Thailand implements blueprint for responsible tourism management

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Concerns about overtourism are intensifying globally as popular destinations like Venice start imposing daily entry fees and Japan attempts to divert tourists to less-visited provinces.

Thailand, expecting 40 million foreign arrivals this year, faces similar challenges. The Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Somradee Chitchong, emphasised the lack of a tourism-carrying capacity blueprint in the country. This blueprint would assist provinces and districts in managing incoming visitors strategically.

“Should Thailand aim to become a tourism hub, particularly for responsible tourism, it is paramount to develop infrastructure in relation to the number of visitors.”

This blueprint should take into account available rooms, attractions, natural resources, transport and logistics, healthcare facilities, and basic infrastructure such as electricity and water.

Somradee noted that these blueprints could serve as indicators of the tourism industry’s growth, particularly in alignment with the government’s Ignite Tourism Thailand 2025 pledge. This initiative aims to make Thailand a regional tourism hub by attracting more events and festivals. The blueprints could also help analyse the potential of each province in facilitating large-scale attraction development.

Somradee also mentioned that fortunately, after the pandemic, the number of tourists has not exceeded capacity as flights have not returned to the 2019 level. With a wide range of tourist attractions across its 77 provinces, some tourists are drawn to visit less crowded or lesser-known places, she said.

As a result, the TAT is using marketing strategies to drive travel demand to less congested areas during the low season, aiming to disperse tourists and increase travel income in those areas.

While some countries have seen locals protest against tourist hordes, it is rare to see Thais push back against an influx of visitors, even before the pandemic. This is partly because the tourism industry is a significant contributor to Thailand’s GDP, Somradee said.

She cited Maya Bay, which recently reopened after years of closure, and Chiang Mai, which drew many Chinese tourists thanks to the box office success of Lost in Thailand a decade ago.


The President of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, said that even before the pandemic, Samui did not experience overtourism, adding there is still plenty of room for development on the island. Samui locals are eager to welcome tourists as the industry is an economic driver for the island as said by Ratchaporn.

The Tourism Department is promoting sustainable tourism along with local communities to ensure tourist numbers match with resource management, said to the Department’s Director-General, Jaturon Phakdeewanit,

The Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, a hospitality consultant based in Phuket, Bill Barnett, said with more than 100,000 hotel rooms in Phuket, it is essential for the hospitality industry to promote sustainable operations amid the island’s tourism growth. These efforts include addressing water conservation, reducing electricity consumption, and using new technology to improve performance.

Thailand is heavily dependent on tourism, mentioned by Kriengkrai. According to the Office of Industrial Economics, the post-pandemic recovery of tourism is contributing to the growth of the food and petroleum industries.

The assistant Director of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Power System Control and Operation Division, Jakgree Sirimaneewattana, mentioned that the transmission lines are essential power supply infrastructure that requires good management and care, particularly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which house key economic activities and are often crowded with tourists,reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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