On November 26, 2013 at Phuket’s Pearl Hotel a meeting entitled “Tourism Management Competency Drive Program” (Andaman Coast) was held. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Director General of Tourism Department, Tourism and Sport Ministry – Somchai Maichandaeng, whilst Phuket Deputy Governor – Dr. Sommai Prijasilpa gave an opening speech.
The aim of the meeting was for all relevant sectors to pool together ideas in relation to policies and duties of the island’s Tourism Department. The meeting was part of the tourism management competency development project, established in line with the government’s target to garner around 2.2 billion baht revenue from the tourism industry by the year 2015.
The objectives of the tourism management competency project are to review roles, duties, and work structure within the Tourism Department with the aim to build identity and improve its competency so that its operations are in line with the nation’s future development and the targeted 2.2 billion baht revenue, above. It also reviews the government’s alternative plans for tourism, and relationships between relevant organizations with the aim to increase tourism efficiency and revise policies and operations to be in line with the direction of the country’s future development. Additionally, the program aims to determine the competency level of the Tourism Department’s personnel and make sure that it is in line with the role and system of future tourism management.
The committee set up by the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission will use the findings from reviews undertaken in the areas of vision, duties, policy, objectives, and plans of the Tourism Department, together with feedback from various sectors participating in the meeting, to improve upon policies and the roles of the Department.
Mr. Somchai said “The Tourism Department, the principal organization dealing with tourism, was established 11 years ago. Its main duties are tourism and preparing for the AEC in 2015. As it has to adapt with the changing world, it is imperative to review its operations, duties, personnel – considered its most important resources, so that its operations are efficient and up-to-date.
Dr Sommai said “Tourism is Thailand’s most important industry, which contributes directly to our economy, society and culture. The government plans to increase tourism revenue to 2.2 billion baht by 2015. For that, it has committed to seriously promote tourism in a quick-pace way and aims to promote tourism in the areas of nature and culture based on our multifarious natural environment and unique cultural identity. This is so that Thailand will become a veritable center of tourism among SE Asian and Asian countries.”
She added “The southern Andaman coastal provinces comprising of Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong and Trang, are what we call “Destination” spots, visited by both foreign and Thai tourists for their coastal and marine beauties, national parks, and interesting historical and cultural sites. The development of tourism in these provinces will need cooperation from all sectors. I am delighted that the Tourism Department should see the importance of canvassing opinions from representatives from these sectors in order to improve tourism management and operation.”