Risky business? Asking tourists what hazards they actually encountered in Thailand

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Abstract
Studies of tourist hazards usually cover only standard ones such as accidents and crimes and often rely on official statistics and media reports, which may underestimate actual encounters. This paper argues for a broader concept of tourist hazard and reports a study in which 616 tourists were asked what challenging experiences they actually had in Thailand, which has many standard and special hazards. Around 40% reported at least one `serious challenging experience/s`, often a scam, constant overcharging, and dual pricing. Around 7% had been a crime victim, usually of theft, but some were mugged or drugged and robbed. Some complained of increasingly unfriendly locals in tourism areas, some about the other tourists, and some reported a negative life-changing experience. Most were satisfied with their visit and planned to return, although those reporting problems were less likely to say so. Thailand might consider broader consular travel warnings and eliminating some particularly disliked official practices.
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Howard, Robert
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Publication Year
2009
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Journal Article
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