Ministry, university help Pattaya prepare tourism for AEC

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The Tourism and Sports Ministry has joined Suan Sunantha University to help Pattaya bureaucrats prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community’s expected increase in tourism.

At a May 29 “pre-planning” meeting at Pattaya City Hall, Dr. Jeera Hongladarom, secretary at the university’s Foundation for International Human Resource Development invited bureaucrats to brainstorm ideas to promote integrating tourism and sports.

Dr. Jeera Hongladarom.Dr. Jeera Hongladarom.

Jeera said the meeting was aimed at building connections between the public and private sectors to expand the management in tourism and sports to follow the tourism strategies of the country and improve skills of personnel and organizations concerned with tourism management.

The meeting suggested two training forums to prepare for opening of the AEC in 2015, a “pre-planning” education seminar to determine the demands the AEC will place on the tourism industry; and a public seminar to exchange information on implementing plans and strengthening the network of tourism and sports officials.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is also creating strategies to prepare tourism and sports for AEC and believes that development of human capital will help prevent financial losses and improve quality and service.

Rattanachai Sutidechanai, chairman of Pattaya City Council’s Tourism and Sports Committee, said the city has done a number of things to prepare for AEC, including focusing on transportation, safety and garbage collection.

To increase tourism after entering the AEC, he said, Pattaya should focus on the elderly and disabled. To that end, the city is making Pattaya and Jomtien beaches wheelchair accessible. As for sports, Pattaya has promoted a youth marching band competition, golf and tennis tournaments, and extreme sports.