How much does hospitality contribute to Thailand’s economy?

Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and the Thai economy benefits hugely from the multibillion-dollar tourism sector.

Renowned as one of the most beautiful locations in Asia, there is a plentiful mix of destinations in this magical country. If you want to visit a vast, sprawling city, Bangkok is the place to stay. However, if you prefer a traditional area with more of a cultural aspect to it, you can visit Chiang Mai in the north.

Island life is another area where the tourism industry is again returning to its full potential following the lockdown. You can visit Phi Phi and other regional islands, including Koh Tao and Koh Lanta.

The inflation rate in Thailand has been lower than in many other developed nations. Therefore, it is good to ask yourself: what causes inflation and how does it impact the economy?” to get a bigger picture of why this fact is essential and helps to buoy the Thai economy.

Since it is a hugely popular destination for Western travelers, many of us know somebody who has visited Thailand at least once. Despite the distance and time it takes to fly there from Europe, it is one of the most popular destinations in the world.

Compared to GDP

Various figures have placed Thailand’s tourism economy as being worth between $40bn and $55bn. This means it takes up between 15-20% of their GDP and is an astonishing sum of money. Unfortunately, many countries with a strong tourist industry have yet to reach this level of income from tourism.

As we touched on in the introduction, one of the critical reasons for this is the variety of tourism on offer. In addition, electronic machinery and food manufacturing comprise over half of Thai exports as it is one of the world’s primary workshops.

However, it is such a well-varied and solid economy that it is world-class in other areas too. Given the size and success of the sector,  sports tourism has become a flourishing industry.

Due to Thailand’s size, dozens of locations focus on its historical culture. In addition, there are thousands of temples, dozens of individual islands, party cities, towns and serene wilderness. When compared with countries in Europe, it is gigantic.

You often have to take internal flights between locations in Thailand to fully explore the size and scope of its tourism industry.

Main industries that drive the hospitality boom

The catering options in Thailand’s main cities are one of the hundreds of reasons why people travel there. Bangkok has world-famous restaurants.

Thai cuisine is another incredibly successful export. It is unique, instantly recognizable and so diverse that people visit Thailand just to sample the food. Hospitality that caters for local tastes is one of the multiple components of one of the world’s most significant and broad tourism industries.

Alongside the cultural aspect and the hundreds of temples you can visit, there are also tourist attractions. This includes locations such as Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed in 2000.

It is considered one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s most legendary roles. As a result, it gained a cult following, becoming a backdrop for many backpackers and travelers who want to sample Maya Bay.

Places to stay

One thing that is a constant is that the hospitality industry in the country is world-class. Whether you stay in a cheap hostel or a 5-star hotel, you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere that doesn’t give you real value.

Visiting the north and south of the country are like two different holidays. As somebody who has been fortunate enough to witness the full scope of the beauty of this country, I know it is immense.

You can sample the true beauty of the Thailand experience by allowing the hospitality industry to cater to your every need. For example, if you stay in a cheap hostel in one of the main areas, you will be surprised at how much value you can get for such an affordable price.


Hospitality, being one of the country’s most significant sectors, contributes immensely to the overall strength of Thailand’s GDP. Thailand is also known for its friendly and accommodating nature and people. The beaches are serene and the views are breathtaking.

This would in most cases be enough, but combining it with authentic cuisine and highly rated accommodation levels across the country makes it easy to see why hospitality makes up such a massive slice of their overall economy.


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

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