Trat aims to seek more than three billion baht to support these projects.
The Thai Government intends to develop Ko Chang, or Elephant Island, in Trat province, as a model for eco-tourism. It has accepted seven proposals to develop the potential of Ko Chang in terms of natural resources and tourism.
The proposals were submitted to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to Ko Chang on 5 February 2018, along with some Cabinet members. He met 300 local entrepreneurs and residents at the Naval Safety Center there.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the Government wanted local people to participate in the efforts to develop Ko Chang as a major eco-tourist site. He also listened to their opinions that would be used for local development and the improvement of their quality of life.
The seven proposals include road construction around the island, the development of a reservoir, the improvement of a waste separation plant, a feasibility study and design of a wastewater treatment plant, the development of a public pier to be connected with Sattahip in Chon Buri, the development of public health to accommodate tourism, and the establishment of a workforce training center for tourism and service businesses.
Trat aims to seek more than three billion baht to support these projects. The Prime Minister told local entrepreneurs and residents that, apart from promoting eco-tourism in Trat, the Government wanted to develop local agricultural products and labor to a higher quality.
About 315 kilometers from Bangkok, Trat is being developed as a new special economic zone, covering three districts. The special economic zone will boost border trade with Cambodia and Vietnam and stimulate the local economy.
The number of tourists in this province is expected to reach more than five million annually by 2021. Ko Chang, in particular, has been developed into a popular long-stay tourist site. It covers an area of 429 square kilometers and is Thailand’s second-largest island after Phuket.
Mu Ko Chang, or the Ko Chang archipelago, comprises 52 large and small islands and is a national park. In 2004, it was designated an area for sustainable tourism and is now supervised by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization).