Speaking at a Thai Hotels Association luncheon on Wednesday, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said the tourism and hotel industry is one of the top priorities for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to support because it is a major source of employment in the capital.
He noted that part of the BMA’s responsibility is to support hotel owners and entrepreneurs so they are ready to welcome an increasing number of foreign tourists.
Aside from making it easier to obtain a licence and pay taxes, Chadchart also announced plans to expand the city’s nightlife activities.
He said the BMA is currently in talks with experts and related partners on decorating potential communities to serve as an attraction, primarily in downtown areas such as riverside zones.
The BMA also plans to launch something called “Midnight Bangkok Governor”, which will see Chadchart and his team patrolling the capital during the night so that tourists feel safer and are more confident in visiting the city.
The plan is consistent with the Tourism Ministry’s proposal to extend operating hours of night entertainment venues to 4am.
Chadchart insisted he had no objections to the plan as long as it did “not cause any trouble”. It is necessary to consult all relevant parties and decide on zoning to determine which areas should be permitted to stay open longer, he said.
Meanwhile, Chadchart revealed a plan for Bangkok to become a sister city of Venice, Italy, so that the two famous cities can share and collaborate on culture and knowledge, including water management.
“It’s still in the early stages. Next year, an action plan and other concrete activities will be carried out,” he said.
Despite being the most popular tourist destination, Bangkok is ranked a low 98th among 140 countries in terms of liveability. Chadchart therefore emphasised the importance of making the capital a more livable city.
The governor went on to mention some issues that need to be addressed, such as a shortage of workers in the hospitality industry and tourists being scammed or exploited.
The BMA is now offering short courses at Bangkok Vocational School and matching graduates with businesses.
Thai Hotels Association president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi spoke about the tourism industry in general.
According to her, this year is considered the beginning of a “great recovery” in tourism, because increasingly large numbers of tourists are expected to return to Thailand in the second half of the year and the hotel sector would recover as well.
High inflation, operating costs and labour shortages, on the other hand, are major concerns for all entrepreneurs, she said, adding that the association is in discussions with the government to find appropriate solutions.
The luncheon meeting came just as the Food & Hospitality Thailand 2022 exhibition began.More than 300 of the world’s leading food and hospitality companies are participating, allowing visitors to see premium food products and appliances, new technologies and innovations, with competitions, conferences and seminars as well as table top sessions with exhibitors from around the world via both online and on-site formats.
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