This was the first scheduled international flight to arrive at U-Tapao since the airport was used to alleviate the crisis during the closure of the Bangkok airports last year. Since then the airport has been totally renovated and upgraded to international standards.
At 00.10 am Pattaya deputy mayor, Mr. Weerawat Kakai, and his team of officials were on hand to give a special welcome to the 300 Korean tourists, who were also treated to a special Thai classical dancing show arranged by Mr. Kumpol Tunsatja of the Nongnooch Tropical Garden.
Mr. Niti Kongkrut from the Pattaya office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said that Thailand?s tourism industry had been through a very difficult time, especially since protesters closed the two main airport in Bangkok, during which time the U-tapao management had performed beyond the call of duty to facilitate the departure and arrival of thousands of tourists. He said that this first flight from Korea brought a new ray of hope, especially to Pattaya and its tourist industry.
However, the Koreans were given a stark reminder of the current crisis as each had their temperature measured as a test for swine flu, but happily everyone was given the all clear, and the smiles on their faces returned as they received their very special warm welcome Pattaya style!