Thailand has topped fDi’s inaugural ranking of global tourism locations with the best potential for investment. The balmy Maldives is second, while Asian business hub Hong Kong has placed third.
Thailand’s food, beaches and sunshine make it a popular holiday destination for millions of tourists every year. But its popularity does not stop there. Investors are seeing great potential in the south-east Asian country’s increasingly important tourism sector.
As a result, Thailand has topped fDi‘s first ever ranking of locations for the attractiveness and investment potential of their tourism sectors.
Visitor exports, investment and employment in the sector, as well as total and direct contributions of tourism to national GDP, are forecast to increase, according to a report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Thailand’s tourism surge
In the five years to 2016, job creation from foreign investment in Thailand’s tourism sector increased by more than 200%, from just below 600 in 2012 to almost 1900 in 2016. The country, which hosted the WTTC’s 17th annual summit in Bangkok in 2017, also received the highest number of FDI projects in tourism of all 43 locations analysed in fDi‘s benchmarking study.
In May 2016, UK-based leisure club company Virgin Active committed to invest £100m ($144.6m) throughout Thailand, with the establishment of 20 new health clubs in the country. Popular hotel chains have also announced operations, including Accor Hotels, which revealed plans in March 2016 to establish 17 hotels there.
The Belgian-American Carlson Rezidor group detailed plans to triple its hotel network in Thailand by 2021,…