Thailand’s history, cuisine, friendly locals, and natural beauty have long drawn visitors, but the country has seen a huge boom in tourism that only continues to increase with each passing year.
According to The World Bank, an organisation that tracks tourism in nations around the world, in 1995, just under seven million people visited Thailand; by 2014, that number had reached over twenty-four million visitors annually, and this year 30 million +. Although part of this increase can be attributed to reduced prices on flights, and an overall increase in international travel, much of it is connected to the nation’s efforts to draw visitors in greater numbers and a stunning natural beauty.
Diversity Attracts All Types of Tourist
Hotels and resorts have sprung up throughout Thailand, particularly in hubs of activity such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Thailand’s Islands. The country has a number of particularly popular destinations and activities, some of which have been around for centuries, with some being far more modern. The Grand Palace in Bangkok, the Chiang Mai Zoo, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, and the National Museum of Royal Barges are some of the most visited locations in Thailand.
The Kingdom of Thailand is popular for travellers of many interests because of its varied landscapes. Thailand’s islands and reefs draw thousands of divers and beach lovers each year, while its forests and mountains draw hikers and outdoor adventurers from around the globe. The modern amenities of Bangkok are popular for shopping, sightseeing, and business-related travel, while the old world temples and cities draw history-lovers from all areas.
Thailand’s many festivals also draw large crowds throughout the year. In fact, more than one million tourists visited between February 6th-14th of this year alone for the Lunar New Year. It’s true that this Chinese holiday did draw mostly Chinese visitors, but many others came from around the world to experience this unique, colourful holiday.
Thailand a “Trip Of A Lifetime”
Thailand’s tourists hail from countries across Asia and around the world. Britain’s Wanderlust Magazine named Thailand one of its “Trips of a Lifetime,” as well as a leader in ecotourism. U.S. News & World Report’s list it one of the Top Places to Visit in Asia, Bangkok claiming the number seven spot.
According to Reuters, China provided the highest percentage of Thailand’s tourists, with more than eight million native Chinese visiting in 2015. Another three million tourists were from Malaysia, and just under one-and-a-half million were from Japan. Thailand also had more than nine-hundred-thousand visitors from Great Britain. Each of these numbers represent increases from previous years, some as much as twenty-percent higher than they were just last year.
Some Tourists Want To Stay Forever
Some visitors to this beautiful country quickly discover that they no longer feel like tourists and look to lay down roots. Thanks to Thailand’s booming real estate market, those looking to make the country their home will have no trouble finding property within their price range. After your first visit to Thailand, don’t be surprised if you find yourself dreaming of renting a condo in Phuket, an apartment in Bangkok, or perhaps a house in Chiang Mai.
The Future Of Tourism in Thailand
The sharp increase in tourism throughout the last decade is showing no signs of slowing down in the coming years. In fact, this year experts estimate that the country may receive between thirty and thirty-two million visitors. As major cities across the country continue to build in order to keep up with the increase, they are even more likely to attract more tourists looking to experience the culture and beauty of Thailand.
Update: A staggering 32,600,000 tourists visited Thailand in 2016, a 9% increase on the previous year.
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