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15 most popular tourism provinces contribute 70% of total GDP

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Farm vs Beach - 15 tourism provinces contribute 70% of the GDP. (via PixaHive /

Wealth inequality around the world has always been the haves versus the have nots, but in Thailand, it has become the toured versus the toured not. The Fiscal Policy Officer’s senior expert on macroeconomic policy recently presented some stark figures showing the astounding gap in contribution to the GDP between tourism provinces and non-tourism provinces. Only 15 provinces contribute 70% of the country’s total gross domestic product, and those same 15 provinces create 88% of the tourism revenue in Thailand.

62 provinces across Thailand that are not popular tourist areas are only generating 12% of the tourism revenue and 30% total of the GDP. And it’s not just bringing in those foreigner baht either – those 62 provinces create just 23% of Thailand’s trade revenue and account for 28% of the national total manufacturing revenue as well.

Some of this makes logical sense: aside from tropical islands and beaches, a lot of tourism tends to go to big exciting cities and industrialized areas. Those areas have more people and more industry, so it figures that the 15 provinces that bring in nearly 9 out of every 10 baht of tourism money also contribute to the GDP with robust manufacturing sectors that generate 72% of the national manufacturing revenue and active trade business that accounts for 77% of Thailand’s trade profits.

As for the other 62 provinces, while they are not generating the big wads of cash that tourism, manufacturing and trade do, they are still contributing a vital part of Thailand’s well-being: food. Those non-tourism provinces that make up just 30% of the national GDP contribute a whopping 78% of the farming revenue for the country.

The economic expert advises that these 62 provinces should focus on boosting productivity and make wise and effective use of the Covid-19 relief programs currently in effect from the government to build up their economies to be stable in the post-Covid-19 world. He warns that while the 15 tourism-heavy provinces bringing in the lion’s share of the GDP suffered the most from the devastating effects Covid-19 had on travel and international tourism, they will also likely see the speediest recoveries once international trade and travel start increasing again, leaving the agricultural sector struggling in slow recovery.

The 15 provinces that bring in 70% of the gross domestic product are the 6 provinces of the greater Bangkok region (Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nontha Buri, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakarn, and Samut Sakhon), plus Chon Buri, Phuket, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, Rayong, Songkhla, Chachoengsao, Khon Kaen, and Nakhon Ratchasima.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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