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DASTA poised to kick off 20-year plan


THE DESIGNATED Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration has drafted a 20-year strategy to raise the competitiveness of 1,000 communities and reduce economic inequality. DASTA director-general Nalikatibhag Sangsnit said the new master plan was approved by the Cabinet and would kick off next year.

 He said the aim was not grand-scale benefits to the tourism industry or the overall economy, but “benefits at the community level”.
During the first five years of the plan, 200 communities will receive training and advice from DASTA on how to enhance their own strengths and manage themselves efficiently. The number of participating communities is expected to increase to 1,000 by 2037.
Participating communities are targeted to increase their “happiness index” by 85 per cent by 2037. The plan is also aimed at creating jobs and lowering the country’s Gini coefficient – a measure of inequality – from the current 0.410 to 0.310 over the next two decades. The closer a society gets to zero on the Gini scale, the more equal it is. A coefficient of 1 is maximal inequality.
Moreover, the economic value from participating communities will increase from 2 per cent to 5 per cent [of what?] while community management standard will be complete 100 per cent, up from current 80 per cent [of what?].
Nalikatibhag said the Cabinet had granted a budget of Bt500 million per year to run the plan. 
“We don’t need a large budget because we will work as an advisory body and provide proper practical to community for further endorsement,” he said.
He said DASTA needed to create about 80 jobs to carry out the plan, from its current staff of 162. The extra demand for staff is due to expanding its responsibility from six designated areas to eight tourism clusters across the country.
 

Published : December 14, 2016

By : SUCHAT SRITAMA THE NATION