Hundreds of people were evacuated after a fire broke out at a Holiday Inn Hotel in Pattaya in the early hours of Friday. Police reported their were no casualties. Officers from Pattaya Police Station were informed of the fire at Holiday Inn Hotel in Soi Buakhao at 4.30am.
They rushed to the scene together with; firefighters; disaster mitigation staff; rescue volunteers and a medical team from Muang Pattaya Hospital.
Officers and volunteers helped evacuate around 400 hotel guests and staff; including foreign tourists; children, elderly and disabled persons to safety; while Pattaya firefighters spent 30 minutes using water cannons to subdue the blaze.
A hotel security guard told The Nation that he saw smoke coming from the balcony of a room on the front side of the Hotel, and then the fire spread quickly due to strong winds.
A preliminary inspection by Pattaya police officers said that the fire had occurred at the front part of the hotel while the central and rear parts were still intact. The cause of the fire will be further investigated while the damage was initially estimated at at least Bt1 million.
Meanwhile, Hotel business in Pattaya has begun to feel the pinch of the strong baht and the economic slowdown. With reports of declining occupancy rates.
Under normal circumstances, most hotels in the popular beach city would be fully booked during the high season. However this year the overall occupancy rate is 80%, said Pattaya deputy governor Manoj Nongyai.
The surging local currency has made foreign travellers more price-conscious, he said.
The city is a first-night stay for many foreigners visiting Thailand, according to a study. They then choose to stay the other nights on Koh Samet in Rayong or in Bangkok before flying home.