Thailand ranked No. 21 for 'best image' in world by US magazine

Tourist boats stand at the sunset at Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand.
PHOTO: Reuters

Heading the list are Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Australia, Japan, France, the Netherlands and Denmark.

China came in at 17th.

Thailand was the second best among ASEAN countries, with Singapore two ranks ahead, followed by Malaysia at 28th, the Philippines 32nd, Vietnam 33rd and Indonesia 42nd.

The magazine interviewed 16,000 people around the world on their opinions of adventurous destinations, citizens, cultural influence, business opportunity, cultural heritage, mobility, access to business opportunity, power and quality of life in these countries from 2014-20.

Germany topped the rank because even though it was defeated in two world wars, West and East Germany reunited in 1990 and the country has reinforced its strength in every aspect, especially its economy.

Germany cranks out GDP of US$3.7 trillion (S$5.28 trillion) from a population of 80 million, giving it a GDP per capita of $45,888, according to the magazine.

Thailand's GDP per capita is $14,354, as its 67.7 million people generate $387 billion in GDP.

PM 'thankful to Thais'

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wants to thank Thais for their help in making the country safe and peaceful, Government Spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday.

Since his administration took over, it has aimed to reduce conflicts, rifts and inequality in the country. It has worked on reforms to promote sustainable development for the country, he said.

"This has helped create stability and boosted the country's image. The ranking reflects the truth,'' he said.

Thailand's highlights included fourth for mobility and being an adventurous destination, eighth in cultural heritage and 10th in access to business opportunity.

As the country with the most scenic views, Thailand scored 9 points out of 10. For offering great food 8.4, for friendliness 8.1 and for being an adventurous destination 7.6.

"These factors show that Thailand is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. For business investment, Thailand came sixth as the most attractive country for investment,'' he said.

The magazine's analysis and assessment has provided insight into the country's strengths and weaknesses that the government would use to plan the country's development.