What is the largest demographic of tourists in Thailand?
I have been a guest in Thailand for almost 20 years now and have traveled throughout much of the country. In the past, most of the other tourists were from various European countries, plenty of backpackers, and just a few Americans.
But now the largest demographic of tourists in Thailand is from China. Hands down. Cross my chopsticks. Recently, I had to be in Bangkok for a day which is more than enough for me. In order to live in this country, immigration laws require my annual trip to the US Embassy in Bangkok which is located more or less in the heart of the city.
With my paperwork completed, I had until the following day to wander around the Big Mango before flying home. I like to walk and observe people and the shopping malls are great for this. They seem to stretch for miles and are filled with both Thais and tourists.
The Chinese tour groups were the dominant shoppers. Did I say hands down and cross my chopsticks? Literally, hordes of Chinese would migrate like wildebeests through shops looking for the best bargain or the largest buffet. They can clean an all- you- can- eat restaurant down to the bones in a matter of minutes. And most of the food ends up stuffed in a bag or on the floor. I have seen kindergarten students behave better in the school canteen.
Thailand relies heavily upon the tourism dollar. While the profits may be good now, the long-term aspects of too many thoughtless guests will destroy what brought all of the other tourists to Thailand, to begin with. And unfortunately, it will eventually happen. Hands down. Cross my chopsticks. Greed will ruin Thailand.