ASEAN Day stresses Pattaya’s tourism, international advantages

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Pattaya celebrated its first “ASEAN Day”, putting a spotlight on skills development of its tourism-industry workforce in order to compete in the coming regional economic bloc.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome welcomed diplomatic emissaries from Indonesia, Singapore, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Zign Hotel event Aug. 27, along with Thai government and business leaders.

The day included seminars on “tourism, service, and the movie industry” and “information technology and software innovation through creative development”.

The exhibition was organized as part of Pattaya’s effort to create sustainable excellence in tourism under the ASEAN Economic Community, set to launch in December.

(L to R) Anan Chuchote – Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture; Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome; and Associate Professor Therdchai Chuaybamrung – Dean of Tourism Management of NIDA and President of the TAT Academician Association, talk about strategies that could cement Pattaya’s integration into the AEC.(L to R) Anan Chuchote – Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture; Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome; and Associate Professor Therdchai Chuaybamrung – Dean of Tourism Management of NIDA and President of the TAT Academician Association, talk about strategies that could cement Pattaya’s integration into the AEC.

Key strategies include making Pattaya a “learning-based community” emphasizing the ability of its workforce, youth development and the ability of all sectors to access news and information quickly in order to eliminate obstacles to success under the AEC.

The city also is pushing development of basic infrastructure and utilities to support the expansion of tourism and investment, such as traffic networking and transport.

A third strategy aims to make Pattaya a “creative economy” to add value for industry, such as increasing the number of conventions and spa operators.

Generating more investment in the city also was a key goal outlined at the ASEAN Day event, as was promoting cooperation in city development through government-to-government and private partnerships.

Itthiphol told the gathering he wants Pattaya to become the center of cooperation in the ASEAN region by hosting a meeting between leaders of various capitals to exchange information and make agreements to link strong points and opportunities together.

That, he said, will link ASEAN economies together with international cooperation.

He said he thinks Pattaya’s efforts to develop the abilities of its workforce along with the cooperation of the public and private sectors will be the key to integrating the city into the AEC.

Pattaya already has an advantage because so much of its population is used to interacting with foreigners.