Big spenders sought to spur the economy

Visitors take part in a guided tour of Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram, or Wat Pho. A significant jump in tourists has been recorded since entry restrictions were eased on May 1, 2022. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

A new committee will be formed to direct measures aimed at attracting more foreign visitors with high purchasing power to Thailand, the government said on Friday, as part of efforts to spur the local economy.

The committee's formation was proposed by the National Economic and Social Development Council and approved at a meeting of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

The committee will coordinate the work of several state agencies to adjust their rules to make it more convenient for such tourists to visit the country, he said.

The new committee will report directly to the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Thanakorn said.

Also approved was a proposal to assign all relevant government organisations to accelerate the implementation of measures to boost the economy through tourism and investment promotion, he said.

Mr Thanakorn said an earlier approved proposal by the Creative Economy Agency (CEA) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports would result in a single standard for approving visas for foreign film production teams. This will offer more convenience for such productions wanting to shoot in Thailand, he said.

The visa will cover their stay in the country for both pre- and post-production periods, he said.

A one-stop-service centre will also be set up to offer assistance to foreign filmmakers in arranging their stay, Mr Thanakorn said. In order to further promote Thailand as an ideal film location, more advertising campaigns will be carried out through local and international media plus international forums, he said.

Both the CEA and the ministry were told at Friday's meeting to begin implementing the tourism promotion programme targeting international filmmakers as soon as possible, said the spokesman.

The CESA also agreed in principle on a draft plan for developing and reviving the country's tourism sector, entitled "Amazing Thailand, Amazing Andaman", he said.

The plan has several core strategies, including promoting high-quality tourism and developing the country's infrastructure to support tourism development. It will also involve grouping provinces and supporting them to develop tourism, and enhancing the capacity of small communities and businesses in competing in the sector.

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