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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 due 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.


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.