The Tourism Authority of Thailand should already know that there are oodles of gas stations with all the amenities that a road warrior would need – munchies, coffee and a place to piss. But, the Tourism Authority of Thailand thinks that these Thai Government owned and operated roadside stations will attract more tourists which is quite a ridiculous notion.
The government is set to adopt Japan’s Michi-no-Eki (roadside station) scheme, a government-designated rest area found along roads and highways in Japan, initially developing them in the 12 provinces dubbed “hidden gems”
This is just more proof that the Minister of Tourism and Sports has failed miserably with her Discover Thainess 2015 campaign with the 12 hidden gems – places no one has heard of nor wants to visit.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the Tourism and Sports Ministry has already endorsed the idea proposed by the TAT.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Minister of Tourism and Sports answer to a failed tourism campaign – throw money at it.
Mr Yuthasak said the roadside stations will be centres to draw more tourists as well as display and sell local goods such as One Tambon One Product products.
Not really. There are already gas stations and tons of roadside vendors selling everything from local goods to food. Why will this be better?
Extra income from the roadside concept will help supplement farmers’ revenue when the prices of farm products fall, he said.
But, farmers already do this and don’t have to pay the government a rental fee.
In addition to providing places for travellers to rest, Michi-no-Eki facilities are intended to promote local tourism and trade. Shops usually sell local produce, snacks, souvenirs and other goods. All of them provide 24-hour access to parking, restrooms and information facilities.
This last info is copied by the Bangkok Post word for word from Wikipedia – a serious copyright violation. Here’s an idea. Get the Tourism Authority of Thailand domestic staff out of their offices and have them man the facilities.
The roadside stations directly benefit both local communities and travellers and many have become popular destinations for tourists. They offer large parking lots that tourists can use at any time of the day throughout the year free of charge.
But, in Thailand, they will wind up selling the same old crap as any other roadside vendor.
There is always a restaurant serving simple fare such as curry with rice and noodles and a market selling local products and seasonal crops from local farmers.
PTT gas stations already do this.
Since the farmers bring their produce directly to the market, good quality produce is offered at reasonable prices.
Not if one has to pay rent to the Thai Government.
Besides tourists and drivers, local people use the markets as an alternative to supermarkets.
Right. Thais are going to go out on the highway and pay higher prices than they can at their own local market.
According to Mr Yuthasak, roadside station development is part of the government’s economic development plan, while the TAT has been assigned as one of the key drivers to support the government’s stimulus policies and measures.
If this is one of the stimulus packages, the Thai Government is in deep shit.
The government aims to develop the first roadside stations at the 12 hidden gems by the end of this year. The stations will be managed by the provincial government and provincial offices of the TAT.
Doomed to fail already with the Thai Government in management. And, they will be ready in two months? Going to just be slapped together roadside vendors and outdoor shitters.
The 12 provinces being promoted as hidden gems are Lampang, Phetchabun, Nan, Buri Ram, Loei, Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi, Trat, Chanthaburi, Trang, Chumphon and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Honestly, has anyone seen these 12 gems promoted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand either locally or overseas? I doubt it.
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