Thailand Joins ASEAN-Japan Tourism Ministers for Special Dialogue

Saturday, November 4, 2023


Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, along with the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, headed a Thai delegation to participate in the ASEAN-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue held in Tokyo on October 28, 2023.

Minister Sudawan said, “Thailand recognises the importance of sustainable tourism and has been launching a range of strategic initiatives towards this direction. Some of these projects could be expanded for implementation on the regional level to ensure sustainable tourism development and practice for both the tourist attractions, local communities, and businesses.”

She outlined a few of the current sustainable tourism projects that Thailand was carrying out. The focus on medical and wellness tourism, which is expected to continue seeing robust growth, the implementation of digital transformation to increase the competitiveness of the Thai tourism industry.

Minister Sudawan held bilateral meetings, including discussions with Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Mr. Tetsuo Saito. They explored potential collaboration in sustainable and community-based tourism, as well as the promotion of emerging destinations. The talks also involved plans to establish a special working committee between Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Japan’s Transport and Tourism Research Institute ASEAN-India Regional Office.

During the discussion with ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Thailand provided an update on its plans for promoting tourism in ASEAN in the areas of regional tourism standards, tourism for all, stakeholder participation, and human resources development.

During Minister Sudawan’s meeting with Mr. Yoshiki Takeuchi, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there was also a discussion about the possibility of Thailand participating in tourism-related initiatives started by the OECD.

The ASEAN-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue was jointly led by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism and the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, serving as the Chair of the Meeting for the ASEAN Tourism Ministers. The meeting marked the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, focusing on “Next 50 Years with ASEAN and Japan: Designing the Path to Sustainable Tourism Together.”

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