The “Dream” Becomes A Shadow Of Its Former Self
You've been going (and now living) in Pattaya long enough to know that it gets slow every year and when your in the mist of the low season, it always seems worst then it has in the past. But I'm not surprised to hear that this year might be
a little bit worst then the norm.
There are lots of different groups of tourist that come to Pattaya. We can toss out the Asian tour groups, couples and families because they don't seem to spend much time in the beer bars anyway. So that leaves the single male tourist… your "bread and butter", and this group can be broken into 2 main groups… those who have been coming for years (your regulars) and the newbies.
I think that for the "regulars" it comes down to value for your dollar. Airfares are much higher then they were a just a few years ago, barfines-drink prices-and what the girls are asking for seems to have gone up. And at least for the Americans, the exchange rate has made everything cost an additional 15% across the board. At the same time, there is a perception that the quality of the "eye candy" has dropped off too. Personally I think this is because there are way more bars now then there were in the past which spreads the talent out over more venues so that when a punter walks into a given bar he may only see half as many attractive girls as he had on past visits. It leaves the impression that the quality is dropping when in fact there are just as many pretty girls in Pattaya today as in the past… their just spread out over more bars.
Speaking only for myself, I can say that for years I have been coming to Pattaya 3 or 4 times each year. My last trip was this past Feb. and at the moment I don't have a single trip booked or even planned. I loved Pattaya so much that I have spent the past 5 years working on a goal to retire early and make the big move. But now that I am only 8 months away from hitting the goal it seems that my focus has changed. I'm no longer driven by the idea to move to Pattaya… my main goal now is just to position myself so I don't have to work anymore. After that I'm sure that I make a trip to Pattaya with an open ended plane ticket and retirement visa in hand But am I still dead set on making Pattaya my home… I'm not so sure anymore. And I don't think that I'm alone. Reading a lot of posts on several different boards, there seems to be a growing number of guys who live in LOS now that are taking a serious look at other options and a lot of guys like myself who have been moving towards settling in LOS who are beginning to wonder if maybe they should reconsider before making a commitment.
Naturally, I can't speak for what is in the minds of the newbies… but I remember that back when I first started to look on the web for info on LOS, that I came to boards like this one and most of the posts were positive. Now days, it seems that there is a growing number of posts that are less then flattering about the "joys of Pattaya".
From a business perspective, it's really quite simple. You have a tourist location that becomes very popular. Good business leads to increased profits. Which attracts more businesses to meet the tourist needs. Business over expands so that there is too much product (number of bars) for the level of demand. The infrastructure begins to strain (added traffic). Inflation kicks in as more guys chase the top girls and the girls then ask for more money. And the new bars mean fewer customers per bar so the bar owners raise prices to stabilize their profit margins. For the tourist, overall quality of the experience declines, value of the tourist dollar declines, the number of tourist decline, poorly run bars that forget the importance of customer service suffer and the weaker ones close down.
And then the business owners see the trend and adjust or the "dream" becomes a shadow of it's former self…
I wish you nothing but good fortune my friend because I think your one of the best bar owners in all of Pattaya. It has always seemed that you try to do what is right for your employees and customers alike. I never come to Pattaya without paying at least several visits to your bar and I think others should follow suit because it's important to patronize the bars of guys like you.
This was an email a reader sent to a friend who is a bar manager, and then sent in as a submission. I personally think a number of good points are made. Things are changing, a lot!