The Thai Chamber of Commerce has warned that Thailand is in danger of losing out to Malaysia and Singapore in the battle to attract tourists. Aat Pisanwanich, a director, said that other ASEAN countries had improved their tourist and hospitality profiles while Thailand appeared to be standing still. “Foreign visitors are less satisfied than they once were with the Siamese Smile,” he said whilst adding that some front-line staff tended to look displeased. He suggested that the service industry in Thailand should concentrate on improving staff attitudes or risk losing many visitors in the future. Other suggestions were to improve the language skills of staff, not only in English but in Japanese and Chinese as well. If these improvements were made, the Chamber concluded, Thailand could well draw up to 34 million tourists a year by the end of this decade with their revenue of 1.65 trillion baht contributing over 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Currently Malaysia attracts slightly more than the 22 million visitors to Thailand at 25 million with Singapore next at 14 million.
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