The plan seeks to connect cultural and historical sites with new tourism routes, along with prominent features in this area, such as the land of elephants.
The Government of Thailand is preparing a tourism development plan to link community-based tourism in the cluster of four northeastern provinces, namely Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, and Surin.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Joint Public/ Private Sector Consultative Committee, during the Cabinet retreat in Buri Ram on 8 May 2018, chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The plan seeks to connect cultural and historical sites with new tourism routes, along with prominent features in this area, such as the land of elephants. Projects on the development of "Elephant World” and an ancient elephant museum have been raised for discussion.
Surin is regarded as the land of elephants. In order to promote elephant conservation, the province has launched a project known as "Elephant World” to care for elephants. Its Elephant Round-Up attracts visitors each year.
In the four provinces, there are currently 20 tourist communities that have arranged homestays for tourists. The Government has a plan to encourage the 20 communities to work with the private sector in offering tour packages jointly to attract more tourist arrivals.
The meeting asked the Ministry of Transport to conduct a feasibility study of constructing an airport in Surin province to promote trade, investment, and tourism. The ministry is expanding the runway at Buri Ram Airport, so that it will be able to accommodate six aircraft, instead of two at present. The expansion is expected to be completed in June this year.
The meeting also agreed to conduct a study on the master plan to develop a new town in Nakhon Rachasima province to cope with economic growth in the lower northeastern region. The first phase of the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project will be from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima province. It is expected to help stimulate the local economy in this province.
Both the high-speed railway and dual-track train projects passing through this provincial cluster will provide greater opportunities for the four provinces, which can also serve as a gateway to other countries in the ASEAN region.