Upgrading Na Kluea Subdistrict in Pattaya to Become a Top 100 Destination
As we all know that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment; thus, there are several groups of people that have stood up to raise awareness about the conservation of the natural resources and the environment.
As an organization that monitors a sustainable tourism for all designated areas in the country, DASTA or the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) has had a plan to develop tourist attractions in Thailand based upon the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria or GSTC for Destinations. Furthermore, the DASTA office 3 also has a plan to improve an area of Na Kluea subdistrict in Pattaya of Chonburi province to become one of the Global Sustainable Destinations Top 100 by the year 2022.
Mr. Sutarak Sunthornwipat, manager of the designated area office 3, has stated that DASTA is planning to develop the tourist sites in the designated areas and elevate them to meet the international standards. The area of Na Kluea subdistrict in Pattaya of Chonburi province has been chosen to be developed into a model tourist attraction as it has potentials to attract the tourists traveled by a cruise ship. The distinctive characteristics of Na Kluea subdistrict are that it is a small old community nestled in the city of Pattaya which is not far from Bangkok and it also has a variety of places to stop by, namely an old market, a seafood market, an old Thai – Chinese community as well as temples and shrines. Besides, there are various activities for everyone to take part in whether they be experiencing a traditional fishing, cycling around the last piece of mangrove forest in Pattaya, enjoying bird watching, and taking pictures with street arts and murals.
In order to develop the said area, DASTA has used the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria or GSTC for Destinations as guidelines which cover 4 areas:
1. A sustainable management;
2. Adding more benefits and decreasing negative social/economic impacts to local communities;
3. Adding more benefits and decreasing negative cultural impacts to local communities and tourists; and
4. Adding more benefits and decreasing negative environmental impacts.
These criteria are being used as standards in the sustainable development of the tourist attractions which will prepare these places of interest to be certified by the international standards and be listed in the Global Sustainable Destinations.
However, the nominated tourist destinations will have to pass at least 15 criteria out of 30 in 6 categories which are tourist attraction management, abundance in natural resources and scenery, environment and weather, cultures and traditions, livelihood of people, and businesses and services. Any tourist attractions that have passed all of these rules will be ranked in the Top 100 at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse event in Berlin, Germany.
The GSTC is the international standards which have been devised based on the sustainability by all tourism-related parties. DASTA has been collaborating with agencies in public and private sectors as well as the local people to sustainably develop the model tourist attractions. For Pattaya, DASTA has a plan to improve the areas and places of interest according to a concept of “NEO PATTAYA”. Plus, there is also a policy to turn the area of Na Kluea subdistrict to be “Old Town Na Kluea” by making Lan Pho Market a connecting location between fishermen’s communities and the last piece of the mangrove forest so that it can be a community-based travel route for the tourists to experience the local ways of life of Na Kluea people.
Moreover, the DASTA office 3 has also analyzed and assessed Pattaya beaches to make them qualified for the Quality Coast Awards. If the beaches and other attractions have been certified by the international standards, these places will be able to effectively accommodate the tourists and attract more of them to travel to Thailand, stay for a longer period, and spend more. All of these will create more jobs for the locals and distribute incomes from the main attractions to the ones in the small communities, too.