THAILAND’S foreign ministry on Saturday denounced World Economic Forum (WEF) report that listed the kingdom as one of the 20 most dangerous countries to visit.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Busadee Santipitaks said the WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report was outdated and biased, and did not reflect the recently improved situation, The Nation reported.
In response to a recent news report that highlighted WEF’s assessment, Busadee denied that Thailand was unsafe four visitors. The WEF report had placed Thailand at 118 out of 136 countries with a 4.0 score for tourist safety and security.
“The WEF admitted that some information was outdated, some information was biased as it was collected using questionnaires,” Busadee said.
“The WEF promised to improve its ranking methodology by using more statistics from reliable international sources and reducing the use of questionnaire surveys.”
The ministry spokesman said Thai representatives at the United Nations headquarters had contacted executives at the WEF to verify methods used in the rankings.
This was because many other international organisations such as Master Card, Expat Insider and US News & World Report, had ranked Thailand as one of the top tourist destinations, The Nation reported.
The report details levels of risks posed to tourists and businesses, taking into consideration the likeliness of violence and terrorism in the assessment.
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines was considered the most dangerous, ranking 126 while Singapore was the safest at 6th place.
The WEF report also pointed out that the restive southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat were “hot spots” for trouble.
Last year, nearly 30 million visitors entered Thailand generating some (THB1.5 trillion) US$44.5 billion in international inbound receipts. Thailand relies heavily on Tourism for its economic growth.