TAT survey shines a critical light on the image of Thailand
Safety is the chief concern for foreign tourists visiting Thailand, according to a survey by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
The Thailand Destination Image survey concluded safety problems are destroying the image of Thai tourism.
Tourists from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Italy have the least confidence in visiting Thailand because of previous bad experiences with fraud and service misunderstandings.
On top of this, many foreign tourists have the perception that whenever Thailand faces a crisis, it is bad at responding to it and managing it.
The survey was conducted by Eureka Consulting between Feb 20 and March 31 among 3,640 respondents from 14 key tourism markets, both first-time travellers to the country and repeat visitors.
The survey tried to determine Thailand's tourism image in the eyes of foreign tourists.
The safety category received four points, meaning it was the most important concern.
Nightlife tours obtained the lowest score of 2.55 points.
Tourism crisis management and the 24-hour tourism hotline service both rated 2.81 points.
Another concern is tourists do not see advertisements with positive images of Thailand when they arrive.
Some tourists also complained about being overcharged by Phuket taxi drivers.
Most tourists recognise Thailand is a great value-for-money destination, with Korean tourists mentioning there is no other place in the world that can offer such comfort for similar prices.
Asian tourists are also fond of Thailand's shopping prices for product quality.
The top five reactions to Thai tourism were welcoming, friendly, amazing, happy, and exciting.
The five lowest reaction marks from tourists were for being a slow country, for being a sexy country, for being a messy country, for being a shy country and for being a noisy country.
The most important factors for tourists coming to Thailand are beautiful beaches, rated at 3.29 points, variety of spas and wellness clinics at 3.13 points and variety of adventure activities at 3.12 points.