Government moves steadfast on tourism strategy, tasks relevant agencies to determine project plans in two weeks’ time (19/6/2012)
At Orchid AB Meeting Room, Royal Cliff Beach Resort Pattaya, Chonaburi, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presided over an official workshop on tourism policy with an objective to create tourism revenue of 2 trillion BHT within 5 years. The Cabinet and a number of CEOs from the private sector— ranging from the Tourism Council of Thailand, the Association of Thai Travel Agents, Thai Hotel Association, Association of Domestic Travel, Thailand Restaurant Association, along with other relevant agencies—attended the session. After the meeting, Government Spokesperson Ms. Sansanee Nakpong revealed the outcome of the meeting with details as follows:
The Prime Minister stated at the opening that tourism is fundamental to Thailand’s economy and portrays such image for the country. Ms. Yingluck said that if Thailand could be prepared with good strategy to effectively accommodate tourists in the country, Thai tourism would be sprouting in no time. In this connection, PM Yingluck wished to see more integration of various aspects in tourism; be it culture tourism and environmental implications thereof, security, as well as the inclusion of Thai local knowledge in tourism in general. In addition, if various tourism sectors could consolidate their efforts, the 2 trillion BHT strategies would not be far-fetched. The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of tourism and said the Government would do its best to accommodate all needs in an effort to create stronger and thriving tourism in the country.
With regards to the targeted revenue of 2 trillion BHT, the Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Sports Ministry revealed that during this year’s first quarter, there were 5.7 million tourists, adding 7.1 percent from the previous year. This has led to the added revenue of 258,102 million BHT or 9.7 percent increase, the majority of which have come from China, Australia and France. It is expected the number could reach 21.6 million by this year’s end. In regards to logistics, Tourism and Sports Ministry has proposed a number of project plans. Among others, a project plan to develop a network of international routes in air logistics has been set up. Similarly, in land logistics, a plan has been developed to improve a number of routes to tourist destinations. As for the sea logistics, a project plan for the development of seaports has been initiated. Other plans include the optimization of the immigration system. Meanwhile, representatives from the private sector have raised a number of issues in industrial tourism sector. The issues include the development of travel websites into ‘Single Web Single Message’ system under the Tourism Authority of Thailand, a campaign on ‘Good Host’ country, while many suggested to have the Prime Minister as Tourism Ambassador and believed such could significantly steer the industrial sector into greater improvement. Other issues discussed were the inclusion of data system to tackle the demand for hotel rooms in main attractions, based on the national tourism policy, to provide an oversight of rooms to suit the growth of tourists.
Later in the meeting, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) presented its proposal it sought to work in collaboration with the public and private sector in tourism. Concurrently, the Tourist Police Division presented the development of proposal pertaining to jetski and black-plate taxis mafia situation.
The panel has come to terms on various grounds as follows: 1) to determine strategy towards a single end; 2) to build understanding of lifestyles and needs of tourists by way of initiating ‘segmentation’ of different targets (high, medium and low-end) in order to further improve products and services, as well as packages in accordance with differing needs; 3) to strengthen security for tourists; 4) to improve and support logistics systems; 5) to adequately prepare for facilities in Immigration services; 6) to improve important tourist destinations and encourage environmental tourism: Transport Ministry and Tourism and Sport Ministry to implement ‘Quick win’’; 7) to create communication umbrella under the branding of ‘Morden Thailand’ and a website with ‘search by lifestyle and quality’ focus, as well as organize a World Event; 8) to improve tourism standard by way of creating a ranking in various categories (e.g. sport, health, quality and price, etc), and invite entrepreneurs to enter travel and labour standard system; and 9) to assign tasks to varying agencies with success indicators and set up a committee for that matter.