Provincial authorities are drafting a new Hua Hin city plan designed to cope with tourism growth and ensure proper infrastructure development.

On Monday Governor Veera Sriwattanatrakul said that the new city plan will address regulations which restrict or prohibit commercial development in some areas to help the expansion of Hua Hin town.

According to Mr Veera, tourist numbers in Hua Hin surged 40% last year as the town welcomed 3 million visitors ; both Thai and foreigners. That strong tourism growth is expected to continue, especially when the government’s planned Bangkok-Hua Hin high-speed train service becomes operational, tentatively set for 2017.

The new city plan is likely to propose construction of a new bypass to alleviate traffic congestion, Mr Veera said.

However, he said sensitive areas, such as beaches and land near Klai Kangwon palace, will remain off-limits to commercial development.

The city plan will be put up for public hearings soon and is expected to be implemented within a year, Mr Veera said.