THE Commerce Ministry has budgeted Bt200 million to develop 100 local markets nationwide as tourist destinations this year.
This is meant to boost incomes for people with small businesses, Deputy Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said recently.
The programme will focus on tourist destinations upcountry such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Phuket, Hat Yai and Nakhon Ratchasima.
The concept is to develop markets that sell locally made products that appeal to tourists.
“More than 25 million tourists a year visit Thailand. They need to see Thailand’s culture, lifestyle and local products. [Visiting] local markets is a way to learn about Thai lifestyle, and as a result the ministry has a policy to [encourage] local markets to have [appropriate] standards for serving tourists,” Sontirat said.
He said the ministry also planned to develop small local shops under the Pracha Rat project, which is a collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop local businesses. The aim is to have 5,000 of these shops operating within three year.
“This [project] will cooperate with local suppliers and wholesalers in the provinces to develop small outlets to bring their shops up to standard and match with customers’ demands,” he said.