Thai delegation attended ASEAN–Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue in Tokyo

Thai Tourism Minister highlighted Thailand’s sustainable tourism initiatives and pledged further cooperation on sustainable tourism developments with other ASEAN countries and Japan.

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, together with the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, led a Thai delegation to attend the ASEAN-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue, which was held on 28 October 2023, in Tokyo.

In her address at the meeting, Minister Sudawan said “Thailand recognises the importance of sustainable tourism and has been launching a range of strategic initiatives towards this direction. Some of these projects could be expanded for implementation on the regional level to ensure sustainable tourism development and practice for both the tourist attractions, local communities, and businesses.”

She highlighted some ongoing sustainable tourism initiatives Thailand had been implementing. These include the efforts to elevate the tourism supply to achieve international standards, the promotion of emerging destinations for a better distribution of tourists, the focus on medical and wellness tourism, which is poised to continue experiencing robust growth, and the implementation of digital transformation to elevate the Thai tourism industry’s competitiveness.

Minister Sudawan also engaged in several bilateral meetings.

The meeting with Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Mr. Tetsuo Saito discussed possible tourism cooperation on sustainable tourism, community-based tourism, and the promotion of emerging destinations. The discussion also covered the plan to form a special working committee between Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Japan’s Transport and Tourism Research Institute ASEAN-India Regional Office.

An update on Thailand’s directions towards tourism promotions in ASEAN in the areas of Regional Tourism Standards, Tourism for All, Stakeholders’ Participation, and Human Resources Development was delivered during the session with ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn.

In addition, there was a discussion to explore the opportunities for Thailand to take part in tourism activities initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) during Minister Sudawan’s meeting with OECD Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Yoshiki Takeuchi.

The ASEAN-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue was co-chaired by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan and the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (as the Chair of the Meeting for the ASEAN Tourism Ministers (M-ATM)) to commemorate the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and to discuss the “Next 50 Years with ASEAN and Japan: Designing the Path to Sustainable Tourism Together”.

In the joint media statement released after the talks, tourism ministers from ASEAN and Japan pledged to promote sustainable tourism and advance mutual exchanges. (TAT)