The world trend of a Green Global Environment indicates that everyone must be concerned about how to conserve the world's environment. The event is of great importance as the international community has paid greater attention to the course of environmental and cultural protection. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 has resulted in the signing by 182 countries of the Agenda 21 which is programmed to achieve sustainable development in various social, economic and environmental fields. The approach of this Agenda is to keep the sustainable balance among the pattern of consumption, demographics and the world's capability to support lives, the development of technologies to respond to human needs, and the careful management of natural resources. This includes tourism sector.
It is a blessing that Thailand is located in the prime location for tourism, in terms of natural attractions, culture and historical sites, which reflect the glory of the Thai civilization, Therefore, there are a great number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand each year and the number of tourists continuously rises. In 1999, 8.5 million foreign tourists visited Thailand, with a 10.5% increase from 1998. When compared to other sources of income from the export sector, such as computer parts, textile products and electrical appliances, tourism is ranked the second most income earning sector or worth 253,018 million baht. At present, tourism is now the most income earning sector worthing more than 300,000 million baht.
Tourism also generates both direct and indirect employment, accounting for 11% of the total employment or around 3.42 million people. Moreover, tourism also earns the Government's revenue from various taxes and customs amounting to 79 billion baht.
Thailand Ecotourism Information Center
Tourism Authority of Thailand