Bangkok, 17 August, 2015 – The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is joining hands with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in launching the agro-tourism master plan for 2015-2017 with the introduction of four pilot destinations this year.
H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “Under the agro-tourism master plan for 2015-2017, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will promote and develop agro-tourism destinations with an objective of boosting the economy, enhancing the quality of new tourism products, and spreading income to agriculturists and community-based tourism destinations.”
The three-phase agro-tourism master plan for 2015-2017 will kick start with four piloted projects in the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) designated 12 Hidden Gems destinations due to their uniqueness and readiness to welcome tourists as well as the potential to spearhead the number of tourists from key destinations. The four pilot agro-tourism destinations are Khlong Mahasawat in Nakhon Pathom, Pak Phanang in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ban Khok Muang in Buri Ram, and Khao Kho in Phetchabun.
In 2016, nine more agro-tourism destinations will be introduced in the 12 Hidden Gems provinces, including Lampang, Nan, Samut Songkram, Ratchaburi, Chanthaburi, Trat, Loei, Chumphon, and Trang. In the last phase (in 2017), the plan is set to cover all agro-tourism destinations in all 12 Hidden Gems provinces and the eight tourism development clusters as well as in all regions throughout the country.
H.E. Pitipong Phuengboon Na Ayudhaya, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives said, “The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will collaborate with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports through three integrated strategies as well as joint publicity events and information exchange to help spread income for people at the grass-roots level.”
The strategies are the business to agriculture initiative that will provide a platform for businesses; such as, hotels and restaurants, to purchase goods directly from farmers; the agro-tourism content development project that will highlight agro-tourism products; such as, homestay, Thai rice routes, Thai silk routes, ecotourism, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), and the community-market development project that will emphasise on income generation for community-based markets, fresh markets, morning markets, and farmer markets.
Each agro-tourism destination will be designated based on six key components: destinations with easy accessibility and flexibility for tour groups; homestay services that offer the local way of life experience; destinations that can be visited within a one-day trip from Bangkok; ability to offer joint activity for visitors; such as, tree planting and fruit harvesting; destinations known for producing quality farm produces, and destinations with a unique One-Tambon-One-Product (OTOP) offer.
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
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