PM backs Phu Kradueng cable car project to boost tourism

Picture courtesy of Thai PBS

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed his support for the long-awaited cable car project at Phu Kradueng National Park in Loei. During his official visit to Italy, he met with Leitner, an Italian-based ropeway company, to discuss plans for building electric cable cars.

Leitner, which had already contracted with the Thai government for the cable car and ropeway sales, received praise from PM Srettha for its long-term vision and commitment to sustainability through the production of full-scale electric cable cars and ropeways.

“Leitner has expressed its interest in investments in Thailand for quite a while due to the country’s fame for tourism.”

The 62 year old prime minister highlighted the Phu Kradueng National Park cable car project as a significant opportunity for boosting tourism in Loei, a province that has traditionally been considered a secondary city despite its well-known natural attractions. The Bangkok-born prime minister mentioned that the project aligns with the interests of local MPs who have recently brought it to the forefront.

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“Leitner showed an interest in the project just at the right time as MPs for Loei have also brought it up.”

PM Srettha emphasised the project’s commitment to using clean energy and noted that the construction would take about six months. He reassured that the initiative would be environmentally friendly.

When questioned about the potential for similar projects in other areas, the prime minister suggested a cautious, step-by-step approach. “I believe there are many more provinces that want to promote nature-based tourism and not destroy the environment,” he added.

Proposals for a cable car in Phu Kradueng National Park have surfaced repeatedly over the past 27 years, dating back to the era of former prime minister Banharn Silpa-archa. The project aims to significantly reduce the time required to reach the park’s summit by at least five hours.

Despite the potential benefits, the cable car project faces opposition from environmental activists. They argue that an influx of tourists could lead to increased litter and damage to the park’s natural landscape, reported Bangkok Post.

The project, which has been revived under PM Srettha’s administration, is currently undergoing an environmental impact study. It is expected to cost at least 28 million baht (US$771,000) and cover a 4.4-kilometre route, according to the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA).

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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