Phuket prepares for 18th ITOP Forum

Phuket prepares for 18th ITOP Forum

Phuket prepares for 18th ITOP ForumA meeting on the organization of the upcoming 18th ITOP Forum (inter-Island Tourism Policy Forum) was held on May 21st 2014 at the Royal Phuket City Hotel in Phuket Town. Chaired by Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut, the meeting was attended by PPAO Deputy Chief Executive Soratham Jinda, along with Vice-Governor Dr Sommai Prichasilpa and relevant government agencies.

The 18th ITOP Forum, scheduled to take place from August 20 – 23, 2014, will be participated by 11 delegates representing 11 towns from 11 countries, as follows: Jeju/Korea (Secretariat of ITOP Forum), Hainan/China, Okinawa/Japan, Bali/Indonesia, Southern Province/Sri Lanka, Hawaii/USA, Canary Island/Spain, Zanziba/Tanzania, Cebu/Philippines, Penang/Malaysia and Phuket/Thailand. The aim of the conference is for the participating towns/countries to exchange ideas on cultural tourism.

The meeting focused on preparatory work by Phuket Town, the host of the forum for this year. Laguna Phuket Hotel is set as a venue. Apart from participating towns/countries, there is a plan to invite representatives and observers from Phuket twin towns. Altogether 22 representatives will participate in the forum. The forum topic will center on the concept of “Sustainable Marine Tourism,” which is further divided into three main areas including: marine tourism resources management; marine transportation and network; and safety measures for tourists. To this end, two exchange programs between member towns have been proposed, one focusing on languages and culture, which will be attended by ten member town representatives. The period of this program is seven days, but details of the exchange will be worked out by Phuket Rajbhat University. The second exchange program centers on development of ten tourist industry professionals from member towns and will also last seven days. The exchanged programs which are proposed by Phuket Town will be forwarded to member towns for further consideration. All member towns are expected to work together under the framework set by the ITOP Forum.

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