H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports
Amazing Thailand Networking Lunch, WTM 2019
Monday, 4 November, 2019, 1130-1330 hrs.
At South Gallery 27 & 28, Excel Exhibition Centre, London, UK
Distinguished guests/members of the media/ ladies and gentlemen, Good afternoon.
Thank you very much for being with us today. It has been only a few months since I assumed the position of Minister of Tourism and Sports. This is my first trip to the World Travel Market, and I am told it is one of the most important global travel shows. I look forward to meeting many of you and benefiting from you helping take the industry forward in our common interest.
Many of you have been long-standing supporters of travel and tourism to Thailand. The people of Thailand are grateful for that support, and this year, we will welcome around 40 million visitors. While this achievement is certainly something to be proud of, the rapid pace of growth has opened up bigger challenges that we need to address.
In the months ahead, we will completely overhaul the way travel and tourism is managed and structured with a clear focus on ensuring the preservation of natural resources, destination management, administrative controls, regulatory enforcement, and much more.
This is very important within the broader national context. Thailand is undergoing a major transformation to prepare us for the new era of digital, economic, technological, and geopolitical changes. The Royal Thai Government has placed tourism very high on its agenda.
The goal is to spread the benefits of tourism to the rural areas, reduce the income gap and create jobs. We are also committed to enhancing the contribution of tourism to sustainability.
For tourists, this will all mean higher levels of clean and well-managed sites, reduced waste and garbage, almost complete elimination of plastic, and other related issues. Community-based tourism will also be highlighted.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand applaud the role of the World Travel Market in providing us with new insights on global trends and issues. We are very happy to have had a presence here. It has been a mutually beneficial win-win partnership, and I look forward to our strong relationship continuing many years in the future.
Thank you all for sharing your valuable time with us today.