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[Source: Thailand Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department] Thailand is arguable more into developing tourism than any other country. Nobody will do try anything new until it’s a proven success.
The tourism industry accounts for around six or seven percent of Thailand’s GDP.For this type of tourism, visitors tour natural and cultural sites with a sense of responsibility; their objectives are to learn about and enjoy the destinations, as well as create opportunities for residents and the Thai economy, so that resources of the country are used sustainably.Historical tourism: Thailand has several interesting historical sites available for tourism, such as the historical parks in Ayutthaya and Si Satchanalai, where the past glory of the Thai Kingdom can be felt, or the archeological sites of Ban Chiang and the Dinosaur Museum, which take visitors back to ancient times. Tourists find much of interest in Thai art and culture.In 1963 the number of foreign visitors to Thailand jumped 49 percent.Percentage of foreign tourists by continent: 1) East Asia, 52.37 percent; 2) Europe, 27.22 percent; 3) The Americas, 6.19 percent; 4) Oceania, 5.47 percent; 5) South Asia, 4.85 percent; 6) Middle East. [Source: Tourism Development Office, Ministry of Tourism and Sports] Top ten nationalities of foreign tourists visiting Thailand: 1) Malaysia, 12.56 percent; 2) Japan, 7.89 percent; 3) Korea, 6.11 percent; 4) China, 5.66 percent; 5) United Kingdom, 5.63 percent; 6) Australia, 4.77 percent; 7) the United States, 4.57 percent; 8) Laos 4.36 percent; 9) Singapore 3.92 percent; 10) Germany 3.72 percent.
On one hand ecotourism has helped raise awareness on issues like deforestation and poaching but on the other hand the rush to develop has strained natural resources and damaged the environment in places like Phuket and Pattaya. Tourism makes a larger contribution to Thailand’s economy (typically about 6 to 7 percent of gross domestic product) than that of any other Asian nation. However, terrorism in southern Thailand and in Indonesia and natural disasters, most notably the December 2004 tsunami, have taken their toll on tourism.