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23 Jun, 2021

What the next Thai Five-Year Development Plan says about the Future of Tourism

Bangkok – Thailand’s 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan covering the five-year period Oct 2021-Sept 2026 is in the drafting stage and nearing finalisation. A number of public hearings on the Travel & Tourism component are being held this week.

To ensure a broader and more comprehensive input, I downloaded the Thai summary of the plan, identified all the references to Travel & Tourism and did a quick Google translation. They provide a good indicator of the directions set by the Thai government, and the role of Travel & Tourism, in the post-Covid 19 era.

The Thai-English translation is being uploaded here to ensure maximum input from both Thai and expatriate stakeholders. Those with a deeper interest in the future of tourism can study the references and share their comments through their various private and public media channels.

Due to time and financial limitations, the translation is just a very quick Google job. It is entirely unedited but the gist is easily understandable. Note that it is only the summary. The full version is much more detailed.

Broadly speaking, however, the plan highlights the impact of global macroeconomic conditions and geopolitics, the role of ASEAN and local conditions in other economic sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. It cites Health and Wellness as a major opportunity, and the environmental impact of tourism on mangroves, coral reefs, waste generation, water consumption and plastic-usage as major threats and risks.

The two most important policy pointers are the need to reduce over-dependence on tourism and manage the economic-ecological impact. A clear window of opportunity exists to add many more points.

I am proud to be the only Travel & Tourism industry journalist to examine these issues in depth, and broaden the discourse on these important Government strategy and policy issues beyond the closed-room committees.

Click here to download the translation.