Thai Prime Minster Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the official celebration of the World Tourism Day in Bangkok today. The UNWTO event was under the theme to promote tourism for all, promoting universal accessibility.
Giving a keynote address at World Tourism day 2016 at the Siam Kempinski Hotel in Bangkok today, the Prime Minister enunciated Thailand’s intentions, readiness, and potential terms of tourism development.
He pointed out: “As in many countries tourism is crucial to the Thai economy. In 2015 Thailand became the most visited country in Southeast Asia, hosting almost 30 million international tourists. Travel and tourism has become our large and fast growing industry. According to the World Health Organization, more than 15% of the world population are people with disabilities, be it physical, mental or sensory disability. Moerover, the aging population is rapidly on the rise.”
“By 2050 people aged 60 will increase to be 20% of the world population, with one fifth of this group living to be over 80 years old. Apart from the population with disabilities who need to be provide with equal rights and fundamental freedoms, there are also the elderly and person with special needs , for example infants, those with temporary disabilities, families with very young children. This presents a big challenge to the global travel industry to evolve new policies and practice, for the short and the long term, and to ensure equitable and accessible tourism for all.”
“Thailand is aiming for fully universally- designed tourism without altering the cultural and architectural value of our historical heritage sited.”
Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailands minister of tourism and sports has voiced the kingdoms readiness in hosting the world tourism event.
She said:” At this time, we strongly believe that a good sustainable development must be done without leaving anyone behind. Everyone must be equally entitled to truly accessible tourism of their preference. Thai people are well known to be generous and welcoming. After this event, we are planning to launch tourism for all tourism routes starting at Khon Kaen province. And then, other routes in other Thai regions will follow.”
The Bangkok declaration agreed on with UNWTO and ministers from many member country is viewed as an important first step in the world of tourism for all