The western sliver of Thailand south of Bangkok is about to undergo fast-track development.
A stronger marketing push will be given to the Thailand Riviera – the four coastal provinces of Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Ranong – by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as part of a masterplan aimed at developing the region’s full tourism potential.
Tourism minister Weerasak Kowsurat met local authorities and representatives from government agencies in June to move ahead with the next steps, while the UNWTO has also been enlisted to provide technical and marketing support for the Thailand Riviera project, TTG Asia reports.
The Thai government and related agencies will be closely involved in the development process, the minister stressed, including management to ensure it is implemented in a way that pays equal attention to economic and ecological issues.
One important feature has been the construction of a 680km ‘scenic highway’ from Bangkok, which runs along the coastline together with cycle lanes. About 200km of this has been completed and a further 50km stretch is now under construction. The entire highway should be completed in five years.
The platform of the Hua Hin Railway Station, a heritage site dating back when it was used by the royal family visiting the Mrigadayavan Summer Palace of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), will be upgraded to reflect its unique design and architecture, TAT says.
Specific niche projects include making the Thailand Riviera a health tourism hub, organising sports events and shopping festivals and developing night markets. Petrol stations, meanwhile, will get clean toilets, luggage storage, CCTV and Wi-Fi.