''Smart tourism'' will be the focus of the policy under Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul at Tourism and Sport, says the department's Phuket chief, Santi Pawai. ''People will be reached through social networks and smartphones,'' he said.
The minister made the point in two days during which the new government's tourism policy was formulated that infrastructure must be improved to support tourism, especially basic facilities such as public toilets at beaches and parks.
''The intention is also to seek local people as guides,'' Khun Santi said. ''Today the Minister will meet with the Education Minister about ways of giving guides more skills, as well as improving the skills of others in tourism.''
He said he understood the minister's intention was to work across a few projects that would maximise the impact of the 18 months that the present government intended to be in power rather than attending to a multitude of issues.
Other senior people in government have told Phuketwan that environmental tourism is seen as a viable option for Phuket and the surrounding provinces of Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Ranong that make up the Andaman ''cluster.''
Khun Kobkarn is expected to visit Phuket for the Asian beach Games from November 14-21, if not earlier.