Thailand Tourism

Tourism remains one of the primary drivers of economic growth in Thailand. While manufacturing and exports are sluggish and consumer demand weak, visitor numbers were up in 2016 and are expected to hit new records in 2017. After a slight dip in 2014, the upward trend seems to have been re-established. Looking ahead, tourism will remain an important part of the Thai economy and is expected to become an increasingly large component of GDP. Thailand is an attractive destination drawing guests from a diverse range of countries. Chinese and Russian tourists continue to come in great numbers, but at the same time more visitors are coming from ASEAN member states. Flows from the US and Europe are holding steady. Thailand’s government remains highly supportive of the sector, making visits easier, investing in infrastructure and, importantly, choosing policies to encourage inflows. This chapter contains interviews with Weerasak Kowsurat, Chairman, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau; and Leanne Harwood, Vice-President of Operations for South-east Asia and Korea, InterContinental Hotels Group.