If you've searched the net for health insurance that covers expats in Thailand then you are most likely for looking for established UK based health insurance providers that can cover your medical expenses in Thailand.
Living as an expat in Thailand you want to avoid any nasty unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.
Our advice when looking for health insurance that covers expatriates living in Thailand is to speak to a health insurance broker. Health insurance is extremely complex and if you want complete certainty that Thailand is covered you should consult with a medical insurance broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical costs for expatriates in Thailand and which will exclude it.
There are many advantages to using a insurance broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than by you so it costs you no extra to use their brokering services.
- Do you live in many different postcodes? Some will give you a cheaper policy premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this critical information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
- You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain condition and want to know which policy provider offers the largest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you so much time and effort.
You can call around every medical insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Thailand, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its much quicker to speak to one medical insurance broker which will know which policy providers on the market offer cover for expats in Thailand and under what terms they do or don't cover it.
Tourism is an economic contributor to the Kingdom of Thailand. Estimates of tourism revenue directly contributing to the GDP of 12 trillion baht range from one trillion baht (2013) 2.53 trillion baht (2016), the equivalent of 9% to 17.7% of GDP. When including indirect travel and tourism receipts, the 2014 total is estimated to be the equivalent of 19.3% (2.3 trillion baht) of Thailand's GDP.: 1 The actual contribution of tourism to GDP is lower than these percentages because GDP is measured in value added not revenue. The valued added of the Thailand's tourism industry is not known (value added is revenue less purchases of inputs). According to the secretary-general of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council in 2019, the government projects that the tourism sector will account for 30% of GDP by 2030, up from 20% in 2019.
Tourism worldwide in 2017 accounted for 10.4% of global GDP and 313 million jobs, or 9.9% of total employment.: 1 Most governments view tourism as an easy moneymaker and a shortcut to economic development. Tourism success is measured by the number of visitors.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), a state enterprise under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, uses the slogan "Amazing Thailand" to promote Thailand internationally. In 2015, this was supplemented by a "Discover Thainess" campaign.
Among the reasons for the increase in tourism in the 1960s were the stable political atmosphere and the development of Bangkok as a crossroads of international air transport. The hotel industry and retail industry both expanded rapidly due to tourist demand. It was boosted by the presence of US GIs who arrived in the 1960s for rest and recuperation (R&R) during the Vietnam War. During this time, international tourism was becoming the new trend as living standards increased throughout the world and travel became faster and more dependable with the introduction of new technology in the air transport sector.
Tourist numbers have grown from 336,000 foreign visitors and 54,000 GIs on R&R in 1967 to 32.59 million foreign guests visiting Thailand in 2016. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) claims that the tourist industry earned 2.52 trillion baht (US$71.4 billion) in 2016, up 11% from 2015. TAT officials said their revenue estimates, for foreign and domestic tourists combined, show that tourism revenue for all of 2017 may surpass earlier forecasts of 2.77 trillion baht (US$78.5 billion).
In 2015, 6.7 million persons arrived from ASEAN countries and the number is expected to grow to 8.3 million in 2016, generating 245 billion baht. The largest numbers of Western tourists came from Russia (6.5%), the UK (3.7%), Australia (3.4%) and the US (3.1%). Around 60% of Thailand's tourists are return visitors. The peak period is from December to February.
In 2014, 4.6 million Chinese visitors travelled to Thailand. In 2015, Chinese tourists numbered 7.9 million or 27% of all international tourist arrivals, 29.8 million; 8.75 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2016. In 2017, 27% of the tourists that came to Thailand came from China. Thailand relies heavily on Chinese tourists to meet its tourism revenue target of 2.2 trillion baht in 2015 and 2.3 trillion in 2016. However, in 2020, it was reported that Chinese tourists now ranked Thailand as third most popular foreign tourist destination, having been the top previously.
It is estimated that the average Chinese tourist remains in the country for one week and spends 30,000–40,000 baht (US$1,000–1,300) per person, per trip. The average Chinese tourist spends 6,400 baht (US$180) per day—more than the average visitor's 5,690 baht (US$160). According to Thailand's Tourism Authority, the number of Chinese tourists rose by 93% in the first quarter of 2013, an increase that was attributed to the popularity of the Chinese film Lost in Thailand that was filmed in the northern province of Chiang Mai. Chinese media outlets have claimed that Thailand superseded Hong Kong as the top destination for Chinese travellers during the 2013 May Day holiday. In 2013, the Chinese National Tourism Administration published A Guide to Civilized Tourism which has specific statements regarding how to act as a tourist in Thailand.
In 2015, Thailand hosted 1.43 million Japanese travellers, up 4.1% from 2015, generating 61.4 billion baht, up 6.3%. In 2016, Thailand expects 1.7 million Japanese tourists, generating 66.2 billion baht in revenue.
Since the opening of the Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos borders in the late 1900s, competition has increased because Thailand no longer has the monopoly on tourism in Southeast Asia. Destinations like Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang and Halong Bay now rival Thailand's former monopoly in the Indochina region. To counter this, Thailand is targeting niche markets such as golf holidays, holidays combined with medical treatment or visits to military installations. Thailand has also plans to become the hub of Buddhist tourism in the region.