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Thailand boosts lower central region tourism

TAT lower central region tourism 1

TAT’s strategy promotes tourism in lower central Thailand, enhancing local attractions and upgrading Hua Hin Airport to international standards.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has outlined plans for greater promotion of the lower central region, as part of the government’s policy to promote local soft power and encourage cross-regional tourism, while attracting more flights to Hua Hin Airport.

TAT lower central region tourism 2

The plan reflects the four-pronged directive given by Prime Minister Mr. Srettha Thavisin during the 3rd roving Cabinet meeting of 2024, from 13-14 May, in Phetchaburi.

PM Srettha called for greater promotion of the ‘4 Buri’ cities in the lower central region, namely – Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, and Phetchaburi provinces – to boost tourism, while Khao Ngu Stone Park in Ratchaburi should be developed and promoted as a recreational and sports tourism attraction. He also instructed that the traditional bull racing of Phetchaburi be promoted as sports tourism to preserve local culture.

Meanwhile, Hua Hin Airport is set to be upgraded into an international airport by October 2025. Works should involve expanding the runway to accommodate larger aircraft and upgrading the passenger terminal to facilitate travelers.

Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor, said “TAT is boosting tourism promotions of the lower central region by leveraging established tourist cities of Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan as gateways to hidden gems in Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, and Kanchanaburi as well as other cross-regional cities. We are promoting must-do activities to encourage more travel and better distribute tourism income across the region.”

TAT’s five must-do activities include Must Beat (Muay Thai), Must Eat (Thai food), Must Seek (Thai culture), Must Buy (Thai fabric), and Must See (Thai shows).

As a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, Phetchaburi will be highlighted for Must Eat since the province is known for high-quality sea salt, key limes, and palm sugar. Must-eat local dishes and beverages include Kaeng Kua Hua Tan (toddy palm curry) and ‘Lime Palm Soda’. The province also boasts a ‘Must See’ event, the annual Phra Nakhon Khiri Festival which is set to be elevated to an international scale, and a ‘Must Seek’ new landmark – Thailand’s largest naga statue at Wat Tham Chaeng in Cha-Am.

Hua Hin Airport in Prachuap Khiri Khan will be promoted as a key gateway for travel linkage between major and hidden-gem destinations in the lower central region. The airport currently accommodates AirAsia’s daily Hua Hin – Chiang Mai flights. Talks are underway for direct flights from Hat Yai.

Meanwhile, the distinct cultural identity of Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi will be further promoted. Suphan Buri is a UNESCO Creative City of Music and is also known for revered temples and the famous chiffon cake. As well as the annual River Kwai Bridge Week, Kanchanaburi boasts many natural and cultural resources. Finally, Ratchaburi is renowned for local arts and crafts.

From January to April 2024, TAT recorded 36.96 million trips to the lower central region, generating 161.78 billion Baht. For the entire year, TAT has set a target a 103.07 million trips and an income of 464.6 billion Baht.

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