Thailand's leading political party Move Forward to use tourism sector to boost economy

  • Thailand
  • Thursday, 01 Jun 2023

Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, June 1 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Move Forward Party aims to use the tourism sector as a “quick win” formula to stimulate the economy, the party leader and prospective prime minister Pita Limjaroenrat has announced.

He however noted that the Thai tourism sector is still suffering from tourist congestion as 70% of tourism revenue is generated in popular destinations like Bangkok and Chonburi.

Move Forward wants to see foreign tourists visit more places by allowing them to stay in Thailand longer and encouraging them to spend more cash, and is planning to introduce a “homestay act” in a bid to offer more alternatives.

Pita plans to take the United Nations stage in New York in September to announce that “Thailand has returned” and is ready to be a part of the global arena.

Asked about the tourism sector's move to promote Pita as tourism ambassador, he said the prime minister must take care of tourism as part of his job whether or not he was an ‘ambassador’.

He said Move Forward got the idea to issue coupons to promote tourism in secondary cities from other countries, such as Hong Kong. He added that it is up to the Tourism Minister as to whether the coupons will be issued or not.

Tanes Petsuwan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s deputy governor for international marketing in Asia and South Pacific, said the agency is putting every effort into boosting tourism revenue to a pre-pandemic 3 trillion baht by next year.

"The period between 2022 and 2024 is the Thai tourism transition period from the Covid-19 crisis," he said, adding that the country’s must boost tourism revenue to 80% of that of pre-Covid earnings this year and 100% next year.

He confirmed that TAT can work with all political parties, adding that the agency will prepare next year's marketing plan to propose to the new Tourism Minister.

The marketing plan under the concept “meaningful travel” will focus on promoting the 5F soft powers (food, film, fashion, fight and festival), he added.

"TAT will hold a meeting to prepare the 2024 marketing plan in June," he said, adding that the plan will be flexible to comply with the new Tourism Minister's policies.

Tanes expects the number of foreign visitors this year to be at least 25 million people. He said the agency aims to attract 5 million tourists from China, 4 million from Malaysia, 2 million from India and 1 million from South Korea.

Meanwhile, TAT deputy governor for international marketing in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, said the agency aims to attract 6 million foreign tourists from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as 1 million tourists from the Americas, he added.

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