By SUCHAT SRITAMA
During his visit to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports yesterday, Prayut said he wanted to follow up on tourism plans and hear details of problems in the industry.
In a separate matter, he said he wanted Thailand to become an even bigger sporting force in the region.
He said the tourism sector needed to collaborate with other stakeholders and agencies to build a good relationship between them that drove tourism.
“The aim of tourism is sustainability. The government wants to see more community tourism and more money transferred to local people,” he said.
The PM also wants to see more development of human resources in the sector in order to compete with other countries.
However, he said some problems needed to be solved, such as the lack of trained staff.
“It [the sector] may need more people and funding to oversee tourist attractions,” he said.
Ittirit Kinglake, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, urged the government to improve safety at popular tourist areas, including implementing more security measures.
In recent weeks, some tourists have been killed or injured because of poor management at tourist areas.
Ittirit suggested the government increase the number of security guards or tourist assistants at all major destinations.
He also called on the government to crack down on illegal businesses and non-registered operators because they took business and money back to their own countries.
“Prime Minister, please come and look at the many problems hidden through the country,” Ittirit said.
Despite the sector’s many issues, Thailand is expected to continue to be a popular destination for international tourists – a fact illustrated by the inaugural MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index, which found Bangkok to be the most popular Asia-Pacific destination last year.