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Government plans to develop Thailand’s coastal zones

Tourism in Thailand 2023

Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, recently announced that his ministry is working on developing the coastal areas of the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Islands. These areas are a major contributor to Thailand’s tourism industry, generating 1.2 trillion baht billion in revenue in 2022.

The project consists of five clusters or zones, each with its own “unique selling points”.

The first cluster, known as the Thailand Riviera, is situated between Petchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Ranong. This area had 18 million visitors in 2022, generating 85 billion baht in revenue. The ministry plans to develop more roadside stations and community complexes to sell products in this cluster.

This Thailand Riviera has been mooted for many years and would link two ‘beach’ coastlines and the hinterland between. There is already some prominent coastal drives on the Andean side of the Peninsula which the government has promised to enhance.

The next cluster covers 5 provinces in southern Thailand… Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi, Trang and Satun. With a total of 29 million visitors in 2022, this area generated 600 billion baht in revenue. The ministry wants to turn this cluster into the “Premium Andaman”, with a focus on quality and higher prices.

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is another cluster, covering Chonburi, Rayong, Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, and Trad. This area is expected to bring in 340 billion in revenue, with an average expenditure of 3,081 baht per person per day. The ministry plans to develop this area as a model of industrial tourism, where visitors can tour factories and learn about local industries.

The Gulf of Thailand cluster includes Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla, with a current visitation of 18 million in 2022 and a revenue of 180 billion baht, mostly local tourists at the moment. This area is also known for its ‘faith’ and nature tourism.

Lastly, the much underappreciated coastal region in the southern border provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala had 1.6 million visitors in 2022, generating 7 billion baht in revenue. The ministry plans to give these provinces a new image and help the younger generation of locals build their towns.

The development of these coastal areas is part of Thailand’s plan to boost its tourism industry and attract more visitors. With unique selling points in each cluster, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports hopes to cater to a variety of interests and increase tourism revenue for the country.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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