Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on her recent visit to Pattaya where she aims to improve tourism and generate THB 2 Trillion.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently visited Pattaya where she chaired a meeting regarding the tourism development of Thailand. She declared that she will support all sectors with the aim of generating two trillion baht within five years from tourism alone.
Many topics were discussed at the meeting which concluded that the government wants to see the integration of information sharing between tourist agencies in order to achieve improvements in tourism development. Culture tourism and environmental tourism are the two areas on which they want to focus. Security for tourists will be enhanced as well.
The government believes that if all agencies work together, two trillion baht can easily be achieved, and Thailand’s tourism will strengthen in the long run as well.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Suwat Sitthilhor reported this year’s tourism situation during the first quarter to Prime Minister Yingluck in which he stated, “There are 5.7 million tourists this year which is a 7.1% increase compared to last year. This number has so far generated THB 258 Billion, a 9.7% rise over 2011. Tourists from China, Australia and France have grown the fastest. This year, there are expected to be over 21.6 million visitors.”
Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), proposed five strategies to help reach the PM’s two-trillion-baht policy:
1. Distinguish and differentiate Thailand from other countries;
2. Accelerate and promote Thailand to the international market;
3. Boost domestic tourism;
4. Create an opportunity for people to travel to Thailand and promote the country through various media like the World Mega Event;
5. Stimulate travel through the MICE market, where the TAT has identified 22 projects.
There are projects under TAT’s budget of THB 5.6 Billion; and four additional projects under the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) budget of THB 242 Million.
Mr. Suphon Sriphan, Director-General of the Department of Tourism, proposed seven ‘Tourist Attraction’ strategies to be implemented to include both new and existing ideas, such as:
1. Create new attractions that are innovative;
2. Add more value to the film production sector;
3. Establish a creative/entertainment tourist destination such as the Makkasan Complex, in Bangkok;
4. Develop popular attractions and enhance the quality of the tourist’s experience;
5. Build facilities to promote seaside tourism;
6. Promote sports and health tourism;
7. Develop and improve already existing tourist attractions.
As for logistics, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to present a project which includes the development of air transportation between countries.
PM Yingluck assigned the execution of these five strategies to related agencies to insure that the development of logistics and infrastructure support the country’s goals for tourism, create confidence for tourists, and bring about proper tourism management. Related agencies will view their strategies and will finalize an action plan this July.
PM Yingluck also mentioned her concern for travelers in Pattaya when she stated, “I want to focus on tourists not being exploited. I want the Ministry of Labor to supervise the quality of the local labor market to improve service quality.”
PM Yingluck also stated that she will cooperate with relevant agencies (Ministry of Transport) to improve air and land transport. PM Yingluck also mentioned that she made a request to the Ministry of ICT to establish a website promoting Thai tourism throughout the world. As for the hotels, PM Yingluck said that she will grant stars to each hotel to make it easier for tourists to make a selection that suits their lifestyle. Ms. Yingluck concluded by stating that she wants to encourage a culture of tourism throughout Thailand.
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