Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bumpy Road Ahead for the Thai Tourist Industry?

Thailand currently has a number of tourism related issues that many feel are critical to address if Thailand is to be able to compete against other neighbouring countries that are embracing tourism for all it is worth, such a Malaysia and Singapore.

So what are the problems that Thailand must deal with in order to compete? There are the usual concerns such a safety and the rising level of violent crime. Whilst Thailand has a population of just 1/6th that of the United States it’s gun related crime is six times higher.
On top of that we have the continuous reports of foreign tourists being mugged, scammed and raped; all of which are taking their toll on the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand.

For a tourism industry to flourish a number of key ingredients are needed; safety, friendliness, competency and above all the ability to communicate.

Of course, for this to occur, the Thai authorities and Thai people must change their attitudes towards foreign nationals. Foreign tourists should never be viewed upon as simply being cash-cows but rather as valued guests that allow Thais to learn about other cultures. Tourism, when handled by an effective Government, produces benefits not only for its country in economical terms but also in the education of it people as it promotes a wider understanding.

Currently Malaysia is ahead of the tourism numbers with approximately 25 million visitors a year compared to Thailand’s reported 22 million. Of course neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos are also concentrating on the tourist trade and as Myanmar steps into the scene the number of foreign tourists available is being spread even thinner.
There is no doubt that Thailand is at a crossroads and it has a clear choice but whether those ruling the country will sacrifice their power and wealth through their continued control is another matter but will ultimately seal the fate of Thailand as a nation and tourist destination.

Read the full article at Meebal. Worth reading as it contains links to many additional articles supporting their case for concern regarding the future of the Thai tourist industry.

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