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Published on : Wednesday, January 27, 2016
In comments at the closing press conference of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), which ended in Manila, the Philippines, on 22 January, Minister of Tourism and Sports Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said, “Building friendship is more important than figures.”
She said tourism would better realise its goal of contributing to regional peace and prosperity if the ASEAN sector focussed on building a strong identity amongst its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic population.
The remarks reflected a strong Thai determination to build connectivity amongst the hearts and minds of the ASEAN people, beyond just the hardware of air, road, rail and sea transport connectivity.
In the media briefing, Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said “We see a promising future ahead of us, as we work together to fulfill the vision of One Vision, One Identity, One Community in the traditional ASEAN spirit of friendship and cooperation.
“With the ASEAN Economic Community, we shall grow together hand in hand with co-prosperity among the members,” the Governor said.“ASEAN members have been working together on joint promotional campaigns to promote ASEAN as One Single Destination. Aside from strengthening the local economy of each country, it will also strengthen the economy of the whole ASEAN region.”
Moreover, this year, the ATF Travex was joined by 86 exhibitors from the private sector of which the vast majority were hotels.
In addition to the international hotel chains including Accor, Hyatt, Sheraton and Best Western, the Thai contingent included Thai-owned groups; such as, Centara and Sukosol Hotels as well as independent hotels and boutique properties, especially in the beach resorts of Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Samet, Ko Chang and Hua Hin.
TAT Governor Dr Yuthasak Supasorn commented, “We have received positive feedback from the Thai exhibitors about their participation in the ATF 2016. It was gratifying that the range of exhibitors was in line with our marketing emphasis on attracting quality visitors.”
As well as attending the official ministerial and government sector meetings, the Tourism Authority of Thailand organised a Thai late-night social function and a press conference, both of which were well-attended.