Thailand, or the Kingdom of Thailand as it’s officially known, is an absolutely massive country. At 200,000 square miles, it puts it as the 51st largest country in the world and is equivalent to about the area of Spain. It has the 20th highest population per capita of any country in the world, leaving a cheap labor pool to use for the tourism industry. Thai Tourism is one of the reasons poverty isn’t such an issue in Thailand as it is in other Southeast Asian countries. This industry is one of many of Thailand’s key strengths.
Thailand has had a fluctuating government since its political reform in 1932, a weakness to many. Since then, it has had 17 separate constitutions and charters that have ranged from anything from military dictatorship to electoral democracy. The latest political happenings have been in the form of a coup in 2006, where the government was overthrown by a military junta. This has led to much chaos over the years, resulting in passing of a permanent constitution in 2007. There has been much oppression and repression brought by members of all different political parties over the years, though, resulting in some political uneasiness and unrest.
Although this political unrest has made many people wary of a visit to Thailand, there is no need. Thailand is considered quite safe with a crime rate that’s actually considerable low, especially given its size and population, one of its strengths. While political up rise continues to be part of Thailand’s culture is has had little effect on the tourism industry. This is good news for the country, due to its heavy dependence on the Thai tourism industry. These are the industries that help to keep its citizens out of poverty.
Another concern for tourists is the amount of scams that take place in Thailand. Although these scams are more of a nuisance and a hindrance than truly being dangerous to one’s safety, it’s just important to use common sense when traveling within the country. There is also civil conflict that takes place in Thailand, a weakness of the country in general, but almost all of it is far off from the popular tourist hotspots. It’s important to be aware that areas like Hat Yai have been the target of many attacks, as well as the railway connecting it to Sangai Kolok. Also, Thai people can be loyal to their own, forcing tourists into fights where they are vastly outnumbered. This is clearly a weakness for the Thai tourism industry but is easily avoided.
Sebastian has been traveling around South East Asia for some time and has put together a number of articles on the subject. If your interested in Thailand then check out http://www.thailandcares.com