Traditionally associated with the social dimension of affairs, the Ministry of Culture is increasing its role in the economic dimension by leveraging soft power. Cultural, art, and food highlights of Thailand are being used to spur forth tourism activities and to elevate Thailand into a world-class cultural tourism destination.
A memorandum of agreement on a “project to develop creative and cultural tourism products” has been signed by 3 agencies. These include the Ministry of Culture, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and the Board of Trade of Thailand. The signatories agreed to collaboratively improve the relevant know-how and use innovations to develop products and services. Emphasis is on the use of community identities to add value to cultural tourism routes. This would expand the capabilities of communities and improve income for businesses in each locale.
The “TAGTHAi” mobile application will be employed to help deliver one-stop tourism services. These will pertain to tourism destinations, accommodations, eateries, shopping sites, and activities of tourist interest. These one-stop services are believed to contribute toward elevating Thailand into a world-class cultural tourism destination. During the initial phase, the one-stop services will be piloted in at least 5 cultural tourism routes in the 5 regions of Thailand.
Minister of Culture Itthiphol Kunplome explained the effort is aimed at adding value to Thailand’s economy within 5 years, using soft power in the aspect of culture. He said about 9% of Thailand’s GDP was attributed to cultural and creative cultural industry products before the Covid pandemic. The goal is to raise this share to 15% of GDP. The activities under the memorandum of agreement will become models for future implementation across communities in Thailand. They will become part of preparations to accommodate tourists who are expected to gradually return amid the ever-improving Covid situation. (NNT)