46 million tourists but not enough toilets: TAT mulls tourism in EEC era

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand wants Thailand to host 46.7 million tourists by 2022, but admits it needs to improve security and add more public toilets.

Kalin Sarasin, chairman of the TAT board, opened a Feb. 27 seminar on the potential of the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor project to boost tourism at Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Najomtien.

Speaking to government, business, tourism promotion and educational officials, Pojanee Akarojpinyo, deputy EEC secretary, and Suladda Sarutilavan, TAT’s Pattaya director, and Adit Chairattananon, vice chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand, said Thai tourism is exploding, with the authority hoping to see a 50 percent increase in foreign visitors within four years.

But they admitted Thailand’s infrastructure currently couldn’t bear the load of all those visitors and said much preparation needs to be done, such as adding more police, more closed-circuit television cameras, better signage and more toilets.

Other strategies included development of “man-made” tourist attractions focusing on culture and traditional values, creating a database to catalog all the package tours, cruises and local attractions available across the country, and better training for people working in the tourism industry to bring them up to international standards.

In the East, more cycling routes also were suggested.