Govt unveils 'one-stop shop' app
A new mobile phone application that was designed to be a one-stop shop for tourists planning to visit Thailand was unveiled on Wednesday.
Dubbed "TAGTHAi" by its developers at Kasikorn Business Technology Group, the app will be operated by Thai Digital Platform Social Enterprise Co.
The app offers access to services provided by 20 state agencies and 28 private companies -- including the Tourism and Sports Ministry, Airports of Thailand, Thai Hotels Association (THA), Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia -- thus allowing tourists to plan their trip in advance, book flights and reserve their accommodation in the country.
"Efficient cooperation between the public and private sector will help ensure that Thailand's tourism sector will continue to expand," said Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta at the app's launch.
Kalin Sarasin, the chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that while the app offers more conveniences for tourists, the government must not rest on its laurels. Instead, he proposed, the government should expand what the app has to offer and include spa services and tour packages.
THA president, Supawan Tanomkieatpume, said tourists can be assured of quality accommodation, because all hotels listed in the app have already been verified and authorised by the association.
"The association has about 140,000 rooms on offer in the app," he said.
Tourism Authority of Thailand's Deputy Governor for Digital Research and Development, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, said the app will bring more first-time visitors to the country and increase visitor numbers at lesser-known destinations across Thailand.
Kattiya Indaravijaya, Kbank's president, called the app a "one-stop shop" as it links tourists with tourism service providers under one app.
"The app also has an 'SOS feature' that is linked up with the Tourist Police," she said. "Other features, such as links for e-visa application, will be added in the future"
Thailand is banking on tourism to boost the economy amid sluggish exports and a domestic slowdown.