Thai minister: Maldives tourism a model for Thailand

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BANGKOK, June 4 – Thailand will introduce eco-tourism on many of the country’s islands to attract more foreign visitors, the tourism and sports minister said today.

Somsak Purisrisak said the government will encourage Thai investors to adopt an environmental conservation system at tourist-favoured islands to tap high-end overseas tourists – the way the Maldives government has been doing.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said during her visit to the island nation over the weekend that Thailand should follow the Maldives with more emphasis on cleanliness, environment and safety for tourists on most of the kingdom’s islands.

Thailand should follow the Maldives’ step in tourism promotion, she reportedly said.

Mr Somsak said the ministry will expand the eco-tourism concept in the country given the success of “green island” in some southern Thai islands.

Foreign tourists to Thailand should reach 25 million visitors, generating Bt1.6 trillion revenue this year, he said, adding that the government projected an increase to Bt2 trillion in 2015.