One of Thailand’s primary revenue streams is tourism, with it contributing around 18 percent to the country’s GDP in a typical year. There are various reasons why around 40 million people visit the Southeast Asian country every year, with it being known for its climate, cuisine, and culture.
The government is now proposing to develop a brand-new entertainment complex to allure even more people to book holidays there. If this comes to fruition, Thailand could one day compete with spots like Macao for entertainment tourism.
Thailand Already One of the Most Popular Tourist Destinations
In the tourism rankings of ASEAN countries, Thailand is number one, with Malaysia and Singapore trailing by a significant margin. It also places in the top ten countries in the world for visitors, ahead of the UK and Japan and just behind Germany. Travelers flock to Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai for numerous reasons, with the agreeable climate being a major draw. Thai food is also one of the world’s most popular cuisines, with the country ranking in the top ten in CNN’s list.
The government in Thailand has recently been discussing how it can corner the tourism market further and entice even more people to the country. One proposal that has long been touted is a casino-entertainment complex similar to the controlled gambling areas found in Las Vegas and Macao. MPs voted heavily in favor – 310 to 9 – to set up a committee researching the possibilities of bringing such a project to fruition. It was reported that most of these officials were aware of the potential for economic growth from a development like this, which would give rise to hundreds of jobs as well as boost tourism figures.
Entertainment Complex Could Rival Places Like Macao
Thailand will have observed the rise of Macao over the last decade enviously, as the Chinese city has become the world’s biggest gambling destination. Casinos now contribute to around 40 percent of the GDP in the region, highlighting how affluent it is. The buzzing hotspot attracts plenty of players from Thailand and the other surrounding Southeast Asian countries, as many of these have few options.
Gambling is already popular in Thailand as there is a thriving online casino scene, so there is likely to be plenty of domestic interest to complement the tourists they are aiming to attract. Information hubs such as Asiabet recommend online casinos based on various factors as there are so many options for players to choose from. Licensing and odds are important areas, but the promotions available are pivotal due to the bonuses they offer. This could be something the land-based entertainment complex takes note of when they open as these sites have learned from experience.
With the Land of Smiles arguably being able to offer a better-rounded tourism experience, if the government did decide to open a sprawling entertainment hub, there’s a chance that it could lure players away from Macao.
This Could Boost Thailand’s Global Reputation
Aside from helping to boost tourism, a bustling entertainment complex in the country could have other major benefits for Thailand. For example, filmmakers could turn it into an iconic location like Las Vegas by using it as a setting for films and television series.
There have only been a select few famous Thai films and actors over the years, but this seems to be changing thanks to platforms like Netflix. There are various Thai offerings on the streaming service, with the recent Bangkok Breaking receiving strong reviews. Viewers can also watch Thai classics on there such as Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior and Pee Mak.
Las Vegas has been used as one of the biggest draws to encourage people to travel to the USA in the past, thanks to its depiction in film. Stylish pictures like Ocean’s Eleven and The Hangover have highlighted the variety on offer there, showing that the entertainment diversity spans way beyond gambling. The Thai film industry could seek to do similar cross-promotion, helping to boost a new entertainment complex and the international appeal of its films at the same time.
Plans for an entertainment complex in Thailand are unlikely to come to pass any time soon, as the concept is still in its embryonic stages. However, if it ends up being built, it is likely to help the country shoot even further up the global tourism rankings. This is something that, perhaps, countries like New Zealand could learn from.