PM Yingluck pledges splurge on developing Phuket tourism

PHUKET: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday named Patong Beach, Old Phuket Town and Promthep Cape as three Andaman tourist attractions to receive “emergency budget” support.

Also on the list to receive special attention were Phi Phi Island and Ao Nang, both in Krabi province, to make them more “tourist friendly” ahead of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) coming into effect in 2015.

“We have a plan to develop 29 top tourism destinations throughout Thailand. There are five such destinations in the Andaman region included in the plan: Patong Beach, Old Phuket Town, Promthep Cape, Phi Phi Island and Ao Nang Beach,” PM Yingluck told guests at a dinner talk organized by the Krabi Provincial Office and Matichon Group at the Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi Resort & Spa.

With about 14.3 million tourists having already visited the Kingdom this year, PM Yingluck expects the Thai tourism industry to be making about 2 trillion baht a year by the year 2015.

The jump in expected revenue relies heavily on the hopes that the AEC will bolster Thailand’s tourism industry. “We now have to develop an effective marketing strategy that will allow us to maintain our existing target markets, while also drawing in new markets.

“It will be necessary to target both the middle-class market and the luxury market,” PM Yingluck said.

“Another strategy would be encouraging longer stays,” she added.

In addition to developing tourist attractions, the government is proposing to build a high-speed rail system that will have both domestic and international lines.

“We have 2.2 trillion baht that will be used to develop a high-speed train network,” PM Yingluck said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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