Full steam ahead: Thai railways enhanced for tourism

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has put Thai railways at the heart of its new plans to develop tourism in the country, when it approved two measures at a meeting focused on  boosting footfall to destinations across the country, particularly those in ‘second-tier’ provinces.

Duangjai Asawachntachit, the BOI’s secretary general, said after the meeting chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha that the group considered two major investment promotion measures. Which are as follows:

Rail Industry Development

Train on the River Kwai

The new measure has been designed to support the national infrastructure plan to build more than 3,728 miles of rail network nationwide, including a dual-track train, electric train, and high-speed train and to address the increasing future demand for rail networks and to reduce dependence on imports of rail systems.

The board agreed with the proposed revision of the BOI’s current promotion activity list on rail system development and related industries. The revision aims at encouraging more engineering activities and covering a comprehensive range of investments related to rail systems such as train structures, passenger cabins, system control units, bogies, braking systems, electrification systems, and signalling systems as well as rails.

“Increasing trade and investment opportunities”

“The new measure will also promote cooperation in research and development, as well as human resource development through cooperation between the private sector and the education sector. In addition, the improved rail system will significantly bring down logistics costs while increasing trade and investment opportunities,” said Duangjai.

Activity drive

Cycling in Thai countryside

More tourism and related activities are to be added to the existing promotion list and some conditions are added to attract more investments in tourism infrastructure-related activities as well as the creation of new tourist attractions, particularly in second-tier provinces.

The changes made to the targeted activities in this category are 1) improvement of existing conditions or expanded scope of existing categories e.g. the inclusion of all types of museums, particularly those in second-tier provinces; and 2) creation of new categories eligible for BOI promotion such as (a) cruise terminals which will encourage the development of infrastructure to support cruise tourism, and (b) large-scale tourist attractions with high standards.

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