The history of tourism in Thailand
The beginning of mass tourism in Thailand can be related to the 1960s, when the country acted as the rear for the American soldiers, fighting in Vietnam. There were large military installations and recreation spots for the USA servicemen, being on vacation.
The large-scale building of hotels, bars, massage salons and accompanying tourist infrastructure started at the end of 1960s. At the same time, a lot of travel agencies were open. They arranged the excursion to the most important places of interest. The soldiers which came home from the war returned to Thailand together with their families and spent their vacations here.
Nowadays, Thailand is one of the main tourist centers of South East Asia. The number of tourists visiting Thailand has increased from 400 000 in 1967 to 14 000 000 in 2017. According to the Tourism Department of Thailand, in 2011 the country was visited by 19 098 323 foreign tourists, which is 19.84 % more than in 2018.
There are five countries with the greatest quantity of Thailand tourists:
- Malaysia- 2470688 people.
- Peoples Republic of China- 1760564 people.
- Japan- 1126221 people.
- Russia- 1014493 people.
- The Republic of Korea- 1014292 people.
The part of Russian tourists in the total number of foreign tourists in 2017 was 5.31 %. Russia is a leader of the European tourist arrival to Thailand. Russia provided 24.97 % of tourists or 1 317 387 visitors in 2017.
The average duration of stay of the foreign visitors (as of 2017) was 9 days. At that, the tourists brought in the income of 11 billion euro. In 2016 Thailand took 18th place among the most visited countries of the world.
The main competitors of Thailand are such countries as: Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The peak of tourist activity falls at Christmas and New Year holidays.
First of all, the tourists from Asia are attracted by the historical and cultural and natural places of interest of Bangkok and its surroundings. And the residents of Western countries prefer the southern part of Thailand with its beaches and islands.
The distinctive feature of Thailand tourism is an increasing quality of people, coming here from the northern latitude for the long-term “wintering”. Usually, they stay in Thailand from November to April, as it is the most climatic favorable season.