The Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), which is tasked with digitising the workings of the Thai government, is developing a central portal to facilitate foreigners accessing government services in an effort to boost tourism and the economy.
Supot Tiarawut, president and chief executive of the DGA, said it organised a public hearing among related agencies to conduct a draft roadmap for the development of the platform, which is meant to facilitate visitors, business travellers, long-stay visitors, workers and students. The roadmap is slated to cover from 2023 to 2027.
The DGA aims to upgrade government agency services to meet demand from foreigners, while convincing related state agencies to link their information with the new platform.
The move aligns with the government's policies to implement measures to rehabilitate the tourism industry, which has been battered by Covid-19 outbreaks.
The new platform will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.
According to Mr Supot, the new portal will also help government agencies and foreigners to save on costs, reduce obstacles for foreigners in accessing government services, and upgrade state services, resulting in an improvement in Thailand's ranking on ease of doing business indices.
The draft roadmap will be developed based on surveys conducted with foreign respondents on their opinions and suggestions for the government's current services, he said.
The Immigration Bureau is conducting a survey of foreigners as part of the DGA's "One Platform for Foreigners" development.
The survey is intended to assist government agencies and the DGA to better understand foreigners' requirements and their preferences for available government e-services.
An initial survey found most foreigners need a one-stop service, a service to facilitate their business transactions and more systematic data collection, according to the bureau.
The DGA projects around 1 million foreign visitors will use the portal during the first phase between 2023 and 2024.
The agency reported 45.8 million foreigners entered the country in 2019.
Of the 45.8 million recorded, 39.9 million were foreign visitors, accounting for 90.3% of the total. Some 2.96 million were foreign workers, accounting for 6.69% of the total, while business executives, students and long-stay visitors made up the remainder.