H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports (MoTS), led a group of foreign ambassadors along with expatriate residents in Thailand to join a project ‘Explore the Unseen Thailand: Bang Kachao Beyond Expectations’, to cycle around to explore the local community. This aims to encourage the expats to take a journey domestically.
More than two million expatriates living in Thailand are being targetted under the ongoing domestic tourism programme designed to expedite a recovery of the Thai economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Phiphat said that a pilot project focussing on Khung Bang Kachao, the “Lung of Bangkok,” has been initiated to motivate expats working and residing in Thailand to see places they may not otherwise have thought about.
The project has been developed by the Ministry in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism (DASTA), a specialised unit under the MoTS.
Located in Samut Prakan province, Khung Bang Kachao is a large green oasis on the periphery of Bangkok, and one of the country’s most important oxygen producers. The area also has environmental, economic, tourism, social, and cultural significance.
The venues in Khung Bang Kachao that the group visited in this trip included Wat Bang Nam Phueng Nai, the Bang Nam Phueng Community Enterprise Homestay, the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Botanical Garden, and Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market.
DASTA has developed these routes in accordance with the four-point policy guidelines of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports: Safety, Clean (complying with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration), Fair (distributing revenue to the local communities), and Hospitality.
The concept also fits research showing that expats like to better understand the concept of “Thainess,” learn more about the Thai way of life, and seek out opportunities for nature tourism.
The Minister said Khung Bang Kachao is the perfect place for expats to experience the charm and attractions of local tourism activities — all in an area easily accessible from Bangkok as well as from surrounding provinces; such as, the Eastern Economic Corridor region where many expats live as retirees, technical consultants, managers and trainers.
“We hope that after visiting Khung Bang Kachao, expatriates will spread the word to their families and friends. We want them to see more “Unseen” places and travel more often. Hence, it is necessary to introduce them to places that are attractive to them,” the Minister said.