Prayut unveils ‘SMILE’ strategy for tourism development after Covid
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday unveiled a new strategy dubbed “SMILE”, which aims to ensure sustainable development of Thai tourism.
The government wants the tourism industry to contribute 30 per cent of Thailand’s GDP by 2030, up from 20 per cent pre-Covid-19. Meanwhile the Tourism Authority of Thailand forecasts 7-10 million foreign tourists will arrive this year, after quarantine measures were lifted last month.
Prayut was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Thailand Tourism Congress 2022 held at Beyond Resort Kata in Phuket.
“SMILE” stands for:
S – Sustainability in all aspects.
M – Manpower: Boosting skills of tourism workforce to international standard.
I – Inclusive economy: Ensuring that all sectors of economy are included in the tourism industry.
L – Localisation: Promoting the uniqueness of communities as tourism attractions.
E – Ecosystems: Promoting eco-tourism and the local environment.
“The SMILE strategy will help improve the country’s tourism industry sustainably and ensure that we adapt to the changing world in all aspects,” said Prayut.
It was also a stepping stone towards Thailand’s goal of becoming a medical tourism destination, which would help boost the economy, he added.
Also attending the congress are Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakan, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Wilawan, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, and representatives from tourism operators in Phuket and nearby provinces.
The Thailand Tourism Congress 2022 is being held for the first time and will run until Wednesday.