By SUCHAT SRITAMA
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked 7,000 townships across the nation to help reinvigorate the economy through tourism and use the sector to boost income in the long term.
Prayut said the government had asked all 7,000 sub-districts or tambon across the country to look for new tourism attractions or create activities in their areas in order to draw visitors and generate income for their communities.
He met yesterday with local administration officers from every province, asking them to help drive the government’s Pracha Rath Project aimed at reviving the economy.
The government has been focusing on tourism as part of the Pracha Rath Project, along with other key sectors including investment, real estate and retail.
“Local people will be the key persons helping drive Pracha Rath. They can develop tourist attractions and also prepare themselves to cope with tourism,” Prayut said.
The government hopes that every tambon will propose development plans for potential attractions including historic sites, culture, and the environment.
However, many tambon may need tourism guidelines and oversight in order to build unique products and reputations as well as differentiate themselves from other areas. Local people will be required to understand management and related issues such as tourist safety and security, and high service standards.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Japan External Trade Organisation, Bangkok Office, signed a memorandum of cooperation last November to exchange tourism development and management, especially to develop community-based tourism.
They both plan to kick off investment industrial and agricultural tourism to strengthen locally based tourism in Thailand. Japan will provide know-how to Thai operators and government bodies.