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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Thai tourism needs a radical turnaround to survive, says former tourism minister


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 Government and private sector must work together to solve the problems of the tourism sector, a former tourism minister advised.

Senator Weerasak Kowsurat, who served as the Minister of Tourism and Sports from 2017 to 2019, said at a recent general meeting of the Thai hotel association that recruiting staff is one of the biggest challenges.

To meet this challenge, he said, the government must use the tourism development fund to retrain staff so that they can learn to perform various tasks.

The former minister also advised government agencies and related private organizations to restructure the tourism industry and make changes as tourists return. He called on the government to come up with ad hoc laws and regulations, such as those that apply to hotels or cruise ships.

The tourism industry could also shift its focus to a creative economy, such as offering gourmet tours now that mango sticky rice has gone viral by Thai hip-hop artist Milli, he said.

Weerasak added that with the right laws, the tourism industry can bring added value to travellers. He also complained that while tourist offices come up with good plans, they often fail due to communication problems.

He said that now, especially now that the public health system is involved, clear communication channels will help solve problems and make things less complicated.

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