Safety, medical marijuana tourism high on agenda of new Thai tourism minister

Tourists milling about an outdoor market in Bangkok

Thailand’s new tourism and sports minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan, who replaced Weerasak Kowsurat, has prioritised the setting of safety standards to regain the confidence of foreign tourists to the country, according to a Bangkok Post report.

Speaking in his new capacity when he assumed his role last week, Pipat said the ministry would launch an initiative later this year to engage volunteer police in communities to supervise visitors in each tourism area.

Tourists milling about an outdoor market in Bangkok

The new tourism chief also plans to promote medical marijuana tourism, especially Thai traditional medicine and message, reported Bangkok Post.

Tourists from Europe and the US, who have a positive perception about medical marijuana, would be key targets for these marijuana tourism packages.

The report added that Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, is ready to implement medical marijuana tourism promotion to build quality tourism because the target segment tends to spend more than average tourists.

Pipat is a key Bhumjaithai Party leader, who party campaign promises included the liberalisation of marijuana cultivation for medicinal purposes as well as the legalisation of ride-hailing and home-sharing apps and sites.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is expected to work with the Transport Ministry to legalise ride-sharing services, following the presentation of the party’s policies to the prime minister.

In light of the strong Thai baht which has made the country more expensive for foreigners, Pipat also intends to talk to the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand about reducing the currency strength.

According to the Bangkok Post report, Pipat also plans to talk to the private sector about enhancing tourism attractions in all provinces, and pushing local tourism to the forefront as well.

Attracting big sporting events and tournaments to Thailand would be encouraged too, said Pipat.

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