Tourism minister lays out vision of green, connected East

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Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul laid out the government’s vision of a “green” Eastern Seaboard linked to Thailand’s neighbors to build a strong regional tourism industry.

Chonburi Deputy Gov. Chawalit Saeng-Uthai welcomed the minister to the provincial headquarters for her Oct. 21 speech to the Commission of Tourism Development. The address covered the government’s operational plans for tourism development in the eastern region from 2016 to 2020.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul laid out the government’s vision of a “green” Eastern Seaboard.Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul laid out the government’s vision of a “green” Eastern Seaboard.

The vision of an environmentally friendly, internationally linked Eastern Seaboard focuses on beaches and islands with colorful natural features and an international flavor. It also stresses more than just Pattaya, with hopes of developing Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat to have their own tourist draws.

The targets of this development, Kobkarn said, are “quality” tourists who stay for long durations and have a lot of money to spend.

A key to the strategy, she said, is building links to Cambodia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian neighbors.

She said tourism development over the next four years will focus on ways the Eastern Seaboard can use the government’s Tourism Promotion Fund to develop the region.