Tourist spots 'need to be better connected'
More investment to improve connectivity in large cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai would help boost tourism development, a seminar was told.
Connectivity should be among the top priorities for urban development, and investment funds could come from the government and local administrative bodies, said Asst Prof Niramon Serisakul, director of Urban Design and Development Centre.
She was speaking at a forum on creative and sustainable urban development in city areas, held as part of the Sustainability Expo 2022 on Sunday at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
Charoen Krung, a neighbourhood with one of the longest and storied histories in the capital, has many attractive places for tourists to visit and explore, she said.
But due to a lack of connectivity and limited walkability between these tourist attractions, an excursion from one place to another remains inconvenient, she said, adding Bangkok should learn from Berlin's experience in improving walkability between city tourist attractions.
Without sufficient connectivity and walkability, visitors to Charoen Krung still have to head back to the main road anytime they leave one place to connect to another, she said.
Ideally all these hidden gems should be well connected not only in terms of travelling routes but also access to services, to allow visitors to roam more freely from one to another, she said.
This work requires funding and it should come from the government and City Hall, she said.
Chiang Mai, meanwhile, apparently needs to also find a new business sector to add to its two existing main sources of income, food and tourism, said Martin Venzky-Stalling, a senior adviser to Chiang Mai University's Science and Technology Park.
An IT, software and digital hub could be an ideal alternative to the food and tourism sectors which were badly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
Education institutions in the northern province and their partners should consider forming a network to support the development of IT, software and digital enterprises, he said, and the city's renowned handicrafts need a boost from a network of product designers with fresh ideas.