Thailand is hosting the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 in Bangkok from 30 May to 1 June 2012, and more than 80 delegates were invited to a networking dinner hosted by the Minister of Tourism and Sports with collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Under the theme “A Night by the Riverside” at Asiatique the Riverfront, Thailand’s newest mega-shopping complex, the networking dinner featured sumptuous Thai and international cuisine, as well as charming Thai traditional dance performances.
Earlier in the day, a tourism summit under the topic of “Open Borders: Revitalizing Asia’s Growth through Travel, Trade and Tourism” was opened with remarks by John Moavenzadeh, Senior Director, Head of Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum USA. During several breakout sessions, key leaders in the travel industry discussed collaboration and strategies for the region’s tourism sector. Ideas on policies facilitating travel, sustainable transport, meeting consumer demands and brand strategy were also exchanged among influential decision makers.
The sessions ended with the closing remarks by Mr Chumpol Silapa-Archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports. "Thai authorities are delighted to support this event for key players from the tourism industry in the East Asia region to meet and discuss how the countries in the region can form win-win alliances to be more competitive in the future. It is also a great opportunity for Thailand to showcase its readiness as a travel hub for the region, building on its track record as one of the world’s most preferred tourist destinations,” he said.
Thailand’s strategic location and excellent tourist infrastructure make it a natural hub for travel throughout the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), compring southern China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. Tourism has been a very important component of the development program for GMS over the last 20 years. The growth that exists today is almost entirely the result of specific policy measures implemented in regional and sub-regional agreements. With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) coming into effect in 2015, the TAT plans to further support improvements of the standards and quality of local tourism operators.
“To remain competitive when the AEC comes into effect, Thai operators must be able to deliver the best possible products and experiences to visitors. This can be accomplished through knowledge and training programs, combined with all the strengths that Thailand offers as a tourism destination," said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni,