Connect with us

Tourism

How Thailand Became a Tourist Hotspot during the 60’s

But the industry barely existed before 1960. Its origins were in fact born out of a dark passage of American history

Avatar

Published

on

Golden temples, beautiful beaches, bustling night markets. Thailand has long been a world-famous tourist destination. It’s expecting a record number of 40 million visitors in 2019 – well over half the country’s population.

And it’s dependent on tourist dollars – it accounts for about 20% of GDP.

But the industry barely existed before 1960. Its origins were in fact born out of a dark passage of American history. Here’s how war made Thailand a tourist destination.

3 million American soldiers sent to South East Asia

The Vietnam War saw over 3 million American soldiers sent to South East Asia. Many would be stationed in Thailand, which became a major ally in the region and home to seven US air bases. At the height of the conflict, some 50,000 military personnel were stationed throughout Thailand.

As America’s involvement in Vietnam deepened, more resources were pumped into the support network in Thailand.

As well as building highways and ports, the US sent aid for other infrastructure and social projects, aiming to improve living standards and combat the spread of communism.

All the while, Thailand’s capital Bangkok became a centre for air travel, as international airlines found it a convenient location to refuel.

It was here in Bangkok where many American soldiers headed for Rest and Recuperation, or ‘R and R’ days.

Thousands of coloured neon signs proclaim the city’s bars, bathhouses, massage parlours, and dozens of luxurious night clubs, each with its pretty Thai hostesses.

The infrastructure built for U.S. soldiers and businesses – at a cost of over $1.6 billion in military and aid spending- created the foundation for today’s Thai tourism industry.

The notorious red-light districts were hard to resist for soldiers who had spent months enduring the terror of the jungle.

And US soldiers were also big spenders, handing over almost $11 million in 1967.

That’s around 22% of total expenditure by foreign visitors. And as the numbers of soldiers and other visitors began to rise, tourism infrastructure increased too.

Plush air-conditioned hotels abound and new shoebox style office buildings dominate the skyline in a helter skelter transformation of what was once a sedate oriental port.

As the war ended in 1975, the number of tourists dropped – but only briefly – the industry would go from strength to strength in the following decades.

The infrastructure built for U.S. soldiers and businesses – at a cost of over $1.6 billion in military and aid spending- created the foundation for today’s Thai tourism industry.

In 2018, Thailand is expected to make $63 billion from tourism. But Americans are no longer the big spenders anymore, another superpower has taken that title – the Chinese.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Load WordPress Sites in as fast as 37ms!
Comments

Tourism

TAT Launches ‘Krabi Premium’ concept

In 2018, Krabi received ‘Global Low-Carbon Ecological Scenic Spot’ honours at the 2018 Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements and Sustainable Cities award ceremony, UNESCAP.

Tourism Authority Thailand

Published

on

Bangkok, September 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Krabi Office is launching its ‘Krabi Premium’ marketing concept aimed at delivering ‘the best of the best’ of Krabi.

(more…)

Continue Reading

China

How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals

Over the last two decades, the number of Chinese overseas travellers rose by over 25 times from 5.3 million in 1997 to 130 million in 2017, contributing an estimated US$250 billion to overseas economies

East Asia Forum

Published

on

Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Tourism

Thailand secures six PATA Grand and Gold Awards 2019

The six winners from Thailand will be among 27 separate organisations and individuals to receive the recognitions at the 2019 PATA Gold Awards Dinner and Award Presentation in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan on 19 September

Tourism Authority Thailand

Published

on

Bangkok, 12 September 2019 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to share that its “Khon, An Aesthetic Art of Drama” poster and five other Thai tourism products and services are among the winners of the 2019 PATA Grand and Gold Awards.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Most Read

Upcoming Events

Mon 21

34th International Conference on Dental and Oral Health

October 21 @ 9:00 am - October 22 @ 5:00 pm BMT
Nov 06

2nd World Congress on Pediatrics and Child care

November 6 @ 8:00 am - November 7 @ 7:00 pm BMT
Radisson Hotel Narita
Tomisato-shi
Nov 07

3rd World Congress On Gynecology, Obstetrics & Reproductive Health

November 7 @ 9:00 am - November 8 @ 4:00 pm BMT

Press Release

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11,595 other subscribers

Trending