The newly elected president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) plans to work with tourism associations overseas to help develop the entire sector.
Piyaman Tejapaibul, managing director of Holiday Inn Resort Regent Beach Cha Am, and vice president of the council, was elected the new president of TCT yesterday. She will take up the job for a twoyear term.
She said the council would work closely with the private sector overseas in order to help develop the tourism industry in Thailand.
The council will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tourism Council in Shanghai to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Thailand as well as chalk out future cooperation between Thailand and China.
The council would like to sign similar agreements with tourism organisations in other countries.
Moreover, it will work with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the Pacific Asia Travel Association to develop Thailand’s tourism.
Piyaman urged all tourism organisations to help restore tourism.
“I will be open to every party to share our future plans so it should help reduce internal conflicts or problems,” said Piyaman.
TCT expects total arrivals to reach 15.2 million as projected as the political situation has stabilised.
Surapol Sritrakul, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) said the number of arrivals into Thailand from January to August 15, grew by 13 per cent compared to the same period last year.
He said the tourism sector should be back on track during the coming peak season if there would be no political tension.
“Operators have already received 1520 per cent advance booking for the last quarter. This is a good sign to have more visitors this year.”
Surapol said ATTA will do more marketing overseas, especially in markets with potential like India, China, the Middle East, Australia, Eastern Europe as well as Africa.
The association would promote Thailand as a medical destination now as that was becoming one of the country’s key attractions.
However, Thailand is facing tough competition as some countries are focusing on the same field.
Sumetaral Sitabut, senior consultant of the Institute for Small and MediumSized Development, said Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Philippines are scoring over Thailand by promoting their medical products and services in international markets.
“Operators should join hands to compete with those from other countries to remain a medical destination,” said Sumataral.
Last year, Thailand received 1.3 million international patients and the number should increase to 2 million this year.
“Medical tourism is growing by 14 per cent per year so it is a good opportunity to cope with the growth,” Sumataral said.
source – www.nationmultimedia.com