The daily robbing, bashing, drugging, extortion and murder of foreign tourists on Thai soil, along with numerous scandals involving unsafe facilities and well established scams, has led to frequent predictions that Thailand's multi-billion dollar tourist industry will self-destruct. Instead tourist numbers more than doubled in the decade to 2014. The world might not have come to the hometowns of the many visitors fascinated by Thailand, but it certainly came to the Land of Smiles.
While the Thai media is heavily censored, and bad news stories about tourists suppressed, nonetheless there is more than enough evidence to demonstrate that something has gone seriously awry with the nation's tourist industry.
In 2014, just as in the years preceding it, there were train, bus, ferry, speedboat, motorbike and car accidents, murders, knifings, unexplained deaths, numerous suicides, diving accidents, robberies gone wrong, anonymous bodies washing up on the shores and a string of alcohol and drug related incidents.
Thailand had a dying king and serious succession problems, weak democratic institutions, an economy slipping into recession, faced issues of corruption across many of its key services and was host to international crime syndicates, awash with despised foreigners and drifting perilously towards civil war.
Tourists choose one destination over another for a number of reasons, most of which Thailand scores highly on. But on the core issue of tourist safety, Thailand scores very badly indeed.
|Publisher:||A Sense Of Place Publishing|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||11 MB|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Long overdue, this is a compelling description of the disastrous consequences of mass tourism on local tourism and tourists alike and the damages that can ensue for a country that relies too much on the tourist dollar. I have been visiting Thailand for many years; and I too have noticed the tourist industry's descent into chaos. The founders wanted to open up the country to tourists as a way of showcasing the country's many beauties. Instead it has acquired a dire reputation for drugs and sleaze. As the author describes it, there has been "a drift from curiosity to contempt" on the part of the locals faced with millions of drunken travellers every year. The failure of the travel industry to warn consumers of the dangers they are facing by visiting the so-called Land of Smiles is in itself a scandal. I thoroughly recommend this book, which as one reviewer I've seen so aptly described it, is a "riveting eye-opener".