The maiden direct flight by the flydubai airline, from Dubai, touched down at U-Tapao Airport in Thailand’s Chon Buri Province on Friday night, carrying 158 passengers.
The passengers, including six tourism bloggers, were greeted by U-Tapao Airport Director, Admiral Rapeepong Sowan, the vice mayor of Pattaya City and director of the Pattaya Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
According to the TAT, flydubai will operate seven direct flights per week between Dubai and U-Tapao. Last year, 65,847 tourists from United Arab Emirates (UAE) visited Thailand, making them the 20th largest group of foreign visitors.
The TAT anticipates that about 150,000 tourists from the UAE will visit Thailand this year, which is expected to generate about 14 billion baht in revenue, averaging about 90,000 baht per visitor.
Despite increasing foreign arrivals, many eateries in Pattaya’s Walking Street are, nonetheless, complaining that they are still struggling with a low level of business. They say they are looking forward to the return of Chinese tourists.