Economy, Services and Tourism
banking, major industry, Popular tourist destinations, retail trade, hotel services
Thailandís rapid growth transformed the services sector. This sector, which includes housing, restaurant and hotel services, personal services, wholesale and retail trade, and many other related activities, grew very quickly in response to increased demand, especially from the expanding urban population in and around Bangkok. In terms of GDP, services have accounted for about half the Thai economy for many years; the service share of GDP was 48 percent in 1980 and was 49 percent in 2000. However, these figures mask major shifts within the sector, notably from low-skilled jobs to formal, high-skilled jobs in banking, finance, management, and trade.
Tourism is a major industry within Thailandís services sector, with 9.5 million tourists visiting the country in 2000. Revenues from tourism make up the largest single component of Thailandís export earnings. Popular tourist destinations include Bangkok and the countryís beach resorts.
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