The Industry Ministry is working to boost tourism locally throughout Thailand. The ministry aims to use an old, proven plan that worked in 1999 – 2003 to promote tourism in participating villages and communities.
The goal of the project is to boost income for local communities.
Between 1999 and 2003, the ministry took out interest-free loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The 55 million baht was used to promote tourism locally to 20 villages with great success.
Somchai Hanhiran, permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry, states, “The project was successful because we could develop local labour skills.” Products sold fast during the initiative once more people were visiting the villages and buying homemade products.
The old model will be revised to include all provinces, rather than just 19 provinces.
The new scheme will include a pilot phase of six provincial areas that were successful during the initial program. Ban Batin, Ban Tapo, Ban Natonchan, Kiriwong, Ban Chiang and Bank Pokong have been chosen to participate in the pilot phase.
Bt70 million has been earmarked for the program, with funds from the Village Fund scheme to be used, too.
Villages that wish to join the scheme may ask for assistance. Assistance can be in numerous forms from developing business ideas to the production of goods and financial support. Marketing overseas will help promote products and services.
Initial forecasts state that provinces will be able to generate an additional 20 million baht per year under the scheme. Approximately 10% – 15% more tourists are expected to visit the provinces as a result of the project.