The National Tourism Policy Committee has unveiled a four-year plan to enhance tourism competitiveness and has also approved a special zone focusing on four islands in southern Thailand. Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn on November 30 said the committee would organise a series of training programmes for three groups involved in the tourism sector. The three groups are: tourist guides and tour operators; service providers; and citizens/private sector. “During the four-year programme, more than 107,020 people are expected to undergo training,” Tanasak said. More than 10,000 tourism operators are also expected to get quality certification three or four months after training. He added that the programme was part of the national tourism policy which has been focusing on enhancing competitiveness as the government wants to shift the overall tourism emphasis from volume to quality. Over the past months, the government has already moved to crack down on illegal businesses, tour operators, tourist guides, and non-registered hotels in major tourist cities – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Prachuab Khiri Khan, and Phetchaburi.