The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced its participation in the launching of 148 Pracharath Sookjai shops across the nation, in line with the Royal Thai Government’s policy on spreading tourism income to local communities and stimulating the Thai economy towards sustainability.
The Pracharath Sookjai shop is conceptualised as a centre for tourist information and local products to be located within 148 PTT petrol stations nationwide.
The project is formalised under the collaboration between five Thai public and private organisations – TAT, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP), Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank), Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department (CDD), and PTT Public Company Limited (PTT).
OSMEP will provide support on the management of the tourist information centre and cooperate with CDD on selecting participating vendors. The SME Bank will lend its support in terms of investment funding.
PTT will allocate areas within its 148 petrol stations nationwide under a three-year rental free.
On TAT’s participation of the project, Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “We are committed to help materialise this wonderful project for the benefit and well-being of the Thai people through financial support on establishing the 148 shops, public relations activities, and facilitation of tourist information as well as conduct training for the shop assistants.
“TAT domestic offices nationwide will be tasked to help select quality local products for the shops.”
The concept of the Pracharath Sookjai shop corresponds with the travel behaviour of both Thai and foreign tourists, who spend an average of 26 per cent of the total trip expenses on goods and souvenirs and 30 per cent on food and beverages. In terms of travelling, about 70 per cent prefer car travel.
The first Pracharath Sookjai shops are slated to open in April 2016. All 148 shops are scheduled to open respectively.