Thailand Tourism - Tourist Authority
Thailand's tourism is now a major source of income. Young Thais now learn English at schools and there is a great demand for English teachers. Thailand has been very successful at marketing itself and is now a popular holiday destination for those backpacking in Thailand, families and luxury travellers.
The influx of tourists has led to changes to Thai industry and the way of life in Thailand. Many of the islands in the south have stopped focussing on traditional ways of earning, such as farming and producing coconuts and other crops, and now make money from tourists. Likewise, in the north there are concerns that exposure to Western tourists through organized treks to visit the hill tribes is threatening the traditional way of life in the hill villages. The Thai government is aware of this problem and environmental concerns, and has started implementing policies to protect the environment such a granting rural and marine areas national park status. One problem is the mounting collection of plastic water bottles to be disposed of. As a responsible traveller please take care to dispose of rubbish properly. You may well see posters in guesthouses in north Thailand advising tourists on how to behave in the hill villages.
Thailand Tourist Information
Thailand is well set up for tourists and getting information is fairly easy. One good source of information is the Thailand Tourist Board (see below for more details) which is responsible for publicizing and encouraging tourism in Thailand. Otherwise look at notice boards in guesthouses or talk to other travellers. The locals tend to be helpful but it isn't always easy to find someone who speaks good English. Travel agents and tour operators usually have lists of good places to go and things to do and can organize trips for you and help you out with transport.
The Tourist Board
The official tourist agency is called Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) and has offices where you can go for information. They also have offices abroad where you can pick up brochures and ask questions before you go. They can give you information on organised tours, location of public swimming pools and tennis courts, and public holidays and local festivities. They are involved in tourist development and planning.
Things to Do in Thailand - Places to Visit - Culture - Backpacking - Festivals and Holidays - Thailand Beaches