Project aims to bolster village economies

Project aims to bolster village economies

The Industry Ministry is working with Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC), the country's third-biggest mobile operator by subscriber base, to bring digital power to 152 villages across the country to level up their local tourism and entrepreneurship under the Creative Industry Village (CIV) project.

The memorandum of understanding for the CIV project was signed yesterday with a determination to spur people's income and local economies with a target of 250 million baht in revenue.

The project is also meant to tackle a pandemic-induced decline in earnings in local communities and tourism.

Through the CIV project, the Industry Ministry expects to see a 68% rise in travellers and 76% increase in the sales of local products.

Warawan Chitaroon, deputy permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry, said the government realised the important role of villages to the national economy.

The ministry has focused on 152 villages under the project in order to boost local tourism and bring growth to local economies.

To achieve this goal, local entrepreneurs and tour guides are key to sustainable economic development, bringing local uniqueness to the eyes of the world in preparation for the tourism recovery, Ms Warawan said.

Digital applications and technology also play a key role for growth, Ms Warawan noted.

Under the MoU, rural entrepreneurs will be equipped with online marketing skills, such as social commerce, supported by DTAC.

Ms Warawan said the programme has three key elements: community consensus, village identity, and value creation.

Ms Warawan pointed out that some 250 million baht is expected to be generated by the programme, driven by the use of digital marketing and the rise of local tourism.

DTAC chief technology officer Prathet Tankuranun said that through the project the company will empower the villages with its "Net-for-living" digital skill development programme, mobile network expansion and DTAC loyalty reward programme.

DTAC has installed 12,700 telecom base stations on the 700-megahertz spectrum, which can effectively provide coverage in rural areas to ensure locals receive suitable voice and data services, he said.

The Net-for-living programme bridges digital divides by upskilling digital expertise to those in need, such as street vendors, small businesses, rural entrepreneurs and the elderly, Mr Prathet said.

DTAC Reward provides freebies and discounts at over 30,000 outlets nationwide from restaurants and cafes to shopping apps.

"We are confident that we can supercharge the villages' economies," said Mr Prathet.

The company will promote village entrepreneurs to its 19 million customers through its reward programme.

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