From The Report: Thailand 2016
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Endless white sandy beaches, inexpensive accommodation, tasty cuisine, exotic jungle treks and friendly locals have all propelled Thailand to its reputation as a quintessential tropical tourism destination, not only within the region but across the globe. Marketing campaigns headed by the Thai government and private sector have helped cement the industy’s position as the fourth-biggest contributor to GDP. Well-developed transport and communication infrastructure and a generous offering of luxury accommodation, gourmet restaurants and modern retail centres attract clients from the meetings, incentives, convention and exhibition, and shopping tourism segments, while an assortment of unique ecosystems ranging from tropical forests to coral reefs continues to draw in adventure and eco-minded tourists. All this is complemented by the rich cultural and religious attractions that can be found throughout the country. Thailand’s wide range of offerings has provided the travel and tourism industry with a leg up on its competitors at a crucial developmental point, when the growing number of tourists in the region display increasingly varied holiday interests and preferences. This chapter contains interviews with Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau; and Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer, AccorHotels Upper Southeast & Northeast Asia.