Recent promotions for the SO Sofitel Hua Hin Resort have highlighted the confusing labelling of many resorts and attractions as ‘Hua Hin’, when they are not only outside the municipality, but even not in the same Province.
To quote one commentator: “Even saying Cha-Am is pushing it! They call themselves So Sofitel Hua Hin and it’s nearly an hours’ drive north. Surely Phetchaburi is a more accurate description of where they are?” The resort is around 32 kilometres north of Hua Hin and 6 kilometres north of Cha-Am.
This may be the most extreme example of this confusion but not the only one. With the northern border of Hua Hin and the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan only a hundred metres or so from the airport entry, many other businesses north of the border display the Hua Hin label.
For example, the Dusit Thani Hua Hin, the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, the Avani+ Hua Hin and the Baba Beach Club Hua Hin are all well north of the border. Others may be hedging their bets by using both names, such as the Novotel Hua Hin Cha-Am Beach Resort & Spa.
There is also confusion about attractions such as the Mrigadayavan Royal Palace and golf courses such as Palm Hills and the Springfield Royal Golf Course often referred to as Hua Hin attractions, but travel guides can hardly be blamed for their error.
With Cha-Am being little known outside Thailand, the marketing reasons for the use of the better-known Hua Hin name is an obvious reason. There’s also a touch of snobbery for those Bangkokians who prefer to say their holiday is to Hua Hin if they consider Cha-Am to have a lower status.
There is an absence of a coordinated approach to regional marketing. Some bodies attempt to show a more regional presence such as the Hua Hin/ Cha-Am Tourism Association, SKÅL INTERNATIONAL Hua Hin & Cha Am and the Phetchaburi-Prachuap Khiri Khan Golf Course Association. However, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has two separate jurisdictions and neither relevant municipality or provincial authority adopts a regional approach.
The Royal Coast Review has long promoted the notion of adopting and marketing a regional name, advocating the name ‘Royal Coast’ as the way to better promote the combined region and to acknowledge that the conjoint locations of Hua Hin and Cha-Am are part of the region’s royal history.
With a reemergence of tourism now on the horizon, the timing couldn’t be better!
A Royal Coast Review Editorial
The Royal Coast Review is the English language daily source of news, information and happenings along the Royal Coast of Thailand including Hua Hin and Cha-Am but also Phetchaburi to Prachuap Khiri Khan. We welcome the opportunity to attend events so we can tell your story as we promote the attractions and businesses of region.