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Guidelines for Recovering Thailand’s Tourism Image After Political Crisis

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Asia Pacific region was the world’s highest growing in terms of the tourism industry in 2004. Therefore, the revenue from tourism industry is one of the significant sources for developing country in this region. According to Zhang, Qu and Tavitiyaman (2009), tourism is playing the major role to enlarge the foreign exchange earnings, increasing the number of international tourists in a growing labor-intensive industry (Richer, 1999). As a result, most tourism destinations attempt to be attentive on their country’s image to raise the number of foreign tourists for generating more income to their nation and local community (Henkel et al., 2006). Since 1960, Thailand is one of the countries with tourism that rapidly raised the number of foreign tourists from 0.08 million to 11.5 million in 2005. Moreover, during the same period the income of the country also increased from US$10 million to more than US$9.13 billion (Zhang, Qu and Tavitiyaman, 2009).

Over the past three years, Thailand has been suffering on from shaky political situation that caused the dropping number of foreign tourists and decreased the image of the country as a tourist destination (Batra, 2008). The political crisis was defamatory to the country’s image and other tourist generating regions also postponed their trip or changed their destination to different regions (MINTEL, 2009). Currently, the country of smile has changed to a grimace and the warm welcome destination has turned into greeting with blood (Horn, 2010). Due to the political issue, Thailand one out of 149 countries around the world considered unsafe (GPI, 2010).

Therefore, this research will have as basis the study on the Beneficial Model to understand the image of destination on each sector (Tap...

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