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Thai PM Unveils Tourism Vision at ITB Berlin 2024

Thai PM Outlines Ambitious Tourism Vision at ITB Berlin 2024

Berlin, Thailand’s Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Srettha Thavisin, delivered a comprehensive statement at the “Amazing Thailand Networking Event with the Prime Minister of Thailand” during the country’s 49th participation in the ITB Berlin 2024 in Germany.

Hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the event took place at the CityCube Berlin, gathering industry leaders and stakeholders.

Prime Minister Srettha articulated the pivotal role of tourism in driving socio-economic development, emphasizing the government’s commitment to advancing the Thai tourism industry. He unveiled ambitious targets, aiming to generate 90.36 billion euros in overall tourism revenue for the year, with a substantial portion expected from international tourism, particularly from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East markets.

Highlighting recent enhancements in travel facilitation, Prime Minister Srettha noted the temporary visa exemptions for visitors from India, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Taiwan, as well as the recently implemented Thailand-China mutual visa exemption. Furthermore, discussions are underway with the EU and ASEAN counterparts for potential visa exemption agreements, signaling Thailand’s openness to international visitors.

In a bid to diversify tourism experiences, the Prime Minister extended an invitation for tourists to explore lesser-known destinations beyond traditional hubs like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. He emphasized the richness of local cultures and unique experiences awaiting visitors in these hidden gems.

Addressing regulatory reforms, Prime Minister Srettha announced plans to adjust operating hours for entertainment venues and ease restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages. These measures follow recent initiatives such as extending opening hours for entertainment venues and reducing liquor tax, aimed at enhancing the overall tourism experience.

Underscoring the concept of ‘Thai Soft Power,’ the Prime Minister emphasized leveraging Thailand’s vibrant festivals to position the country as a premier festival destination. Plans include organizing the “Maha Songkran World Water Festival” to celebrate its UNESCO ‘intangible cultural heritage’ status and attracting major international festivals and events to Thailand.

Looking towards the future, Prime Minister Srettha expressed his vision for Thailand to become the aviation hub of Southeast Asia. He outlined plans for airport renovation, expansion, and the development of new airports, including the Lanna International Airport in Chiang Mai and the Andaman International Airport in Phang-nga. Ensuring efficiency and safety standards in ground handling services are key priorities in this endeavor.

In closing, the Prime Minister highlighted ongoing discussions with airlines to increase flight frequencies and introduce new routes to Thailand. The upcoming “Air-mazing Thailand: The Amazing Airlines Fam Trip” organized by TAT aims to showcase Thailand’s aviation capabilities, further solidifying its position as a global tourism destination.

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