由泰國的經驗觀之，政府對於產業發展的影響除了利用政策引導民間投資外，如何面對與解決產業發展所遭遇的衝突與問題，進而修正及檢討產業發展方向，政府均扮演著舉足輕重的角色。由於觀光產業明顯外部性的特色，其產業發展確實需要政府帶頭推動，而觀光產業做為綜合性的服務產業，其所牽涉到的產業範圍極廣，這樣的特性除可平衡國家因快速工業化而可能造成產業結構失衡的問題外，更可促進國內產業的多元化發展之外，並有助於紓解政府在面對國內經濟衝擊時的壓力。 Michael E. Porter announced his concept of “The Competitive Advantage of Nations” in 1990 at the first time, and then Philip Kolter also points out the importance of “The Marketing of Nations.” Both of them emphasize “the government” as the major parameter for developing national industries and improving international competitiveness of nations. This idea is also in accordance with the model of the East Asian Miracle.
As a result of an absolute monarchy and military despotism in history, the Kingdom of Thailand adapted a state-led economic development model. Another important feature of economic development of Thailand is the crucial role of tourism industry. Since 1977 the Thai government launched its first five-year tourism development plan, and in 1982 the international tourism receipt became the major foreign income in Thailand. This is the reason why Thai government pays more attention to use tourism to increase the foreign exchange income and to enhance economic development. Furthermore, Thai government initiated “amazing Thailand program” to make tourism industry one of the mainstay to restore Thailand’s economy during and after the financial crisis in 1997.
Viewed from Thailand’s experience, the government not only uses policies to encourage investment in private sectors but also tries to resolve conflicts and issues of national industry development and their future prospects. With externalities in tourism industry, it is better to have government taking the lead. Moreover, tourism, as an all-round service industry, connects and involves extreme range of industries. Therefore, government can use this industry to balance the national industrial structure and to accelerate the diversification of national industrial development as well as ease the pressure the government may face in economic clashes.