Thai Foreign Minister speaks for Tourism
Monday 11, October 2010
A high level Thai delegation, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Mr. Kasit Piromya, visited UNWTO Headquarters to discuss the central role of tourism in the socioeconomic development of Thailand (Madrid, Spain, 6 October 2010).
Mr. Kasit Piromya expressed the high political regard in which Thailand holds tourism, as part of its national image building and development, next to exports or foreign direct investment. “I am very happy to include a stop at the headquarters of UNWTO as part of my visit to Spain because I believe tourism is part and parcel of the Thai economy,” he said.
The delegation was briefed by UNWTO Executive Director, Márcio Favilla, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Xu Jing, and other senior UNWTO officials on UNWTO’s main activities, particularly the areas devoted to mainstreaming tourism in the global political and economic agenda, as well as the broader social and development significance of tourism. Mr Favilla highlighted the UNWTO Roadmap for Recovery, which was launched in October 2009 and the T20 initiative, which will hold its 2nd T20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in the Republic of Korea from 11-13 October and to which Thailand has been invited. The T.20 aims to highlight the contribution tourism can make to the global challenges on the G20 agenda, namely those of sustained economic recovery and job creation.
Recalling the excellent relationship between UNWTO and Thailand, Mr Favilla agreed with the proposal of the Thai Minister that Thailand would work towards a “trilateral cooperation” with UNWTO as a platform for helping other developing countries in their tourism development, using Thailand as an example of destination excellence. This coincides with actions and policies in the framework of the South-South economic and development cooperation which is part of the Thai external agenda, in its role as an emerging donor country. It was further agreed that a Memorandum of Understanding will be worked out in the near future.
Furthermore, both parties discussed a number of issues of mutual interest including the enrichment of cultural heritage in tourism promotion; travel advisories; the responsible development of tourism; and tourism as a tool for environmental protection. Mr Kasit Piromya also reaffirmed the determination of Thailand to continue its strong engagement in the activities carried out by UNWTO.
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