Eight Must-haves Before Embarking On Thailand Tourism
Don't disturb any known turtle nesting sites, and if you go on a night tour to see these creatures, be sure you are in a small group and avoid flash photography, which disorientates them. Though numbers have fallen in recent years, endangered hawksbill and green turtles still nest on several of Thailand's beaches - including Koh Tao, meaning Turtle Island". They are, quite simply, victims of abuse and rape.
We say 'working', but in fact, these young people should never be described as child sex workers. In 2007, ECPAT International estimated that there were around 60,000 children 'working in sex tourism' in Thailand, with children trafficked from poverty-stricken neighbouring countries to fuel the trade. Other children are former street children who have been picked up by traffickers.
Many families - largely from rural areas - are tricked into selling their children and told they will have a better life. The sad fact is that tourism has now turned elephants into a lucrative business - a crushed" baby can be worth tens of thousands of pounds. Their wild instincts remain, therefore, and baby elephants must endure a horrific process known as phajaan - or crushing" their wild spirit - to tame them into submission.
One thing to bear in mind is that elephants are not domesticated" in the same way as dogs or horses, as they have never been bred for captivity in the same way as other species. This encompasses a wide range of activities, from performing in circus-like shows and being ridden around city centres, to carrying tourists through the jungle to being bathed by volunteers. Just this week, a tourist from the Isle of Man was pulled dead from the water in Phuket.
Last summer a bomb detonated at a resort in the Gulf of Thailand, killing four Thai people and injuring dozens of foreigners , while news regularly hits the headlines of deaths of tourists. Despite years of political turmoil and several coups by the army, the number of tourists to Thailand hasn't faltered. The increase in Chinese tourists from 15.9 million in 2010 to 32.6 million last year was partly down to a 2012 film called Lost in Thailand, an immensely popular road trip movie, the FT reported.
In 2016, around one million Brits visited the ‘Land of Smiles,' but the real influx is from China and Russia. For the last ten years the number of Europeans visiting Thailand has steadily increased. While the market may not be as big as others, 67 percent of the tourists repeat their visit to Thailand food and drink, making it one of their top travel destinations.
The Middle East is seen by TAT as one of the most important markets to increase Thailand's ‘quality tourism' benchmark given this propensity for luxury and healthcare tourism. In addition to this, there are also plans to expand into neighboring countries in South America like Argentina - the second highest source of tourists from South America after Brazil. To tap the importance of this new market and promote tourism for Thailand, TAT plans to open an office in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian city with the largest population.