BANGKOK – Thailand is willing to review regulations in the tourism sector to give more access to foreign investors and professionals in a move to attract more visitors, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said Monday.
Korn urged parties involved in the sector to review, refocus and rebrand the industry as it has potential to raise its contribution to gross domestic product from the current 6%.
“We should be broader-minded. There’s room to grow in services for aging people. Medical tourism can be developed seriously, like foreign doctors should be allowed to work in Thailand…We may set up a hotel or a golf club with foreign partners, who can draw their fellows to visit Thailand repeatedly,” Korn said.
“We have a rich culture, traditions and other attractive destinations. A casino or amusement park shouldn’t be our main stream for tourism development.”
The growing purchasing power of Asians and an aging international population are trends that could be tapped for new ideas to develop niche markets, he said.
If successfully implemented, the contribution from agricultural and tourism sectors would help sustain economic growth as environmental concerns place certain limits on industrial businesses, Korn said.