Thailand is recognized by travelers all over the globe, as one of the world's favorite tourist destinations. The unmatched attribute of "Thainess", which is the richness of our cultural heritage combined with the warm nature and welcoming hospitality of Thai people give visitors warm memories of their special times in Thailand. This ranges from the Thai friendliness, hospitality, service mind, to various forms of arts & crafts; such as, the unique, delicate ways of carving vegetables and fruit. In terms of location, Thailand is considered as the hub for the Greater Mekong Subregion. The country is also recognized as a value-for-money destination for all types of visitors, from young backpackers to families and high-end travelers. A wealth of natural attractions, from forested mountains in the North to sunny beaches in the South is the country's valued asset; meanwhile, an endless variety of tourist attractions offers something to meet every visitor's interest - sports, history, culture, wellness, dining, nightlife, adventure, and so on. This also makes Thailand strong in niche markets; such as, health and wellness, golf, and weddings and honeymoons.
Looking through the industry development, Thailand has set new benchmarks in the marketing of travel and tourism. We now face some unique challenges in dealing with issues of sustainability and instability. Travel and tourism has been one of the country's most successful economic sectors over the last 50 years. While agriculture remains our bedrock, travel and tourism is our top service sector. It is our huge competitive advantage and has worked wonders for job creation, distribution of income, and preservation of heritage and culture.
The most important dynamic now in motion is a restoration of balance. This is the essence of the new emerging world order, especially what is being known as "The Asian Century". This restoration of balance is between the economic and ecological factors, in other words, sustainability.
The priority for Thailand's tourism industry is to look at the track record of what we have achieved over the past four to five decades, establish what has worked and what has not worked, what we can learn from, and what we can do to make sure that the wins outnumber the losses in the future.
Thailand is actively preparing for the launch of the historic ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The Community will usher in a new and exciting era in travel and tourism in the region, with important implications for the global tourism industry.
For more information, please visit www.tourismthailand.org.
Ministry of Tourism and Sports
Address: 4 RatchadamnoenNok Avenue, Watsomanas, PomprapSattruphai, Bangkok 10100 THAILAND
Tel: (+66) 2283 1500
Fax: (+66) 2356 0746
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Address: 1600 New Phetchaburi Road, Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Thailand
Tel: 662 250 5500
TAT Contact Center: 1672
Source: ASEAN Tourism website, http://aseantourism.travel/country/detail/thailand