Published on : Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and four other public and private organisations jointly opened the pilot Pracharath Sookjai shop at the PTT Life Station Saraburi late last week (8 April, 2016). Conceptualised as a centre for tourist information and local products, the Saraburi outlet serves as the prototype for 147 other shops scheduled to open by the middle of 2016.
The Pracharath Sookjai shop is a project under the collaboration between TAT and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP), the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank), the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department (CDD), and PTT Public Company Limited (PTT). It is initiated in line with the Royal Thai Government’s policy on spreading tourism income to local communities and stimulating the Thai economy towards sustainability.
Mr. Yuthsak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT has taken the lead role in the design of the Pracharath Sookjai shop to ensure maximum convenience for visitors in search for tourist information as well as good quality local products. At this pilot outlet as well as 147 other shops, TAT will be providing a touch screen kiosk to enable visitors to find travel information unique to each shop’s location under five categories, which are popular local attractions, must-buy local souvenirs, recommended restaurants, events and festivals, and top tips of things not to miss in each particular location.”
TAT is also working with the OSMEP and the CDD under a special committee in selecting must-try and must-buy quality local products for the shops. The committee has jointly selected more than 80 items of local products and souvenirs as well as food and snacks from different districts in Saraburi to be distributed at the Pracharath Sookjai shop at the PTT Life Station Saraburi.
Among the quality snacks selected to represent Chalermprakiat district are two types of butter cookies – grape and sunflower seed. The famous Khao Tan Khao Klong snack and 11 types of delicious chili paste items prominently represent Viharndaeng district. Meanwhile, the tasty snacks that are chosen to represent Muak Lek district include black sesame cereal bars, milk toffee, and corn toffee.
The committee has also chosen the charming marble pen holders and marble clocks, as well as herbal scented lotion powder as must-have items from Mueang district, and cowboy hats and crispy mangoes to represent Nong Khae district. The Thai-style rolled wafer with sunflower seed and crispy rice with phak wan leaves are picked out as the must-try snacks from the districts of Phra Phutthabat and Ban Mo, respectively. Finally, the honey and salted sunflower seeds have been singled out to represent Wang Muang district.
In addition, there are other locally-made food and snacks, as well as must-buy agricultural-related products; such as, shitake mushroom balls, banana soft cake, minced banana blossom, wild phak wan leaves, sunflower planting sets, and sunflower sprouts, and many more available at the Pracharath Sookjai shop at the PTT Life Station Saraburi.
The remaining 147 Pracharath Sookjai shops are scheduled to open simultaneously at PTT petrol stations across the country by the middle of this year. They comprise 34 shops in the North, 27 shops in the South, 36 shops in the Central Region, 14 shops in the East, and 37 shops in the Northeast.