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Does Thailand Not Care About Western Tourism?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thailand, specifically the tourism industry and a lot of folks have been asking me in the past couple of months, "Does Thailand just not care about Western tourists anymore?"

I don't think that is a fair assessment. I don't even think it is a particularly fair question. The fact of the matter is the demography of tourists has changed fundamentally and in certain cases, if you look at it from a certain angle it has changed really, really quickly so what I mean to say is whereas at one time, Western tourists made up a large proportion of the sort of high-end tourists that Thailand really, really liked and believe me Thailand sort of in an institutional level does want tourism of all types so long as tourists abide by the laws and they come to Thailand and obviously spending money is a good thing and you know pay their taxes while they are here have a good time and leave; that is great. Thailand really wants to encourage that but I have seen a lot of Westerners asking themselves "Do they just not really care about us anymore?"  I don't think that is fair. The demographics have simply shifted. China, it is my understanding now accounts for over 30 million tourists coming in to Thailand in any given year whereas for example the United States comes to less than a percentage point if you are looking at it. I believe the UK is like maybe 3% of the overall tourism. The number of Indian tourist has been climbing substantially and in the wake of the recent trade wars and things, and some of the fallout associated with the appreciating Baht etc., we have seen a rather marked decline in tourism here in Kingdom and that marked decline has primarily come from Chinese tourists and their absence is being felt, for lack of a better term. 

So while I do not believe there is any hostility or anything towards the Western tourist, I think Western tourists could most accurately be described more and more as more of a niche sort of tourist akin maybe even to in the past certain types of Japanese tourists and Korean tourists were viewed as sort of a niche tourist.  Chinese tourists, not too long ago, just a couple years ago were viewed as sort of almost a niche tourist.  Now, in many ways the Western tourist is much more the niche tourist and for that reason, Thailand's priorities have shifted somewhat and they definitely are going to try to be accommodating to the larger volume of tourists. Now how that plays out long-term remains to be seen. 

But again, the thing to take away from this video this is not hostility, it is simply a reflection of the circumstances as they stand and I think it is safe to presume we are going to see high numbers of Chinese and Indian tourists especially, into the foreseeable future and for that reason Thailand is going to react in an accommodating way in order to be hospitable toward those tourists as they are coming in in such a high volume.