Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - In a bid to promote and market national tourism in Thailand, the Ministry of Tourism will establish a Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer (VITO) there.

"I have decided that we should have a VITO in Thailand. We should realize this plan soon, as Thailand has many tourists," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said after opening the 2019 VITO Annual Meeting here Wednesday.

The plan to establish the VITO in Thailand is also based on the foreign exchange the country earns from the tourism sector.

"Thailand's foreign exchange earned from tourism is the highest in the ASEAN," the minister continued.

VITO's annual meeting in Batam was attended by representatives from 16 countries in 20 cities around the world. The person appointed as a VITO is a native citizen of the country concerned, and/or an Indonesian citizen who has lived in the country for decades.

The minister explained that this was essential, as every VITO needed to understand how to sell tourism according to the characteristics of the country he or she lives in. In addition, the VITO should be able to build good relations with the parties concerned.

At the meeting, Areif said the government would evaluate the performance of each VITO.

"The evaluation is based on performance. If it is less than seven, we will replace the person," the minister noted. Related news: Tourism Ministry encourages travel industry to use digital platform

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Translator: Bambang Purwanto
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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