Thailand rose to seventh place in the 2021 Best Countries Heritage ranking, moving up two spots from 2020 to be the only Southeast Asian nation in the list and one of only three in Asia.

“Thailand’s rich and splendid heritage has always been a strong factor in its tremendous appeal to the world’s travelers. The top countries in the Best Countries Heritage list are described as those most readily associated with a unique identity, and this is something Thailand can be extremely proud of,” said Tourism Authority of Gov. Yuthasak Supasorn.

The Best Countries Heritage list is a subranking of the Best Countries rankings compiled by the BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania based on the perceptions of 78 countries in various metrics assessed from a study of more than 17,000 people.

The Heritage list is based on five attributes of a country – culturally accessible, a rich history, great food, many cultural attractions, and many geographical attractions. The geographical attractions attribute is new for 2021.

In its descriptions of the top 10 heritage countries, the Heritage list said of Thailand: “Buddha figures are ever-present in the “land of smiles,” where bustling, modern cities are juxtaposed with ancient ruins, glistening beaches, and gilded temples. The nation is home to the acclaimed Thai massage and cuisine that is known to balance sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy flavors.”

Thailand’s impressive performance in the 2021 Best Countries Heritage list can be seen not only in its rise from 9th to seventh place in the Top 10 – which was again dominated by Europe with Spain, Italy and Greece filling the top three spots followed by France in fourth – but also in the fact it is among only three Asian countries in the Top 10, alongside India and Japan.