai works in a very smart boutique hotel in Patong that has sixty seven rooms and they are fully booked for all of February and March. Similarly, the Hilton Arcadia in Karon is fully booked this month.

But by way of a contrast: I've just returned from Bangkok and Pattaya where my usually reliable sources inform me that business is dead. Not being too trusting I made a few checks and can confirm that businesses of all types are struggling, my confirmation points being:

My favorite guesthouse/bar on Soi Yamoto whose takings for the past three months are down fifty percent over previous years;

The sheer volume of would be middle class farmgirls now working Beach Road at all times of day and night;

The ease with which a seat can booked on any airline to any destination in Thailand during high season.

My money says that Phuket is probably faring better than most Thai holiday destinations.

Only because of cheap direct flight from Europe to Phuket.

Who wants to pay extra money for internal flights and transport costs to their destination, when you can fly direct.

Samui should be doing the same thing,package tours direct.

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And just by way of a contrast, Mrs Chiang Mai works in a very smart boutique hotel in Patong that has sixty seven rooms and they are fully booked for all of February and March. Similarly, the Hilton Arcadia in Karon is fully booked this month.

But by way of a contrast: I've just returned from Bangkok and Pattaya where my usually reliable sources inform me that business is dead. Not being too trusting I made a few checks and can confirm that businesses of all types are struggling, my confirmation points being:

My favorite guesthouse/bar on Soi Yamoto whose takings for the past three months are down fifty percent over previous years;

The sheer volume of would be middle class farmgirls now working Beach Road at all times of day and night;

The ease with which a seat can booked on any airline to any destination in Thailand during high season.

My money says that Phuket is probably faring better than most Thai holiday destinations.

Only because of cheap direct flight from Europe to Phuket.

Who wants to pay extra money for internal flights and transport costs to their destination, when you can fly direct.

And Bangkok, only one hour away from Pattaya, doesn't have cheap direct flights from Europe? Hmm!

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And just by way of a contrast, Mrs Chiang Mai works in a very smart boutique hotel in Patong that has sixty seven rooms and they are fully booked for all of February and March. Similarly, the Hilton Arcadia in Karon is fully booked this month.

But by way of a contrast: I've just returned from Bangkok and Pattaya where my usually reliable sources inform me that business is dead. Not being too trusting I made a few checks and can confirm that businesses of all types are struggling, my confirmation points being:

My favorite guesthouse/bar on Soi Yamoto whose takings for the past three months are down fifty percent over previous years;

The sheer volume of would be middle class farmgirls now working Beach Road at all times of day and night;

The ease with which a seat can booked on any airline to any destination in Thailand during high season.

My money says that Phuket is probably faring better than most Thai holiday destinations.

Only because of cheap direct flight from Europe to Phuket.

Who wants to pay extra money for internal flights and transport costs to their destination, when you can fly direct.

Samui should be doing the same thing,package tours direct.

Get yourself a runway and go for it I say.

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I dont know about Patong, however a Pataya newspaper this week reported that Russian tourism was down 80% and 60% across the board. Aslo everyone I know rich or poor are certainly tightening their belts

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