In the second part of How _________ makes a billion-dollar economy, FaultLines looks at the economy of evergreen tourist destination, Thailand. Thailand’s attractiveness as a tourist destination remains evergreen as millions of tourists continue to flock to the Southeast Asian nation, providing much-needed momentum to its economy.

As a part of Vlog: Viren Tak takes you through some worth sightseeing places in Thailand.


Close to the Grand Palace in Bangkok, a group of Asian tourists steps out of the coach. Most of them wear blue hats, colourful t-shirts, and sunglasses. They hastily follow a local tour guide who has an umbrella in his hand, the umbrella is now what this group of tourists will follow for rest of the day as they explore the Thai capital.

This is a very common scene in Thailand, as millions flock in to visit the country. It reflects the enormous popularity of Thailand as a tourist destination.

In 2017 Thailand added 37 million tourists, a 7 % rise from the 2016 figure.  Thailand is one of the most talked-about countries in terms of tourism and possesses certain secrets that add billions to its weak economy.

A video log of Viren Tak’s journey through Bangkok, as he witnesses what makes Thailand so speacial. Do watch

Peace and Conflict Harmony

The impact of major riots, live shootings, clamp down on protests in Bangkok, bombings at various tourist destinations in 2014 and a government overthrow by the military in a  coup d’état has been very restricted.

More so, tourists have gathered on Thai beaches to enjoy some of the most breath-taking sceneries and exotic locations.

Bang Saen in Chonburi and Jomtien Beach in Pattaya, that have been overrun with crowds of tourists in recent years, there remain numerous incredible stretches of sand that are tranquil and secluded.

 

Thai building on their rich history and culture

October 2016, tragedy hit Thailand when its deeply loved long-serving king of 70 years, Bhumibol Adulyadej died and the country went into deep mourning.

The subdued atmosphere hit consumption as the nation toned down celebrations and festivities as a mark of respect.

Yet, its impact on tourism was limited. Last year, Thailand welcomed over 32 million tourists, twice as much as seven years ago, according to statistics compiled by the World Bank.

This year, the Tourism Council of Thailand, an umbrella organization for Thai tour companies, estimates the number to be about 34.4 million tourists.

95% of the Thai population is Buddhist, which means that tourists are welcome to huge, gold-laden monasteries.

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The Chakri dynasty is the current ruling royal house of the Kingdom of Thailand and has been largely credited with reviving the economy of the kingdom from the time it took over.

Thailand’s history is complex and the legend has it that the place was a bustling centre even during the Palaeolithic period of the Stone Age 20,000 years ago.

There are over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand. So no matter which part of the country you find yourself in, there have got to be temples, shrines, and pagodas for you to visit so you can better understand Buddhist culture.

A temple’s architecture is representative of the construction style of the era it was built in, and since most date back to the different dynasties, their architectural features are of significant importance.

Thai Markets Are Worth Seeing

The markets in Thailand are like no others in the world. Each has its own distinct character, from the crowds they attract to the items that are for sale. The floating market is one of the most iconic. If you want to be closer to the lifestyle of the people of Thailand, the night market is one of the must-go places.

 

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market used to be a market for locals but has now become a tourist attraction. It is very crowded, but this makes it all the more fun. You’ll be amazed at how people are able to maneuver boats through the jammed canals.

 

The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC, recently renamed from NESDB) stated begin February 2019 that Tourism accounted for 18.4 % (or close to one fifth) of the GDP of Thailand. It has risen from a level of 14.2 % of GDP just four years earlier.

A relatively recent development is the ever-increasing number of Chinese mainland visitors. They surpassed 10.5 million visitors in 2018, making up 27.5 % of the total.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Video Log by- Viren Tak Viren

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