Mobilizing Tourism Strategies to Increase Thailand’s Tourism Income (21/06/2012)
The Government is stepping up efforts to increase Thailand’s tourism revenue to two trillion baht in the next five years.

As part of the efforts, committees will be formed to work out details of five strategies to achieve the tourism revenue target. The committees will come up with the details and report them to Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan by 2 July 2012.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was informed of the strategies when she chaired a tourism workshop in Chon Buri during her inspection tour of eastern provinces and the fifth mobile Cabinet meeting from 17 to 19 June.

The five tourism strategies seek to make a difference in Thailand’s tourism, boost international markets, stimulate domestic tourism, promote travel through world mega-events, and encourage travel through the meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition, or MICE, business.

Prime Minister Yingluck cited tourism as the country’s major economic sector bringing in enormous income and said that concerted cooperation by all parties concerned would help strengthen the tourism industry and enable it to grow further on a sustainable basis.

She believed that success in the tourism sector would also enhance the reputation of the country even more and contribute to the development of other sectors, as well.

According to the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, 5.7 million international tourists visited Thailand in the first quarter of 2012. The number represented an increase of 7.1 percent over the same period of 2011. Chinese, Australian, and French tourists were the largest groups of international visitors between January and March this year. Tourism revenue during the period amounted to 258 billion baht, accounting for an increase of 9.7 percent. It is expected that tourist arrivals in 2012 will reach 21.6 million.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the Regional Joint Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee in Chon Buri on June 18 considered three issues to promote Thailand’s tourism industry. The first issue involves the construction of a road around Ko Chang, or Elephant Island, in Trat province. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was assigned to work with the Ministry of Transport in conducting a study on the project and presenting results of the study to the Cabinet for consideration.

In the second issue, the Ministry of Education was instructed to work with the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the private sector in arranging English courses to develop language skills for Thai workers. The Ministry of Finance was told to offer incentives for the private sector through the corporate social responsibility system.

In the third issue, the Ministry of Finance was assigned to study the possibility of using the amount from the deduction of value added tax at the locations of hotels for local development. Pattaya city in Chon Buri is set to be the pilot city for launching this project.

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