PHUKET CITY: Developing tourism as a sustainable industry for Phuket was the topic discussed by World Tourism Organisation (WTO) adviser Hans Carl Jacobsen and local officials at a meeting today at Phuket Provincial Hall.
Joining Mr Jacobsen at the seminar were representatives of the Office of Tourism Development and the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, as well as Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura.
Mr Jacobsen has been commissioned to research and develop a national tourism development plan for Thailand, and the trip to Phuket was part of his remit.
He told his audience, “Thailand is a big tourism destination … The issue is to make sure that in the future tourism is sustainable.
“I want to formulate a plan, to create a new product in Thailand. We need the cooperation of both public and private organizations to develop new products and new markets.”
To start with, Mr Jacobsen recommended that Phuket City should have more signs, so that visitors can find their way around more easily, and that more be done to meet the needs of pedestrians.
He said, “Cars and motorbikes are the kings of the street. We need to think about pedestrians.
“Tourists need to come to a nice town, a nice place that we need to create and develop.”
Gov Udomsak said Mr Jacobsen’s final report on the tourism development plan should be ready early next year.
He added, “For Phuket, I recommend that we have a strategy to develop five main areas: health tourism, marina development, shopping paradise, MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions] and IT city.”
He said these would be considered along with Mr Jacobsen’s recommendations.
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