Thailand has rewarded communities across the country that helped promote the Kingdom’s national image and cultural experiences in support of tourism while generating income for the local population.
Thailand has long been at the forefront in Southeast Asia for empowering local communities, particularly in the tourism sector.
The Kingdom made strides in leveraging its cultural power to promote its national image in support of tourism and generating income for communities. The “Model Community” campaign was launched by the Thai Government in 2016 for this purpose. On December 26, 2022, awards were presented to 10 communities selected as models for others to reference.
Representatives from 10 communities from across Thailand received commemorative plaques in recognition of their contribution to the country’s tourism sector. The plaques were presented by Thailand’s Prime Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. Four of the ten communities are located in the south of the country: the Khunnatham community in Krabi, Wat Sai Khaoy in Pattani, and the Phuket Old City in Phuket with one community located in the north, Ban Mueang Ruang in Chiang Rai.
Ban Phu in Mukdahan, Ban Bo Nam Ron in Yala, Wat Bang Nam Phueng in Samut Prakan, Wat Nong Bua community in Surin, Ban Tham Klong Phlae in Nong Bua Lamphu, and Ban Chiang in Udon Thani also received awards in recognition of being ‘model communities’.
Thailand’s Prime Minister commended the 10 communities on setting examples that others can follow in preparation for accommodating tourists. He added that the government is leveraging Thailand’s biodiversity and cultural assets to raise the value of cultural tourism. Highlighting traditions, cultures and art in Thailand is indeed increasingly popular across the Kingdom. The Prime Minister noted that some 25,000 communities nationwide have the resources to promote themselves as cultural tourism destinations.