Currency fluctuations tend to create instability and disrupt the planning activities of tourists. In times of an economic recession, there is normally a lot of fluctuation in the currencies. In the previous year, many currencies appreciated in value while some depreciated. The appreciation of Great Britain Pound and U.S. Dollar against currencies of other countries, such as third world countries, while the depreciation of the Pakistani Rupee, Indian Rupee and the Sri Lankan Rupee against the U.S. Dollar (REPORTER, Staff, 2012) made it less likely for the travelers located in such places to plan to visit countries, as expenditure on goods and services will be incurred in the appreciated currency of the destination country and will have to be supported by the depreciated home currency. This increased expenditure, especially in the times of an economic recession, is considered to be a luxury that needs to be overlooked, at least until the either the currency of the tourists home country strengthens against that of the destination country or the currency of the destination country depreciates against that of the tourists' home countries. This precarious balance of currency fluctuations governs the comings and goings of tourists to a particular holiday destination.
Other factors impacting the tourism on an international level depends upon the conditions prevailing in the destination country on a domestic level, environmental factors being some of them (COCCOSSIS, Harry and Parpairis, a, 2000). First and foremost, what tourists look for in a holiday destination is the weather and other climatic conditions of the region. They do not want it to rain all the time so that there is difficulty in exploring or stepping out of their hotels, nor do they want scorching heat to leave them thirsty and sun burnt every time they do step out. As of recent, there have been huge fluctuations in the temperature of several regions during the past few years that have left tourists avoiding certain countries as their preferred holiday spots. Unlike natural disasters and terrorist attacks, weather changes have long-lasting impressions and effects on tourism. Tourists are unlikely to forget the impacts of major environmental changes in the climate. For example, bookings in hotels in Florida, USA, dropped by 75% after hurricane Katrina struck (MANUEL PASTOR, Robert Bullard, James K.Boyce, Alice Fothergill, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Beverly Wright, 2006). But then went back up once the threat of the hurricane had elapsed. On the other hand, worsening heat conditions in certain parts of South East Asia is making regions in the area quite unpleasant for visiting tourists, who are now avoiding such locations despite the infrastructure availability. An example of such a place would be Singapore. There is also an increased awareness regarding environmental concerns in tourists and the general population in the current era. Hence, all such tourist destinations that are being thought of as unsupportive of environmental protective regimes are being dumped by tourists, while those encouraging and applying environmentally friendly practices in their tourism activities, such as conservation and upgrade of its national parks and forests, are being favored by the general international travelers today.
Other concerns that plague the tourism industry today are the social and cultural factors that prevail in certain destination countries. The most important of these social factors are the health concerns. Many countries have outbreaks of diseases prevalent that are contagious, and sometimes detrimental to the health of a tourist that happens to come in contact with it. The spread of diseases such as SARS, H1N1 Flu, Malaria, Typhoid, and sometimes, HIV / AIDS can become of a source of curtailment of holiday plans to certain countries where these diseases tend to prevalent (GLAESSER, Dr. Dirk, 2011). This includes countries such as Mexico, Columbia, Panama, Uganda, Ecuador, and Jamaica. There are often outbreaks of epidemics in African countries which has pretty much obstructed tourists from visiting them on a permanent basis. Although there is a danger of tourists contracting diseases, and falling sick wherever they go due to the change in environment, but countries which are known for epidemics and pandemics are a sure "no" for international travelers.
Other factors that influence tourism are made up of social characteristics of the destination country. Many countries are famous for their hospitality and friendly culture. This includes such countries as China, Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, etc. Tourists will be more attracted to places where the culture is accepting and hospitable. Despite of the heavy advertisement by the Australian government, the country is famous for its racism against people of color and white supremacy (LITVIN, Stephen W., 1999). Neither would any tourists want to visit countries where there are discriminatory movements and activities occurring amongst the population itself such as in Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine, Bahrain and Lebanon. There are cultural factors to be kept in mind as well. Tourists mainly visit countries to experience their natural beauty and cultural heritage sites. With many countries, again with Pakistan being one of the examples, the cultural heritage is deteriorating day by day. The once tourist plagued hills of Murree are now vacant due to the law and order, and terrorism situation in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Many of the hill station located in the country have experienced a decline in the number of tourists visiting the region due to aforementioned reasons.
The tourism industry is one of the key contributors to the economy of a country. This industry brings along with it a vast amount of influx of foreign currency, which helps to positively increase the foreign exchange reserve in a country. It is the responsibility of a nation's government to promote its tourism industry by allowing incentives such as tax exemptions and levy on duties to establish a blooming tourism industry. Increase in the popularity of a tourist destination does not only attract the tourists from other places, but also investors. These investors bring in various benefits with them to the tourism industry. Such benefits include the development of infrastructure at a popular tourist destination to ensure increased attraction for the people. Apart from the inflow of foreign exchange by the investors, the economy of a country benefits by the creation of jobs in the tourism industry. Moreover, the tourism is also responsible for the promotion of the culture of a country.
The tourism industries of many countries around the globe have been successful in the recent years in promoting their country on a global scale as one of the top tourist destinations. Among these, the tourism sector of Thailand, a famous tourist destination in Asia, has been increasingly successful in ensuring that the country becomes one of the priority destinations for tourist from around the world. Thailand has been a famous and a growing tourist destination for many years and boasts to have three of its cities, including Bangkok (ranked six), Pattaya (ranked seventeen) and Phuket (ranked twenty four), as part of the top twenty five cities as major tourist destinations around the globe (GRANT, Michelle, 2013). The authority responsible for this success for Thailand as a popular tourist destination has been 'The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)', which was established in 1960 to be specifically responsible for the promotion of the tourism industry of Thailand, within and outside the country (TAT History, 2010). The tourism industry of Thailand has been a major contributor to the economy of the country and according to statistics this sector was responsible for an estimated contribution of 6.7% of the total GDP of Thailand in 2007 (TRAVELS, Diethelm, 2007). It has not been only the international arrivals that have made the tourism successful in Thailand, the domestic visitors have contributed in huge amounts as well in the recent years, contributing an estimated total of 7.8 billion Euros only in 2007 (TAT, 2008).
In contrast to many other countries, Thailand has been quite successful to reap benefits of the development it has done for the promotion of the tourism industry. An in-depth analysis of the various factors that has led to the success of Thailand in the tourism sector will aid in identifying the real causes of such progress and would benefit in determining the actions to be further taken to ensure increased growth and progress of tourism in Thailand. Such an analysis would be in the form of a SWOT analysis and would assist in thoroughly understanding the Thailand's tourism industry and how further it can be additionally developed to avail the full tourism potential of the country.
For a tourism industry to be as successful as the one present in Thailand, it must have several strong factors. The government of Thailand has played an immensely vital role in promoting the tourism industry. To the north of the Thailand is the country of Vietnam. The Vietnam War began in 1959 and it was primarily fought…