Tourism lobby: Bangkok governor must ensure safety, convenience, comfort for tourists


BANGKOK, Thailand – The next Bangkok governor should ensure cleanliness and safety, convenience and comfort for visitors, private tourism operators say.

The operators have come up with some ideas for upgrading Bangkok’s tourism industry and proposed them Monday to candidates Pongsapat Pongcharoen and Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

The operators said they also hoped the Bangkok governor can deliver a vision about new tourism products which will help keep international tourists here longer. They stay for an average of only one day now.

Piyaman Techapaiboon, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) said the role of Bangkok’s governor was important for tourism.

About 38 per cent of international tourists who come to Thailand visit Bangkok and about 251 billion baht of tourism revenue, or half the total, is made in the capital.

TCT wants more convenient transport such as parking for tour buses at the Grand Palace, and measures to improve the safety and security of tourists.

Democrat candidate MR Sukhumbhand said his tourism policy would ensure food safety including the safety of street food. Menus, and street direction signs, will be available in Thai, English and Chinese.

MR Sukhumbhand said he would also introduce a Muslim-oriented computer application to inform people of the locations of halal food shops, and places of worship.

He also plans to provide taxi drivers with free English courses to serve tourists from abroad.

Workers in the service sector will be provided with English, Chinese and Malay language courses.

The Phadung Krung Kasem canal will be developed as a tourism route, he said.

Meanwhile, Pol Gen Pongsapat said tourism promotion required cooperation from all parties. He accepted the private sector’s proposals for consideration. ‘‘I suggest that operators publicise their complaints to pressure the government to solve their problems. I promise that if I am elected Bangkok governor, tourism-related crimes will fall by half in a year,” Mr Pongsapat said.