Bangkok Tourism: The Climb to the Top
With Bangkok taking the throne as the world’s top destination, it is not surprising that tourism is a major economic boost for Thailand. The story of success started back in the 1960s, with the (unfortunate) arrival of US soldiers coinciding with the boom in international tourism. The numbers of visitors to the country have been rising steadily and reached 22 million in 2012. This year the forecast for Bangkok tourism alone, predicts the capital will be visited by 16 million people, generating an income of 14.3 billion US dollars.
Bangkok is the main entry point into the Kingdom and most tourists’ first impression of the country. The outcome of this meeting seems to be favourable as 55% of the visitors return. Most arrivals are from the Asian-Pacific Region, with the Chinese, Malaysian and Japanese tourists making up the three top nationality groups. Apparently the Chinese arrival rates peaked after the release of the Chinese movie Lost in Thailand in 2012, which was filmed in Chiang Mai. Westerners tend to arrive when the weather cools down in Europe, with the most popular period being December to February. The number of domestic guests coming to Bangkok is on the rise as well. According to the Department of Tourism, 26,861,095 Thais visited their capital in 2010, wanting to experience its historic and cultural might. In general the Asian tourists are more interested in the appeal of Bangkok and its surrounding areas, while the Westerners tend to navigate from here to the North and South of the country to experience the wilder and more adventurous side of it.
Bangkok tourism is building its reputation and rightly so, as the plethora of choices it offers caters to most tastes, habits, interests and aspirations. Some want to experience the vibrant city and its urban attractions, while others are drawn to the temples and museums. Most of them leave inspired by the spirit of a new place and happy moments, minus or plus shopping bags filled with all sorts of goods and souvenirs.