BANGKOK, 10 May 2013: Department of Tourism, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, has set aside Bt80 million budget to improve road signs at tourist destinations nationwide to prepare for the introduction of the ASEAN Economic Community in late 2015.
The tourism department general director, Anuparp Kasornsuwan, said the budget would be used to renovate signs and ensure they are in both English and Thai. He confirmed that Chinese would be the next language to be added to all tourist-relates signs.
In addition, in town close to borders signs will also be in Laotian, Burmese or Yawi languages (South Thailand).
“We have to make sure on we have signs in languages that are applicable to the location that will assist the most tourists visiting the area.”
Towns throughout Thailand have started to change signs to both Thai and English to prepare for AEC 2015.
In the far north, Chiang Rai province has already completed the renovation of most of its street and lane signs that are now in three languages; Thai, English and Chinese throughout the town. Street signs in districts throughout the province will a little longer but authorities want to have the project completed by the time the new Mekong River Friendship Bridge linking Chiang Khong in Thailand and Huay Xai in Laos opens this July.
BANGKOK, 8 May 2013: Thailand Development Research Institute says Thai workers will face fierce competition from foreign labour once the ASEAN Economic Community rolls in late 2015.
It identified 32 positions in six categories that will face competition, according to TDRI’s research on labor development director, Yongyuth Chalaemwong.
They include 32 job positions in hospitality business, such as tourism, hotels and restaurants.
BANGKOK, 3 May 2013: Thailand Incentive and Convention Association believes Thailand’s tourism sector needs to strengthen cooperation with neighbouring countries and business associations within the country.
TICA president, Sumate Sudasna, said Thailand should work together with other ASEAN member countries to increase travel to the region, especially in the events sector to improve the region’s competitiveness against its main rivals; Europe, Africa and South America.
“Southeast Asia countries should join hands to be competition partners instead of competing among ourselves,” he explained
BANGKOK, 2 May 2013: Thailand’s travel agency association will demand the government maintains a law that limits foreign investment in travel companies to 49% even after the ASEAN Economic Community kicks in December 2015.
Association of Thai Travel Agents vice president, Chidchai Sakornbadee, said the country should keep the 51%:49% ratio as stated in the Act of Tourism and Guide Registration 2008.
“Although the AEC regulation will allow ASEAN members to hold 70% of the equity in ASEAN countries, we should find the way to maintain the allowance at 49%, he said. “If we allow foriegners to hold the majority local shareholders will gain nothing from the business.”
CANBERRA, 21 March 2013: President Thein Sein on Monday became Myanmar’s first head of state to visit Australia since 1974, winning aid and defence concessions as he reaps new fruits of his liberalisation policies.
As the once pariah country approaches the second anniversary of a quasi-civilian regime led by the ex-general taking power, Canberra said it was increasing its support to recognise the reforms.
“As a close neighbour, Australia will benefit from a more open and prosperous Myanmar that is fully integrated into the region,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the country formerly known as Burma.
PHNOM PENH, 26 February 2013: Cambodia Ministry of Tourism reports the country’s outbound travel market soared 11.7% to reach almost 800,000 trips last year.
Released, late last week, the ministry data indicated there were 792,398 trips up 11.7% compared to 709,616 trips in 2011.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president, Ang Kim Eang, said most the trips were to ASEAN countries thanks to visa exemption agreements and new direct flights and the easing of cross border travel rules.
VIENTIANE, 24 January 2013: Pacific Asia Travel Association used the ASEAN Tourism Forum platform to detail events that it hopes will rehabilitate membership and make it once more a leading voice of Asia Pacific tourism.
The association hosted a networking event, on the ATF opening day, for 150 industry leaders, including senior officials from the Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism at the city’s popular Khop Chai Deu restaurant.
PATA CEO, Martin Craigs, used the occasion to reiterate the association’s advocacy role, while suggesting the association could enhance training skills for people entering tourism, especially young workers in developing economies in the Mekong region.
Vientiane, 22 January 2013: Organisers of the ASEAN Tourism Forum claim an overall attendance of 2,000 delegates, comprising 400 heads of National Tourist Organisations (NTOs) and Tourism Ministers, 470 buyers and 997 seller delegates who attend the TRAVEX over the last three days.
Around 140 media representatives are also attending the event.
Occupying an exhibition area of 9,000 sqm, ATF TRAVEX , a three-day travel trade exhibition, has 490 booths representing 354 exhibiting companies from the 10 ASEAN countries.
VIENTIANE, 22 January 2013: Malaysia has confirmed the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2014 will be hosted in Sarawak with a dominant theme of ecotourism.
The last time the ATF was hosted by Malaysia, the event was held in Langkawi. This time round it will be hosted in the lesser known city of Kuching a gateway to mostly ecotourism attractions.
Officials confirmed Monday that trade show component of the ATF 2014 would be hosted 21 to 23 January at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.
VIENTIANE, 22 January 2013: Ministers and officials of the 10 ASEAN nations pledged to expand tourism cooperation and continue discussions on a proposed pan-ASEAN tourist visa that has been on agenda for close to a decade.
More than150 tourism ministers and officials from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam attended the meeting.
Thailand was represented by a deputy minister of tourism as Minister Chumpol Sila-archa had been critically ill in hospital since 17 December. He passed away early Monday morning.