Career politician and former provincial governor Mr. Somsak Pureesrisak has been appointed Minister of Tourism and Sports, effective April 9.
He replaces the late Mr. Chumpol Silpa-archa, who passed away last January 2013.
Born 15 November 1951, Mr. Somsak is an electrical engineer by training and also holds a Master's degree in Development Administration. He began his professional life in 1993 in the Department of Town and Country Planning, and has risen up the ranks since then. He twice served as Governor of Suphan Buri Province in Central Thailand, the last time between 2006 and 2012.. Mr. Somsak is also a member of the Chart Pattana Party, which is part of the coalition government currently in power under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Mr. Somsak visited the Ministry of Tourism and Sports on 5 April 2013 after his appointment was confirmed by His Majesty the King. After familiarising himself with the ongoing ministry activities, Mr. Somsak indicated that he would make visitor safety and security a primary focus of attention.
The policy emphasis was welcomed by TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni. "Safety and security for visitors is becoming an over-arching area of importance all through the global travel & tourism industry. We constantly get questions about this matter at international trade shows, and are very pleased that the minister has taken up this issue as a matter of priority."The TAT looks forward to implementing initiatives from the minister in further advancing the role of travel and tourism as the country's largest service industry and contributor to national socio-economic development."