The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) has called on the government to speed up developing public infrastructure in 10 second-tier tourism provinces, to boost tourism revenue while promoting them as new primary attractions.
The TCC on Saturday outlined its development plan, where it also hopes to tackle social discrimination, for the 10 provinces which are currently being selected.
The plan is part of the five-dimensional economic reform scheme proposed to the government in a speech given by the TCC's chairman, Sanan Angubolkul, at the opening of the TCC's 41st annual seminar on Saturday.
The event, under the theme of "Connect-Competitive-Sustainable", is being held at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec).
At least 1,000 participants from chambers of commerce nationwide, as well as business owners, have joined the three-day event.
Thailand has been "trapped" by its lower income status for a long time despite having a successful past, said Mr Sanan.
"The country welcomed more than 40 million foreign visitors before the pandemic, but that number fell to just 400,000 during the first phase of Covid restrictions being relaxed," he said.
Long-term reform is now necessary for the country, said Mr Sanan, who added the country cannot rely on the older economic schematics.
Referring to the TCC's five-dimensional suggestions, he said one was sustainable development for business sectors that, according to Mr Sanan, can cut levels of social discrimination while helping spread income.
One of those included the development plan for 10 secondary provinces which would see both the government and public sectors help with infrastructure and guidance to support economic growth.
More free-trade area designations, such as in the European Union, United Arab Emirates and countries on the Asean-Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as more foreign investment, were also suggested.
Later on, Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai gave a special lecture on a new generation of commerce which enlists private sector help to achieve its goals faster.
The ministry also plans to collate trade and investment reports into one big data set to help investors make sounder decisions, he added.