BANGKOK, 9 April 2013: Tourism Council of Thailand has urged the new Tourism and Sports Minister, Somsak Phurisrisak, to concentrate on upgrading tourism’s human resources in the lead-up to the ASEAN Economic Community due to start December 2015.
TCT president, Piyaman Tejapaibul, said the council needs the tourism minister to follow up any projects approved by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board’s Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee to move the tourism industry forward.
“In addition, personnel skills in the hotel industry need to be improved. English skills have been identified as a priority. We need to train 100,000 employees a year over three years up from 50,000.”
BANGKOK, 5 April 2013: Tourism and Sports Minister, Somsak Phurisrisak, has identified safety as a top priority task at the ministry to regain travel confidence.
The minister said safety is now the top concern for the government to ensure Thailand is perceived as a safe destination to visit.
In the past, the travel industry failed to recognise that safety was an integral part of delivering a quality tourism product. It focused on delivering quality hotels, land tours and airline travel and tended to sweep under the carpet failures to match these components with safe passage.
BANGKOK, 5 April 2013: Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates the Songkran travel boom will top 2,712,000 trips with revenue soaring to Bt11,125 over the five-day holiday.
More than 2 million of the trips will be made by Thais mainly visiting friends are relatives in the provinces.
TAT believes political stability is encouraging Thais to travel more this year.
BANGKOK, 4 April 2013: The Thai Cabinet named Somsak Phurisrisak as the new tourism and sports minister, whose appointment was later endorsed by His Majesty the King on Tuesday.
The government’s selection came as no surprise. Mr Somsak was tipped as the top candidate to fill the vacant post after Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism and Sports Minister, Chumpol Silpa-archa, died 21 January.
Mr Somsak was the Suphan Buri governor until he retired, 30 September 2012, but worked closely with Chat Thai Pattana chief advisory, Banharn Silpa-archa.
BANGKOK, 2 April 2013: The International Public Relations Division of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a new Facebook page, ‘Tourism Thailand – Inter PR’ (http://on.fb.me/V9GYm9) to support media and TAT overseas offices.
The Facebook page brings together news and updates on the Thai tourism industry on a single platform to give what TAT calls “timesaving access for media and anyone who is interested in Thailand’s tourism”.
The official launch statement said it would promote Thai tourism by creating positive tourism awareness online.
BANGKOK, 1 April 2013: Thailand travellers will be able to pick up the new Bt20 banknotes that were officially released today through commercial banks.
Thailand’s new Bt20 banknotes will gradually replace the familiar green Bt20 notes that have been in circulation for over a decade.
Bank of Thailand deputy governor, Thong-urai Limpiti, said the design of the new Bt20 banknote was modern and adopted the latest specialised technology to prevent counterfeiting and enable visually-impaired people to differentiate them from counterfeit notes.
NEW DELHI, 1 April 2013: India’s current account deficit hit a record 6.7% of GDP in the last quarter, official data showed on last Thursday, underscoring the nation’s weak finances.
The worse-than-expected deficit for the three months to December stemmed mainly from large oil and gold imports and weaker exports amid the global economic downturn.
The figures were more bad news for the Congress-led government which is struggling to stimulate India’s economy, whose growth for the financial year to 31 March 2013 is expected to be 5% — the weakest pace in a decade.
AYUTTHAYA, 28 March 2013: World Heritage sites in Ayutthaya province will be the first in the country to have a full-scale flood risk mitigation plan supported by UNESCO and ADB.
Ayutthaya was the worst hit province during the 2011 flood and hundreds of historical sites were damaged with some still undergoing restoration.
UNESCO Bangkok director, Gwang-Jo Kim, said: “Disaster risk mitigation is one of the top priorities for World Heritage protection identified by the World Heritage Committee.”
BANGKOK, 27 March 2013: The Sports Authority of Thailand confirmed, Monday, Thailand is all set to be included in the F1 Grand Pix racing schedule in 2015 if the Thai Cabinet waves the green flag.
SAT governor, Kanokphand Chulakasem, said Thailand was lined up to be included on the F1 racing timetable 2015 subject to Cabinet approval needed to clear budget backing to financially underwrite the event.
“The racing contact is in my and Red Bull’s founder advisor, Michael de Santiesteban’s hands. However, before signing an official contact the authority has to present details to the Cabinet for final approval.”
CHIANG MAI, 26 March 2013: A smog covering most of northern Thailand will stop the annual exodus of Songkran holiday makers in its tracks unless nature comes to the rescue.
Northern provinces are in the grip of a health threatening smog caused by the wholesale burning of paddy fields and forests across the Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
Provincial governors say they are speeding up efforts to fight the haze and are closely monitoring burning activities, but on the ground scenes in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai provinces are identical to last year when thousands of residents had to seek hospital treatment to combat respiratory ailments.