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Thailand Article
Thailand's hotels and restaurants looking for U.S. products
Thailand, covering 198,114 square miles in the heart of Southeast Asia, is the gateway to Indochina. Over 10 percent of the country's 64.3 million inhabitants live in Bangkok, which accounts for 90 percent of the sales of fast-moving consumer goods.
Thailand's economy has shown remarkable improvement since the financial crisis of 1997 with growth forecast to be 9 percent for 2004, following growth of 6.3 percent in 2003. Higher consumer confidence resulting from falling unemployment and rising incomes is boosting consumption. This has given a spurt to Thailand's large food service sector that now comprises some 100,000 restaurants and 5,000 hotels.

Rise in Tourism
Hotels, resorts and restaurants are heavy users of imported food products, and because tourism is flourishing, demand for such products is on the rise.

Thailand's diverse geography offers tourists a tremendous range of adventures and activities such as diving, sailing, trekking, golfing, cave exploration and rock climbing. This makes Thailand one of the world's favorite tourist destinations, with nearly 11 million people visiting the country each year. For 2004, the number of tourists may reach 12 million.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is aggressively marketing the country as a tourist hub for Asia, emphasizing the renowned hospitality of Thai culture. Along with this marketing campaign, Thailand has developed into a major convention destination for the Asian region, competing with Singapore and Hong Kong.

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