Thailand's approach to destination resilience: An historical perspective of tourism resilience from 2002 to 2018

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Tourism Review International, 2018, 22 (3), pp. 277 - 292
Issue Date:
2018-01-01
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Thailand Resilience edits Jul 2018.docxAccepted Manuscript Version166.77 kB
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© 2018 Cognizant, LLC. Thailand's inbound tourism industry has grown significantly during the early part of the 21st century. By the end of 2017, Thailand attracted the highest level of international tourist visitation of the 10-nation Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) with 35.38 million international visitors. By 2017, it was the ninth most visited country in the world and ranked second only to China as the most visited national destination in Asia. A key characteristic of Thailand's government destination management and marketing organization [Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)] and the private sector of Thailand's tourism industry has been a remarkable capacity for destination resilience. This article focuses on the resilience of Thailand as a destination between 2002 and 2018 through the theoretical prism of organizational resilience and the destination sustainability framework. During this period, Thailand's tourism industry overcame a range of potentially damaging crises and reputational challenges. This article seeks to explain the TAT's commitment to embedding resilience into its strategic planning. TAT's extensive implementation of effective risk and crisis management best practices has enabled Thailand's tourism market to recover rapidly from a range of challenges. TAT's commitment to resilience is enhanced by its extensive cooperation with both its private sector stakeholders and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), which is headquartered in Bangkok. The Thai tourism industry's commitment to risk and crisis management reflects the importance of tourism to Thailand's national reputation, image, and economy. TAT's close relationship with PATA and ASEAN Tourism, two transnational tourism associations with a strong commitment to destination resilience, has helped to benchmark Thailand's qualitative approach to tourism resilience. TAT demonstrates a clear appreciation that rapid recovery from crisis events and effective contingency management practice require a high level of collaboration with key stakeholders. Numerous private sector stakeholders with a vested interest in the success of Thai tourism represent all sectors of the tourism industry. They have readily contributed their resources and support to Thailand's marketing campaigns.
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