Songkhla to host IMT-GT 2015 to promote Old Town tourism

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SONGKHLA, 24 May 2015 – Songkhla provincial authorities have been geared up for the IMT-GT 2015 International Symposium on Livable Old Town Tourism which it will be hosting from 28-29 May at HM the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary Auditorium, Songkhla Rajabhat University, according to Deputy Governor of Songkhla Chaiwat Sirinupong.

Songkhla was declared by the cabinet in 2011 as one of the ten old towns in Thailand and one of the two towns in the southern region of Thailand holding historic and archeological value due to its distinct artistry of ancient period.

Songkhla and its neighbor provinces were designated by the National Economic and Social Development Plan to be developed as “Old Town Tourism” under the framework of IMT-GT (the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle), along with Palembang and Medan in Indonesia as well as Melaka and Penang Of Malaysia which were bound together by shared economic interests, geographical proximity, and close historical, cultural and linguistic ties.

The symposium is aimed at accelerating economic development and prosperity in Songkhla as well as promoting the exchange among these cities in order to upgrade Songkhla to be City Heritage of ASEAN and the World, in parallel with its neighboring towns in the region.

The IMT-GT 2015 meeting is held under the auspices of Songkhla Rajabhat University, the Provincial Office ofTourism and Sports, governmental, private, civil and academic sectors. It is aimed at promoting multilateral cooperation and academic researches on the development of the old towns in various aspects which can be applied to Songkhla tourism.

Not only initiatives to accelerate economic transformation in old towns, IMT-GT 2015 also hopes to raise public awareness of historic value of these old towns and urge them to help conserve and restore their cultural heritages.

Also to be held at the event is a seminar on “Look ahead to Tourism Cooperations in Old Towns”, coming with presentation of researches by academics from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.