If the local government announce a new by pass or expressway, it’s good news. New airports always mean more vacationers. Upgrades and improved rail systems also bring more business too. Most regions whether in say Spain, England or Dubai benefit from some of these travel improvements.However Pattaya seems to have hit the jackpot as the government has agreed to do these improvements all at the same time.

Here we give you some reasons why Pattaya has a very bright future. U-Tapao to become Bangkok’s 3rd commercial airport . Firstly it is great news for all of us air travellers when The Transport Ministry and the Thai Navy recently signed an agreement to upgrade U-Tapao airport in Rayong province, so that it can handle some of Bangkok’s traffc next year. By next spring U-Tapao will have a new passenger terminal worth about 200 million baht.

The new building together with its existing terminal will raise its passenger capacity from 800,000 to 3 million per year. Between 2018 and 2020, its capacity will increase to 5 million passengers. Congestion at Suvarnabhumi airport requires the quick upgrade of U-Tapao airport so that it can serve more fights.

The Minister expects more scheduled and chartered fights to visit U-Tapao, especially from Europe, Russia and China. U-Tapao airport director Rear Admiral Wasinsan Janthawarin said the airport was handling almost 200,000 and about 400 fights yearly.

Most of them are chartered fights from China and Russia. Bangkok Airways was operating scheduled fights.AirAsia will introduce fights from U-Tapao to Kuala Lumpur starting in mid July starting as low as THB3,100 return and more destinations are also expected.

The expansion will be undertaken in three phases starting with the construction of a new terminal to handle up to 3 million passengers a year from its 800,000 capacity at present. The project is expected to be completed next year. The first step also includes the expansion of the main road linking Chachoengsao province to the airport.

Facilities at the airport will then be improved, starting in 2018, to accommodate 5 million air travelers by 2020. The last stage will be the construction of a new runway. The ministry expects the airport to ease air traffic loads at Suvarnabhumi, while using it to bolster tourism and industry in the eastern provinces.

Expressway and Rail Upgrades You can see for yourself that the expressway between Bangkok to Pattaya is already being upgraded with toll booths, new bridges, new road surfaces and widened lanes.

The new underpass along Pattaya’s Sukhumvit Road has also started, and although creating traffic jams today, when completed is expected to ease traffic congestion within the centre of the city considerably.

We also understand that the high speed rail links from the capital to Rayong have been agreed with the funds are now in place, and experts are currently working on the project. Construction work is expected to commence in the next 12 months. The Future for this region It is no secret that times have been tough for the real estate industry here for the past couple of years.

First there were the political demonstrations across Thailand, then the Army coup and finally the problems facing the lack of Russian buyers. It has not been a great advert for the Land of Smiles overseas! Looking into the future, we expect better exchange rates will enable more overseas buyers to afford what is still a very reasonable priced property market here, especially compared with Phuket, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Hong Kong or Singapore rates per square metre.

Pattaya offers a very wide range of locations and although labeled ‘Pattaya,’ many home owners are looking East, where canny developers are creating family resorts down along the coast line at Na Jomtien and Bang Saray.

Although there may be less Russian cash about, it is a fact that the Thais, particular the middle classes from Bangkok, have been looking at the lower prices and are in a buying mode for a second home here.

This coupled with the massive increase in Chinese arrivals into the country , up 95% in the first six months of 2015, and slowly we are seeing a new type of buyer emerging.

Now with the news about Pattaya’s new international airport and the improved road and rail links to Rayong, locations such as Bang Saray are now very much in the mix, being less than 15 minutes to U-Tapao Airport.

According to the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand, they expect that this region will start to benefit from all these improvements and they predict a period of prosperity for the province and in particularly for Pattaya starting in 2018.

With some Russians still off loading condos, and developers adding special incentives, now probably is the time to buy, as it is very likely that prices will inevitably rise again soon.

Remember Pattaya is the South East’s fastest growing resort and one thing that will never change is our wonderful climate…365 days of beautiful tropical sunshine with the best sunsets in Asia.

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