Withdrawal from World Heritage Convention to affect Thai tourism

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BANGKOK, 2 July 2011– The Association of Domestic Travel (ADT) has expressed concerns over negative impacts on the domestic tourism industry after the recent withdrawal of Thailand from the World Heritage Convention. 

ADT President Maiyarat Phreerayakoses said impacts were inevitable, particularly on foreign tourists who make stopovers in Thailand before travelling to neighbouring Cambodia.

Ms Maiyarat hence suggested that Thailand should seek a joint management plan of the Preah Vihear Temple and its environs with Cambodia since this would mutually benefit tourism of both sides. She continued that Thailand would only be at a disadvantage if the conflict remains.

The ADT president also expressed concern over a report that foreign investors were ready to throw their money into the planned construction of cable cars to the summit of the Preah Vihear Temple on the Cambodian side.

Meanwhile, Mr Taweesan Lonanurak, the vice-president of the Northeast Economic Development Commission, said the withdrawal of Thailand from the convention might affect the Thai tourism partially; however, the most worrying issue was trade and investment along Thai-Cambodian border.