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Five tourism mega-projects tabled

The Tourism and Sports Ministry yesterday outlined five mega-projects that are expected to cost Bt3 billion.

Published on March 15, 2008

The projects are part of a five-year tourism development plan starting this year.

Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said he would soon propose the plan to the Cabinet for approval.

Weerasak gave an outline of the projects to ministry officials yesterday.

The first project aims to create a "civilisation tourism route" between Thailand and Burma. It is expected to require funding of Bt40 million this year and another Bt225 million over the next two years.

The second is building eco-tourism, which is expected to consume Bt900 million to Bt1 billion.

The third is the "Thailand Riviera" project, which was initially proposed some years ago. It aims to build new tourism magnets along the Gulf of Thailand. This project will require Bt260 million this year and Bt500 million in the next two years.

The fourth is promoting the Mekong River as a new destination. It will require Bt130 million this year and another Bt420 million through 2009 and 2010.

The last project calls for the building of the Thai-Khmer cultural route. It is budgeted at Bt500 million.

The projects are intended to attract more global tourists as well as encourage domestic tourism, Weerasak said.

Apart from the mega-projects, Weerasak said the National Budget Bureau and the National Economic and Social Development Board had approved an additional Bt3.4-billion budget for marketing activities this year.

The agency had been allocated Bt4.9 billion this year but has already spent Bt2.7 billion.

Of the additional money, the ministry will allocate most, Bt1.6 billion, to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Suchat Sritama

The Nation

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