Ministry urges transport upgrade
The Transport Ministry must speed up development of the country’s basic transport infrastructure to accommodate a surge in international tourism, says the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
“We will hold talks with the Transport Ministry soon, especially in the areas of infrastructure development of aviation and cruise ports, which should be completed within four years,” said Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
Based on the latest report of the World Economic Forum, he said the number of foreign tourists to Thailand is expected to double to 60 million over the next 13 years.
“Thailand’s transport infrastructure remains inadequate to keep up with the increasing number of tourists,” Mr Pongpanu said. The country needs a more comprehensive transport infrastructure development plan, he said.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry is improving man-made attractions in Thailand and promoting the country as a meetings, incentives, conferences and events (Mice) venue for specific attractions.
“Mice travellers spend five times more than average leisure travellers,” Mr Pongpanu said.
He said the government expects to receive greater support from the private sector, particularly for its fundamental infrastructure investment projects.
The ministry will host the Asean Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai in January 2018. The event is aimed at promoting Thailand’s tourism competitiveness and attract foreign travellers.
Mr Pongpanu said the ministry will be the representative for Asean countries to update their tourism business investment in the region under the “Ease of Doing Tourism Business in Asean” theme.
Thailand will also host the World Travel & Tourism Council’s global summit in Bangkok from today until Thursday. The organisers anticipate welcoming 750 participants for the event.
The summit will gather the country’s leaders and leading businessmen from around the world, including former British prime minister David Cameron, AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes, Emirates Group president Gary Chapman, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group chief executive James Riley, Google Travel managing director Rob Torres, Agoda co-founder Robert Rosenstein and Siam Piwat president Chadathip Chutrakul.
The council recently reported Asean is the region with the highest tourism potential in the world over the next couple of years.