PM Srettha: Elevating Thailand as a world-class destination

BERLIN – Thailand’s Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Srettha Thavisin, delivered a statement at the “Amazing Thailand Networking Event with the Prime Minister of Thailand” as part of the country’s 49th participation in the ITB Berlin 2024 in Germany.

Prime Minister Srettha stated the importance of tourism in socio-economic development and shared the government’s vision to drive the Thai tourism industry to the next level and generate 90.36 billion euros in overall tourism revenue for this year. Of these, 59.38 billion euros will be from international tourism, including 17.15 billion euros in revenue and 8.5 million visitors from the European -, African-, and Middle East markets.

The Prime Minister indicated a significant improvement in the ease of traveling over the past five months, including the temporary visa exemptions for Indian, Russian, Kazakhstani, and Taiwanese visitors and the recently launched Thailand-China mutual visa exemption. In addition, talks are underway with the EU for a Schengen visa exemption and ASEAN counterparts for the “One Visa, Free your Destination” agreement.

PM Srettha extended an invitation to tourists to explore secondary destinations beyond world-renowned cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai to indulge in local cultures and unique experiences. He cited his travel experiences of many interesting local cultures and hidden gems in lesser-known cities.

He mentioned the plans to adjust the operating hours of entertainment venues and ease rules on the sale of alcoholic beverages. This will follow the recent extension to the opening hours of entertainment venues in key tourist areas and the reduction in liquor tax.

The PM reiterated that the government places ‘Thai Soft Power’ at the core of its tourism policy. Thailand’s unique and beautiful festivals are being leveraged to position the country as a world-class festival destination. The “Maha Songkran World Water Festival” will be organized to celebrate its UNESCO ‘intangible cultural heritage’ status. Incentives will be launched to attract major international festivals, concerts, and events to be held in Thailand.

Lastly, Prime Minister Srettha expressed his vision to see Thailand become the aviation hub of Southeast Asia within this decade. He highlighted renovation and expansion plans for existing airports and the development of two new airports – the Lanna International Airport in Chiang Mai and the Andaman International Airport in Phang-nga.

The Prime Minister also stressed the plans to improve the efficiency of ground handling services to accommodate the increasing number of passengers. Apart from providing quality services to customers, safety, and security standards are significant elements of leading forward to be a global aviation hub.

He also mentioned discussions with airlines to increase flights and new routes to Thailand, and the upcoming “Air-mazing Thailand: The Amazing Airlines Fam Trip” being organised by the TAT to showcase the country’s expansive aviation capabilities.

With the investment and commitment from the government, Thailand is poised to see an explosive growth in the tourism sector in the coming years. “We want to encourage travelers to embrace their experiences, share their travel stories in Thailand that will turn into lifelong memories, and inspire others around the world to seek endless journeys in Thailand,” Prime Minister Srettha concluded.

The Amazing Thailand Networking Event with the Prime Minister of Thailand was attended by more than 200 invited European and Thai tour operators and members of the media.

TAT also used the networking event as a platform to launch for the first time at the ITB Berlin 2024, its latest TVC: “Amazing Thailand: Your Stories Never End” communication concept. It aims to instill ‘unforgettable experiences’ into travelers through meaningful travel or memorable trips during their journey in Thailand. This will lead the travelers to become storytellers who share their own stories in Thailand with others and inspire the world to embark on endless journeys and create never-ending stories.

Photo: AT/hz