Tourism in Thailand

Tourism is  a  major  economic  factor in the Kingdom of Thailand,
directly   contributing  an  estimated 7.3% to Thailand's   GDP in
2012.  When  including    the   indirect   effects    of    tourism, it
accounted for 16.7% of Thailand's GDP. On  June 1, 2013,  Time
magazine  reported  that Bangkok   was   identified  as the  most
visited city in the world by the 2013 Global Destination Cities Index,
while  Suvarnabhumi  Airport   was   the  world's most geotagged
location on Instagram in 2013. The Tourism Authority of Thailand
(TAT)  uses  the  slogan "Amazing Thailand" to promote Thailand
internationally.

Among   the   reasons   for  the  increase  in tourism in the 1960s
were  the stable  political  atmosphere  and  the development  of
Bangkok  as   a   crossroads   of international  air  transportation.
The  hotel  industry  and retail   industry  both   expanded rapidly
due  to   tourist  demand.  It was boosted by the presence of US
GIs who started  to arrive  in the 1960s for rest and recuperation
(R&R)     during     the      Vietnam    War.    Concomitantly,
international   mass  tourism  sharply  increased  during the same
period ue to the  rising standard  of living, more people  acquiring
more  free   time,  and improvements  in  technology   making  it
possible   to   travel  further,  faster,  cheaper,   and   in   greater
numbers,    epitomised   by    the  Boeing  747  which  first   flew
commercially in 1970.

Thailand  was  one of the first players in Asia to capitalise on this
then-new  trend.   Tourist   numbers  have  grown from 336,000
foreign   visitors  and  54,000  GIs on R&R in 1967  to  over   26
million    international   guests   visiting  Thailand  in  2013.   The
average duration  of their stay in 2007 was 9.19 days, generating
an estimated 547 billion Thai baht, around 11 billion Euro.

BANGKOK THE CITY OF ANGELS

Thailand's   capital   and   gateway   city   is  BANGKOK. Founded
in  1782  by   King   Rama  I  and  located  on the banks   of  the
Chao  Phraya  River,  a few  kilometres upstream from its outflow
into the Gulf  of Siam, Bangkok sprawls  across  a  flat plain. It  is
the  capital   in  every  sense   of the word. It is where the Royal
Family resides, it is also the seat of government and administration,
and it  is   the   focal   point   for   virtually   all   major  industrial,
commercial  and   financial  activities. It   is   the   country's main
port  and   home to  one  tenth  of the  Kingdom's population.

"Krung Thep"  translates  as  "city   of  Angles" and is the first  in
the whole string of illustrious titles that properly define the  place
and,  incidentally,  earn a listing in the Guinness  Book  of Records
as the world's longest place name. To the Thais, Bangkok is always
Krung Thep, the spiritual and  symbolics and as well as the physical
heart of  the  nation.   Initial  impressions    are   of   a   modern,
dynamic   metropolis   bustling  with businesses.  The  skyline  is  
dominated    by    thrusting   highrise   buildings,  luxury   hotels,
department stores and shopping malls.
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