Korn pledges to create Thai spiritual tourism industry with THB1bn per province
The Chart Pattana Kla Party has pledged to invest 1 billion baht per province to build a Thai spiritual tourism industry if it wins power in the upcoming election.
Party leader Korn Chatikavanij said spiritual tourism has a strong tradition among Thai and international tourists, with potential to generate 5 trillion baht for Thailand’s economy.
He cited Wat Chedi Ai Khai in Nakhon Si Thammarat, saying visitors flocking there over the past three years of Covid-19 had generated much-needed cash for local hotel and business operators.
"Spiritual tourism is now trending globally," he said, offering the examples of Hong Kong’s Guan Yin statue, Japan’s Asakusa Kannon Temple, and the cathedrals of Europe.
Korn said Watcharapong Radomsitthipat, the party's economic adviser, had played an important role in promoting new spiritual landmarks in Thailand such as the Luang Pu Thuad statue in Ayutthaya and Ganesha statue in Chachoengsao.
He added that international tourists are drawn by the interesting stories surrounding Thailand’s many religious landmarks.
Korn said the party would use 1 billion baht per province to promote existing spiritual attractions or create new ones.
The investment would generate “enormous revenue", he promised.
He said three things must be done to develop Thailand's tourism industry:
– Invest in utilities and environmental preservation to boost tourist numbers.
– Increase the number of attractions to coax tourists to stay for longer in Thailand.
– Improve products and services to stimulate spending among tourists.
"Spiritual tourism meets all three requirements," he said.
The election is tentatively scheduled for May 7.