THE CABINET has approved a high-end tourism project "Thailand Riviera" at its mobile meeting in Phetchaburi province yesterday, aiming to boost tourism in the coastal western provinces.
Somkid Jatusripitak, deputy prime minister, said the Cabinet agreed on the plan for tourism development in the west coast to boost community economic development and upgrade tourism to the global stage.
“Thailand Riviera” will cover the west coast from Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon to Ranong province.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand will set aside part of its budget for the high-end project which will be forwarded to National Tourism Policy Committee on March 12.
As a means to support the project, the Ministry of Transport will soon complete bidding document for the high-speed train project, Bangkok-Hua Hin, which will be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval. Once the high-speed train project is materialised, real estate development will follow, leading to urban and community developments.
"There are several good tourist spots from Petchaburi to Chumphon province and we have to find a way to make them known to tourists," Somkid said.
In the meeting to map out a strategy on economic and social development for the provinces in the central region yesterday, the government asked for cooperation to construct a large-sized aquarium in Samut Sakhon province as a means to attract more tourists and push for the province as the world's kitchen city with seafoods.
Weerasak Kowsurat, tourism and sports minister, said “Thailand Riviera” will be called "Hadsai Luang Chaifang Thalae Wang" in Thai and will be turned into one of the world's top sea destinations.
In 2017, about 13.92 million tourists visited this area, spending Bt52.23 billion. Of the nearly six million tourists in Phetchaburi, five million went to Hua Hin. Prachuap Khiri Khan recorded 4.2 million tourists, while Chumphon registered 1.29 million and Ranong booked 904,078 tourists.
Once the “Thailand Riviera” project is implemented, places in these provinces will be grouped and connected with the Ministry of Transport's route development of high-speed train, double-track railway, roads, airports and ports.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to spend Bt170 million for 45 projects as part of its budget for fiscal year 2019.
“Thailand Riviera” project will bring benefits to communities, development of tourism-related products and services, and extend infrastructure.