THAILAND: NATURIST INTEREST GROWS
With its friendly people, beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine and laid-back lifestyle, Thailand has been a magnet for foreign tourists for decades. Over the past few years, a growing number of naturists have also discovered Thailand, and the country’s official national organisation, the Naturist Association Thailand Co., says the timing is right for Thailand to tap into this market, as it is not just growing domestically, but also worldwide.
“The naturist way of life takes place at private NAT member resorts or rental villas, where special measures are taken to avoid offending people in the local environment, “explains Managing Director Disraporn Yatprom. Established in 2007, the association is supported by over 1800 members, and continues to grow.
"We have more and more Thai members,” he adds, “maybe because of a growing open-mindedness, and they are glad to find this lifestyle option in Thailand. Around a third of the customers at member resorts are living in Thailand - they are mostly well educated and in the higher income bracket, and are much more open to the healthy benefits of naturism than what is generally believed.”
Despite the positive signs however, he admits Thailand is still "light years away from countries such as Spain and France, but with naturist tourists pouring in from South Africa , Singapore, India, China and other Asian countries, the growth potential is very promising.”
The Naturist Association Thailand Co. promotes existing naturist resorts and assists new and prospective naturist resorts and spas entering the market, communicating common values of healthy, non-sexual leisure activities. It is also a licensed tour operator and offers accommodation, tours and activities to domestic as well as incoming tourists.