• Short Summary

    Thai tourist officials have reported a rapid increase in the number of tourists from West Germany visiting their country.

  • Description

    Thai tourist officials have reported a rapid increase in the number of tourists from West Germany visiting their country.

    In the latest period for which figures are available - January to June last year - more than eighteen-and-a-half thousand West German tourists visited Thailand.

    A large proportion of the tourists come on package toris - reflecting the intense interest in this sort of holiday shown by the German people.

    For Thailand, the influx of German visitors is welcome, It fills a gap left by the declining numbers of United States soldiers who, in the last decades, have used Bangkok as a major rest and recreation area.

    Tourist officials in Thailand estimate that this year as many as fifty thousand West German tourists will visit Bangkok.

    (While German money pours into Thailand through the tourist influx, Thai money is flowing into Germany through a growing trade in West Germany's favour. Latest figures show that only the United States and Japan sell more goods to Thailand than West Germany.)
    SYNOPSIS: Bangkok Airport - one of the major terminals in South East Asia. Now, it's also the gateway for an increasing number of West German tourists - whose influx is filling a gap in the Thai economy left when the United States cut back on the number of troops flying to Bangkok from Vietnam for recreation leave. Most West Germans come on package tours. The people of West Germany travel overseas more than those of any other European country, and the package tour idea has become very popular. Tourist officials in Thailand estimate that the famous temples near Bangkok will this year be seen by as many as fifty thousand West German tourists. Suddenly, the young souvenir sellers have found a new market -- and more often than not, the tourist seems ready to buy.

    The temples are a famous attraction: perhaps less well-known, but certainly no-less popular among the German visitors is a boat cruise along the myriad of waterways near Bangkok.

    Thai folk-dancing seems a far cry from the European winter from which these tourists seek refuge. The dances are a major attraction on the package tours - and the tourists are told to watch the hand and arm movements closely.

    A famous name in twentieth century history -- the River Kwai. It's a name immortalised in a film which dealt with the building of bridges in the area by Allied prisoners-of-war under the direction of the Japanese. The bridge the tourists see is the second bridge built and was completed in 1944.

    A change of tempo for the tourists as they literally get a taste of home. This German beer cellar is in Bangkok but it serves German food and drink. So for the homesick on this package tour to Thailand -- somewhere to end the day in familiar surroundings.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    HD Format:
    Available on request
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