By BUNDAMALA, Malaysia — Malaysia is one of the world’s largest birth tourism destinations, with more than $6 billion worth of tourists visiting the country annually.
But for now, the country’s tourism agency is keeping mum about what it thinks the country can learn from Thailand’s birth tourism model.
The Birth Tourism Authority (BITA) said the country needs to make sure its birth tourism is not just for foreigners.
Its president said it is a “positive and positive experience” for the country but stressed it’s not about “the foreigners” and its primary focus should be on locals.
The BITA said the main goal of its work is to make Thailand more attractive for foreign visitors, and this includes improving the tourism environment for locals, who it said would benefit from the tourism industry.
“We are constantly looking for ways to make Thai tourism more attractive and also to help the locals.
We are not concerned about the foreigners, they are only the beneficiaries of the tourism.”
In the future, we hope to increase our presence and influence,” BITA president Chua Thongmak said.
Thailand’s birth tourists, who typically make up about a third of the countrys tourist economy, have attracted criticism for their high costs and lack of social benefits.
They also come from the Southeast Asian countrys largest ethnic group, and are often poor, migrant workers.
Since 2012, Thailand has tightened its birth-visitation regulations, limiting foreigners to two days at a time at most facilities, and allowing only a limited number of children under 16 to stay with their parents.
Thai officials have also tightened rules for Thai couples staying in Thai homes after birth, and introduced mandatory vaccinations for children.
It has also tightened its regulations for migrant workers, who must have valid work visas and can’t work from a Thai facility.