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.

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