Bangkok’s tourism sector is worried the Chao Phraya Riverside Promenade Project will have adverse impacts on the local economy and local business owners are concerned that the plan would degrade the scenery and charm of the river and affect the number of visitors to the city.
The River Assembly (RA) last week hosted a meeting with key business owners at a site near the Chao Phraya River to discuss how to cope with possible impacts from the promenade project. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) intends to open bidding for the project next month, with construction slated to begin in June.
The BMA has stated that the first phase of the promenade project will be 14 kilometres long, running from Rama VII Bridge to Phra Pinklao Bridge. The total 57km-long promenade project will affect hotels and businesses along the river, which have been estimated to generate revenues of up to Bt100 billion per year.
David Robinson, director of the high-end hotels partnership Bangkok River Partners, said business owners operating on the banks of the river were very nervous about the economic impacts that may affect them when the project is completed because of changes to the scenery and the public’s connection to the river.
Prominent architect Duangrit Bunnag said negative impacts on businesses along the river would be unavoidable, adding that there still had not been a study on the impacts of the promenade project on the business sector.
“There is no economic impact assessment at all on the project, so we do not know exactly how much the business sector will lose from the construction of the controversial promenade,” he said.