Phuket to be “C-Commerce’ guinea pig

PHUKET CITY: Phuket and Chiang Mai are to pilot a new e-commerce scheme that will allow tour operators and travel agents anywhere in the world to give tourists up-to-date information on destinations, and to make hotel and tour bookings.

Under the “Tourism C-Commerce Outlet” initiative, tour operators will be able to link to tourist attractions, spas, hotels, restaurants and other places used by tourists, and pass on to customers information on facilities and availability.

The scheme was unveiled at the Royal Phuket City Hotel at a meeting on June 24 of about 350 people organized by the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa).

Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura told the meeting, “If there is good software that enables agents to check room availability, airline tickets, tourist information and so on, it may encourage them to [send people] here.”

The pilot scheme will start in Phuket and Chiang Mai in August and will run until January. If successful, it may then be rolled out across the country.

Parinya Krachangmol, the Business Development Manager of Sipa in Bangkok, told the meeting that 27 entrepreneurs had already joined the scheme in Chiang Mai.

Kanawat Wasinsungworn, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), who chaired the meeting, said the initiative should support the government’s effort to use ICT as a tool to increase tourism to the point where it will contribute 200 billion baht to the country’s annual gross domestic product within five years.

K. Kanawat also said he was confident that Phuket is ready to be an ICT city. However, he added, the province needs to encourage entrepreneurs to work together and to coordinate information among themselves.

He said, “If Phuket is a software powerhouse, it will be good not only for business entrepreneurs, but could also attract foreign investors to set up businesses in the area.”

Sipa Phuket may be contacted at Tel: 076-379111.

Phuket News
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