In Focus : Special Talk on “Thailand: The Greatest Story in Global Tourism History” news3

In Focus : Special Talk on “Thailand: The Greatest Story in Global Tourism History”

On 16 December 2019, the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a Special Talk on “Thailand: The Greatest Story in Global Tourism History” by Mr. Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor of Travel Impact Newswire, who has dedicated decades of his life to studying the development of Thailand’s tourism industry. His approach in promoting sustainable tourism industry in Thailand emphasised quality tourism involving 3 major aspects, namely safety, security and sustainability.

On this occasion, Ms. Busadee Santipitaks, Director-General of the Department of Information and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opened the event and gave introductory remarks. Representatives from the diplomatic corps, relevant government agencies, entrepreneurs in the tourism industry and academics from universities and educational institutions participated in the event.

Mr. Muqbil stated that Thailand’s tourism industry has been growing at a fast pace ever since it was established 60 years ago. In 2019, Thailand expects to welcome 40 million tourists, credited to many favourable attributes. Thailand is situated in a strategic location at the centre of South East Asia, enabling convenient infrastructural and transport connectivity with countries in the region. Moreover, Thailand has developed ingenious marketing schemes to promote tourism, which has helped draw large numbers of inbound tourists, year on year. Thailand has also been very creative in using tourism as a bridge to enhance diplomatic relations with other countries. Most importantly, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great tremendously contributed to the development of sustainable tourism in Thailand by empowering local communities, as well as preserving the environment and natural resources. Mr. Muqbil appreciated that Thailand has applied this approach, while highlighting sustainable tourism as a priority.

Mr. Muqbil was of the view that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should and can play a leading role in the development of Thailand’s tourism industry based on two references. First is the approach of the late Dr. Thanat Khoman, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, who emphasized the importance of amassing quality tourism by using cost-benefit analysis. The second is the remarks made by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2019, declaring that it is the responsibility of the international community to leave a sustainable world to the following generations and that mankind must learn from history to prevent the recurrence of past mistakes.

Participants exchanged views on the current challenges affecting Thailand’s tourism industry such as competition among airlines, the role of the media, as well as the effects and benefits of new technology on the industry, especially in developing human resources.

The Director-General of the Department of Information added that Thailand has been actively promoting the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, which is clearly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa. Additionally, Thailand, as Chair of ASEAN in 2019, throughout her Chairmanship, has been promoting the theme of “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.” This reflects Thailand’s commitment in promoting sustainable development in all dimensions and pertinent to the tourism industry. Sustainable tourism will enable more inclusive growth and equal distribution of income across the country, by empowering local communities, without leaving anyone behind.