Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister and Acting Government Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha had emphasized the promotion of tourism activities in religious dimensions.
These activities include, for example, the introduction of Dhamma routes to three important revered Buddhist temples in the northern province of Chiang Rai: Phra That Pha Ngao, Phra That Chom Kitti, and Phra That Chedi Luang.
The Department of Religious Affairs, under the Ministry of Culture, has joined hands with other government agencies and the private sector in facilitating the travel of tourists to these religious temples, which are noted for magnificent architecture and artistic creations.
Visitors will be provided with information on local culture and history and major spots to view historical structures. Cultural and community products and local food will be put on sale. There will be cultural performances and a display of achievements by local youth, as well.
The Dhamma routes in Chiang Rai are also connected with other religious routes in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat and northeastern provinces along the Mekong River, namely Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Bueang Kan, and Nong Khai.
Mr. Anucha quoted the Prime Minister as saying that the promotion of religious travel would encourage the participation of local people and boost the local economy. Thailand has a plenty of cultural capital that can be developed to contribute to the tourism industry.
A number of international tourists traveling to Thailand have been found to be drawn by religious structures, many of which are part of the nation's cultural heritage and have a long history. Religious tourism also contributes to religious practice in a quest to experience spiritual well-being.