The Tourism Competency Development Office accelerates the development of digital information. The goal is to distribute income to the community.
The Office of Tourism Competence Development is expediting the development of a digital information center in the form of an “e-Service.” The online platform promotes the products and services of local communities via the Smart DASTA system. Moreover, the “CBT Thailand” mobile application is developed to promote community-based tourism, which supports income generation and distribution for local communities.
Dr. Wassana Pongsapan, Director of the Office of Tourism Competence Development under DASTA (Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration), stated that the development of information technology is one of Thailand’s key fiscal policies. Moreover, information technology is imperative for sustainable tourism development.
Dr. Wassana Pongsapan
The Office of Tourism Competence Development has continuously developed its information technology system, providing digital information in the form of an e-Service platform. The information technology system is available for public access, targeted at tourists, local communities, and the general public in designated areas and other regions under processing to become designated areas under DASTA. The key systems under the e-Service platform are as follows:
1. DastaTravel and DASTA Knowledge are websites providing tourism information in the designated areas of DASTA. The websites serve as an online platform for visitors and the general public to access tourism information and knowledge provided by DASTA during its involvement in community development. Communities and tourism businesses may also apply information published on these websites to boost the effectiveness of their sustainable development endeavors.
2. SMART DASTA is a mobile application available for download on both iOS and Android devices. The purpose of the application is to disseminate information, news, activities, goods, services, and privileges pertaining to sustainable tourism in DASTA’s designated areas. SMART DASTA serves as a tool for enhancing communication and an online marketing channel for tourism businesses, tour guides, tourists, and related networks in the designated areas.
To provide relief for communities adversely affected by COVID-19, DASTA has been promoting local products on the Smart DASTA platform to stimulate awareness and online sales. Moreover, DASTA proposed complete tour packages for the communities, which will allow the locals to swiftly accommodate tourists when the pandemic situation in Thailand improves. These measures were implemented to support the community and distribute income – corresponding to the policies of the Thai government.
3. CBT Thailand is a web application providing information pertaining to the community-based tourism industry of Thailand. It consists of the following features:
3.1 The web application provides a database for all information related to Thailand’s community-based tourism industry. It collects information pertaining to tourist attractions, activities, restaurants, hotels, local products, and souvenirs – utilizing the information to provide tourism-related public relations. Moreover, the database fosters knowledge and information exchange between local communities, the public sector, and the private sector to create optimal value.
3.2 The web application provides a self-assessment system for communities to evaluate their community-based tourism standards and competencies. The self-assessment tool conducts evaluations according to the principles of the Community-Based Tourism Development Criteria of Thailand (CBT Thailand). The system stores information and presents concrete reports, allowing communities and developers to assess their preparedness and competencies to provide effective tourism activities. Moreover, it serves as a guideline for establishing directions, tools, and strategies for developing the tourism industry of any given community – effectively resolving problems and meeting market demand.
3.3 The application provides a website, which presents community information and tourism review content. It serves as the center of tourism information and community-based tourism experiences in the form of reviews. The website allows domestic and international tourists to have a glimpse of community-based tourism activities in Thailand, selecting destinations which fulfill their travel preferences. Most importantly, the website is an online marketing channel which effectively disseminates tourism information of the local communities throughout Thailand.