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Forging an alliance

H.E Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, and Chutima Bunyapraphasara, deputy minister of commerce (both centre), at the Trade and Tourism Alliance MOU signing ceremony.
H.E Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, and Chutima Bunyapraphasara, deputy minister of commerce (both centre), at the Trade and Tourism Alliance MOU signing ceremony.

Late last week, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) signed a 'Trade and Tourism Alliance' memorandum of understanding (MOU) with six departments of the Ministry of Commerce for integrated development strategies and marketing promotions, as well as to establish links between trade and tourism. The MOU will also support and facilitate services on trade and investment information, as well as activities deemed to be beneficial for international trade and tourism development. 

H.E Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said that the MOU reflects the important role that tourism plays in Thailand's economic development. "Tourism is a primary driver for Thailand's economy and economic development. It contributed over 3 trillion baht (US$ 94 billion) to Thailand's economy in 2018, with 2 trillion baht coming from international visitors and 1 trillion baht from domestic tourism, representing 19% of Thailand's overall GDP. The Thai government is now placing more focus on sustainable tourism development and income distribution to local communities, and this much-welcomed 'Trade and Tourism Alliance' MOU will leverage the strength of each partner to maximise the potential for national benefit." 

Under the MOU, all parties will cooperate on providing online and offline support for the health and wellness, as well as the gems and jewellery sectors. It will also jointly organise marketing activities for agricultural and food products via fruit fairs or border trade fairs. 

Additionally, all parties will work to coordinate information exchanges via a knowledge centre, which will in turn help local Thai businesses to become more aware of international trade and investment opportunities overseas. Training courses and seminars will also be jointly organised to promote tourism-related trade and investments. 

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of TAT, said the organisation will leverage the strength of all partners to strengthen its various annual tourism events and marketing activities. The TAT Intelligence Centre and TAT Academy will work with the six MOC departments on information exchange and knowledge sharing. "TAT, in partnership with the MOC, is pleased to bring this 'Trade and Tourism Alliance' MOU to fruition. It will help us target different demographics on a variety of fronts and strengthen Thailand's tourism sector for many years to come," Yuthasak concluded.