Thai startups showcase tech for tourism
Thai startups showcased digital platforms, technologies, and services they say could increase the value of businesses in the country's hospitality and tourism industry at Thailand's Digital Tourism Unboxed Tech Conference on Saturday.
The two-day event is hosted by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry in collaboration with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and other partners from the public and private sectors.
The objective is to connect Thai startups in the tourism industry with local entrepreneurs so that they can consider collaborating to improve travellers' experiences, create value, and increase revenue.
Digital Economy and Society Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong said during the opening ceremony that the event is part of his ministry's efforts to improve Thailand's competitiveness in the tourism industry.
Wisely integrating technologies into the country's tourism businesses will encourage tourists to stay longer or enjoy more experiences in Thailand, he said, adding that technology can also help businesses find new ways to add value to their products and services while also improving efficiency and productivity.
Technological innovation will also encourage recent foreign graduates and digital nomads to consider working in Thailand, he said. The government is targeting both groups to address the workforce shortage, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Prasert explained that some digital nomads and newly graduated students from the world's top 600 universities may travel to Thailand to explore any opportunities and look for work. During this time, they will be granted Global Digital Talent visas, allowing them to remain in Thailand for 90 days before receiving a work permit from their employers.
Currently, the ministry has proposed extending the stay from 90 days to one year. It intends to discuss further details with the Interior Minister and other relevant partners next week.
Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, the president and CEO of Depa, said that aside from demonstration booths, there are several workshops and panel discussions where experts will provide suggestions for entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.
Participants will learn about two new technologies for the tourism industry: Generative AI and Web 3.0, Nuttapon said.
The event is part of a Depa project called ThailandCONNEX, which debuted in February. Depa collaborated with Thai startups to create a single platform for businesses in the tourism industry nationwide to match their products and services while reducing their reliance on foreign platforms.
ThailandCONNEX expects to have 100,000 entrepreneurs on its platforms by the end of the year, Nuttapon said, adding that there are currently over 50,000.
He said the platform also expects to introduce over 200,000 new products and services to the industry, as well as generate additional revenue in excess of 10 billion baht per year.
The conference, which ends tomorrow, is being held in Bangkok at Samyan Mitrtown.