There is a lot of commotion online about Thailand wanting to become a place for wealthy travelers instead of the seedy bottom of the barrel crowd that it currently attracts. While it sounds like a good idea for Thailand, it is also not going to happen. There are a million reasons why the rich and famous will keep going elsewhere to spend their money, unless they are already a lover of the Land of Smiles, here are a few of them:
- Pattaya Beach isn’t a beach, it is more like a giant lagoon of piss water. If you think that wealthy individuals are going to pay for a sub-par beach with toxic oily water, you may need to go get your cat scanned. Wealthy people like to do wealthy people things, like scuba diving. Having had been on 19 dives throughout Pattaya and the surrounding area, I can honestly say, the Bahamas did it better.
- Most of your REALLY wealthy CEO’s are not out mingling with Mike the alcoholic stool pigeon. When is the last time you saw someone dressed to the nines coming down Soi 6 that wasn’t some overly dressed tourist douche bag? It doesn’t really happen that often. Nobody in Pattaya gives a damn about the clothes you have on.
- When was the last time you saw someone that TRULY had more money than they knew what to do with have a good time? When they go out, they don’t typically go on the hunt for the next cheapest draft beer. About the most “high class” thing that Pattaya has going for it is Terminal 21, Sapphire girls and the Amari buffet. There has to be something to draw the wealthy in and I’m sorry, but the Nigerians on beach road aren’t it.
- When I think wealthy, I think private planes and yachts. Off hand, I can only think of one or two people here that have a “Yacht” (or what is considered to be yacht) in Thailand. Sure there are a few boats out in Ocean Marina, but Thailand is far from a boaters paradise unless you get down towards the islands, by then, you may as well keep going because the water only gets clearer from there.
- All of my wealthy friends have that one bad ass car that they like to take out as long as it isn’t snowing or raining. Have you seen the state of Thailand’s roads? There are literal potholes out there that can swallow motorbikes whole, if you think these guys that can haul ass in their Lambo around Dubai is the future of Thailand, you may want to think about fixing the roads. Like, all of them.
- Bangkok has maybe five hotels that have helicopter pads, to my knowledge Pattaya has none, which means, Phuket and the rest probably have none either. How many wealthy people have you seen “Yellow Cabbing” it anywhere that they go? Helicopter transfer to and from their location is a prime way for the wealthy to travel. Where would you even put a helicopter pad in Pattaya (aside from the one on Pratumnak). Bali Hai? I guess you could always transfer then via Elephant. That would be unique.
- Say what you will about the police service in Thailand, everyone knows that they can be corrupt. Wealthy foreigners would immediately become targets of both Thai criminals and the police. With all the stories of corruption that are floating around there, it surely is a turnoff to many a wealthy traveler. Wealthy people value their wealth above all else. They also are used to a police force that actually responds in minutes, as opposed to “Thai Time”.
- Though Thailand may have some decent medical and dental facilities, that doesn’t mean that the world knows that. Most people I know would tell you that you were crazy to get any operations or intensive medical treatment in Thailand, why? Because they don’t know any better. Thailand would really need to start boosting amazing healthcare and hospital services. Wealthy people must remain alive to remain wealthy.
I understand that people have different definitions of what “wealthy” is. The Thais could simply mean that they will be targeting more westerners over Indians and Chinese tourists. It could really mean a host of different things. The one thing it doesn’t mean is that you will ever be chilling next to Tiger Woods in a beer bar on Soi 6.