Thailand’s Tourism Remains Strong and Contributes to Economic Growth
- The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
- July 18, 2013
Thailand’s tourism sector remains strong and plays an important role in contributing to economic growth. The Government has seen much progress on efforts to increase the country’s tourism revenue to two trillion baht by 2015.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on 17 July 2013 chaired a tourism workshop to follow up on the Government’s plan to achieve the goal of two trillion baht in tourism revenue.
The Prime Minister thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Sports for working actively with the private sector to boost the tourism sector. She stated that the Government wanted to see all related organizations work in an integrated manner, linking with provincial development strategies for tourism promotion in various areas, such as cultural tourism and medical tourism.
Apart from enhancing people-to-people contact, she pointed out that tourism also helped spur other economic sectors, such as spa services, the restaurant business, and the sale of the One Tambon, One Product, or OTOP, program. So tourism should be used to move the country’s overall economy forward.
The Prime Minister said that, in working out tourism promotion programs, the Government’s strategic plans on 350-billion-baht water management and 2.2-trillion-baht infrastructure mega-projects should be taken into consideration, as they would boost tourism, as well.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Transport were urged to work with Airports of Thailand Public Company and low-cost airlines in promoting aviation links with various World Heritage Sites in Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, and other provinces.
Since Thailand aims to be a tourism hub in ASEAN, she said that related organization should hold discussions on issues to connect the regional hub with the international hub. Thailand still has great potential for further growth of its airports in the regional areas of the country. Since Thailand welcomed 12.7 million tourists in the first half of 2013, the Prime Minister believed that tourist arrivals this year would reach the set target of 26 million.
The Government has eased congestion at Suvarnabhumi Airport and introduced an automatic passport check system to speed up screening procedures at the airport. The e-visa service has been launched, and it will cover all Thai embassies and offices of Thai consuls-general by 2015.
Meanwhile, the President of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Mrs. Piyaman Tejapaibul, said that the Government’s planned high-speed train system would make it easier for tourists to travel to various secondary tourism cities, which boast cultural, historical, and eco-tourism sites. Therefore, it would greatly change the traveling behavior of tourists.
She called for the development of more tourism facilities in the provinces, taking into consideration the local way of living and environmental preservation. This would also help distribute wealth and generate more income for local communities.
(Source: Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister / Thailand’s Tourism Remains Strong and Contributes to Economic Growth)