Federation to propose 11-point plan to improve tourism industry


Expansion of visa exemption scheme and employment of migrant labour seen as essential components in boosting tourism

The Federation of Thai Tourist Associations (FETTA) is planning to propose to the government a white paper highlighting an 11-point plan to improve the tourism industry, a news source said on Wednesday.

The plan is reportedly a result of FETTA’s survey of tourism entrepreneurs and private sector enterprises on ways to make tourism a national agenda and transform Thailand into a global tourism hub.

According to the source, the 11 recommendations to the government are as follows:

1. Establish a joint taskforce consisting of provincial tourism authorities and private sector firms to serve as an advisor to the Tourism and Sport Ministry in setting tourism-related policies and campaigns.

2. Prepare a tourism development plan with clear performance indicators that focus on the development of tourism supply and demand, sustainable and eco-tourism, and revenue distribution. The plan, titled “Thailand Tourism Carrier Capacity Blueprint” should be jointly prepared by government and the private sector as well as academics to ensure mutual understanding and unity of all related parties.

3. Amend labour-related laws to allow migrant workers to be employed to fill shortages in the tourism sector.

Federation to propose 11-point plan to improve tourism industry

4. Expand the visa exemption policy to cover more target countries and increase the number of immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport to ensure a smoother immigration process. Airlines should also increase flights and reduce their fares to attract both domestic and foreign tourists.

5. Promote digital transformation among tourism entrepreneurs by providing subsidies on tourism software and related digital infrastructure.

6. Design and promote a night tourism programme to reduce the risk of tourists suffering from heatstroke as a result of travelling/sightseeing during the day Comprehensive services and safety should be the main focus of night tourism programmes.

7. Increase the limit of government agencies’ spending on seminars and meetings at domestic hotels. The new limit should reflect the increased minimum wages approved for hotel workers.

Federation to propose 11-point plan to improve tourism industry

8. Allocate a budget for the development of sustainable tourism, ideally in the form of a fund to be jointly managed by the public and private sectors. The budget scope should correspond to the estimated number of foreign arrivals each year at the ratio of 100 baht per person.

9. Pilot sustainable tourism programmes in target areas, then evaluate the results and make adjustments before implementing them at the national level.

10. Amend the Tourism Business and Tourist Guide Act to improve enforcement and fix loopholes, as well as promote the skill development of tour guide personnel.

11. Organise market promotion campaigns in secondary provinces or during the low season to target customers both in Thailand and overseas.