Thailand drops 11 places in tourism ranking

Tourists travel on a Tuk Tuk taxi near Ratchaprasong intersection. (File photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Tourists travel on a Tuk Tuk taxi near Ratchaprasong intersection. (File photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Tourism operators are disappointed with the government for failing to improve the country’s position in the travel and tourism development index, after Thailand dropped to 47th place, from 36th, in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) index.

Among Southeast Asian nations, three countries outperformed Thailand – Singapore, which was ranked 13th, followed by Indonesia (22nd) and Malaysia (35th).

Thailand had the lowest score in tourist services and infrastructure at 2.18 of 7, while the overall index of infrastructure and services also secured a low average score of 3.61.

The Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta) said the index proved that post-pandemic tourism was dependent on existing selling points rather than improving and developing services and infrastructure.

“Since the previous government, we’ve been disappointed that the master plan for developing the tourism industry didn’t take shape. The current government might have a good initiative to lure tourists, such as the visa-free scheme, but in terms of planning for an improvement in infrastructure and services, we still haven’t seen a difference from the previous government,” the association's president said.

Atta and other tourism associations under the Federation of Thai Tourism Associations will submit a plan to Tourism Minister Sermsak Pongpanich on May 30 when he joins Atta’s monthly meeting.

The plan sets out threats and obstacles to the development of the tourism industry in Thailand.

The president said the current government has wasted too much time on visiting provinces during the past few months, which meant the tourism minister was not able to focus on improving the quality of the tourism experience.

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Vocabulary

  • dependent: needing somebody/something in order to survive or be successful - ที่ต้องพึ่งพิง
  • index: a number that shows the price, value, or level of something compared with something else - ดัชนี
  • infrastructure: a set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, e.g., the telephone and transport systems in a country or the system of train tracks that a railway uses - สาธารณูปโภค
  • initiative: a new action or movement, often intended to solve a problem - ความคิดริเริ่ม
  • lure: to attract someone/something - ล่อใจ, หลอกล่อ, ยั่วยวน
  • obstacle: a difficulty or problem that prevents you from achieving something - อุปสรรค ขวากหนาม
  • outperform: to do well in a particular job or activity compared to others of a similar type - ทำสำเร็จกว่า
  • previous: happening or existing before the event or object that you are talking about - แต่ก่อน, เมื่อก่อน
  • take shape: to develop and become more complete or organised - เป็นตัวเป็นตน, เป็นรูปเป็นร่าง
  • threat: a danger - อันตราย
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