Minister of Tourism and Sport met with Greek Ambassador and Thai-European Business Association, Topics discussed between them were different strategies to promote tourism between Thailand and Europe.Press Release:
Minister of Tourism and Sport met with Greek Ambassador and Thai-European Business Association
Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Kingdom of Thailand met with H.E. Pericles Boutos the Greek Ambassador to Thailand, the Thai-European Business Association (TEBA) as well as stakeholders in the Hotel industry on Monday 30th March 2015 at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Topics discussed between them were different strategies to promote tourism between Thailand and Europe.
Mr. Pericles emphasized the importance of increasing connectivity between Thailand and Greece. He noted that in the past three years the Greek tourism industry has seen success. He expressed his interest to collaborate with the minister to promote lesser-known cities in Greece, encouraging tourists to travel in different seasons and try out the different activities offered such as spring trekking and winter mountaineering. He also noted that both regions are in a good position in terms of medical tourism. However, the recent termination of the direct flight between Bangkok and Athens by THAI Airways has been a main concern for Greece.Minister Kobkarn shared positive updates of Thailand’s recent tourism status and how the recent national campaign “Discover Thainess” has been receiving positive feedback. In this campaign 12 alternative tourist destinations such as Lampang, Nan, and Buri Ram have been promoted. Ideas behind the campaign focus not only on generating income, but also on sustainable tourism, wealth distribution to smaller communities and strengthening pride among the Thai people, especially among the younger generations.
In term of the European region, Thailand already has numerous Tourism Authority of Thailand offices, and it is opening a new office in Prague next year. Moreover, Thailand benefits from the quality of European tourists, as they tend to have long stays, the Minister said.
Eric Hallin, Chairman of the Tourism Committee, Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) and General Manager of Rembrant Hotel and Towers, said that the strong Bath has affected purchasing power and addressed that to expand Thailand’s tourism industry, the government needs to improve its infrastructure. Facilities such as those for private jets and yachts close to Bangkok are an issue.
Currently, Thailand has several ongoing infrastructure projects such as the third runway and the second terminal of Suvanabhumi Airport and the second terminal of Don Muang Airport which has been planned to be completed in August, accommodating 30 million visitors more per year. The Ministry of Transportation also plans to develop two new cruise liner ports in Samui and Krabi to promote Thailand as a cruise destination and a marina hub, opening opportunities for the super yatch business.
Stakeholders in the hotel industry pointed out that major festivals and regular events in Bangkok help to attract tourists in which the Minister agreed bringing to attention concerts, music festivals and sporting events taking place monthly in Thailand.
To boost trade and tourism, collaboration between the government and the private sector is necessary. TEBA viewed that apart from targeting potential newcomers, the tourism sector should also target the existing network of expats living in Thailand as well as the expats living in ASEAN, providing them with the best experience during their stays in Thailand.
From Left to Right:
Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Executive Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand
Mr. Eric Hallin, Chairman of the Tourism Committee Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand; General Manager, Rembrant Hotel and Towers
Mr. Pericles Boutos, Ambassador of Greece to Thailand
Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Kingdom of Thailand
Mr. Hugh Vanijprabha, Managing Director , Rolls-Royce (Thailand); Board Member, TEBA
Mr. Segsarn Trai-Ukos, Country Director, Michelin Siam; Board Member, TEBA
Mrs. Urairatana Naothaworn, Director of International Affairs Division, Ministry of Tourism and Sports