Reacting to a news report that listed Thailand as one of the 20 most dangerous countries to visit, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Busadee Santipitaks said on Saturday that the information used by the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report was outdated and biased, and did not reflect the recently improved situation.
The Foreign Ministry statement came after local and international media quoted the WEF report, which ranked Thailand at 118 out of 136 countries for safety and security of tourists.
The WEF report said that Thailand’s overall safety performance had barely improved, ranked 34 with a score of 4.4 in 2017 compared to 35 with 4.3 in 2015, citing the high rate of crime and violence and the low reliability of police services.
Busadee said that after the WEF report was released in April, the Thai representatives at the United Nations Headquarters had contacted WEF executives and questioned them about the method used to rank Thailand especially since many international organisations like Master Card, Expat Insider and US News & World Report, had ranked Thailand as one of the top tourist destinations.
“The WEF admitted that some information was outdated, some information was biased as it was collected using questionnaires. The WEF promised to improve its ranking methodology by using more statistics from reliable international sources and reducing the use of questionnaire surveys,” Busadee quoted theWEF executives as saying.
Busadee said that Thailand’s ranking in safety had improved to 34th but many other areas such as natural conservation, tourist service, air transport and pricing had also improved significantly.
Busadee blamed an Australia-based website, Business Insider, for highlighting only the negatives from the WEF report.