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ASEAN steps up to support Korean tourism to Phuket



PHUKET: A three-day intensive training course attended by about 50 staff from Phuket tourism businesses concludes today, with the aim of providing better services to inbound Korean tourists.

The course, being held at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, is part of the “ASEAN Tourism Human Resources Development Program” organized by ASEAN-Korea Center (AKC) in cooperation with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Over the three days, attendees are being educated on outbound Korean tourist market trends, Korean language and Korean culture, including the country’s history, contemporary lifestyle, etiquette and manners.

The course is the last program to be held in 10 ASEAN member countries since March 2009, and follows success of the program held in Bangkok on January 12-14 last year.

“I hope this program equips you with practical knowledge about Korea and Korean people and helps you to understand the needs of Korean travelers and thereby promote Thailand as a more attractive tourist destination,” said Young Jai Cho, Secretary General of the Seoul-based ASEAN-Korea Center, during the opening ceremony.

He said Thailand, especially Phuket and Chiang Mai, and the Philippines were now the most attractive destinations among the 10 ASEAN countries.

“The number of Korean people visiting Thailand grows every year. When I flew here from Korea last night, the flight was full. There was not a single available seat, and most of the passengers were families traveling together,” he said.

Pattamat Wongpattanasiri, Executive Director of the TAT’s Product Promotion Department, said that last year the number of Korean tourists grew by more than 30 per cent, from 618,227 to 805,445.

“The rapid growth in the number [of arrivals from Korea] made us very happy. Not only are Thai people fascinated by Korean culture, but now Korean people are fascinated by Thai culture.

“Tourism operators should learn more about Korean behavior in order to provide quality services and to expand the Korean market,” she said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan


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