tourism industry of Thailand plays an important role in Thailand’s economy.It generates income to Thailand,
compensating for the decreasing export values agricultural and industrial
products. It also creates jobs and employment for other related industries,
especially for tourism services, transport, and the sale of food, drink and souvenirs
to the tourists from all over the world. In 2002, the majority of tourists to
Thailand were from East and South-East Asia, such as Malaysia, Japan, China,
Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines etc. The rest were from Europe,
America and other countries.
The figures from the Kasikorn Thai
Research Centre show that China has the highest economic growth amongst the
world’s leading economies. This economic expansion of China enables its people
to increasingly travel abroad for tourism purposes.
Kunming is a major city of Yunnan
which is located in southern part of China, not very far from Thailand. It has
a population of about 4 million, and also has a cooperation project between 6
countries in the Mekong area: Greater Mekong Subregional Economic Cooperation:
MGS-EC. This project is supported by the Asia Development Bank (ADB), and will
develop transportation routes from East to West and North to South parts of the
countries. All routes will cross through Kunming, and it therefore expected to
be a chance for the people of Kunming to increasingly come to Thailand.
Therefore, the study of Thailand’s
mage as a tourist destination in the eyes of Kunming Chinese tourists will be
useful for the tourism industry of Thailand. The negative or positive opinions
of the sample group depend upon different factors such as gender, age,
education levels and occupations.