BANGKOK - A total of 17 Thai tourism products and services, as well as fruits and dishes, that Chinese visitors consider to be the best in Thailand were recognised at an awards ceremony organised on 2 June, 2015, at the Central Post Office, Bangkok.
H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports, presided over the “The Best of Thailand Awards Voted by Chinese Tourists” ceremony organised under the theme of “Thainess”. It was attended by distinguished guests from the Thai tourism industry, members of the Chinese diplomatic mission in Thailand, the private sector, as well as Thai and Chinese media.
The award-winners were selected via an inaugural social media campaign, which invited Chinese who have visited Thailand to vote for what they consider to be the kingdom’s best travel and tourism products, services and culinary delights. The campaign was a joint venture between the Tourism Authority of Thailand, King Power International, SINA Corporation (China’s major online service provider, with over 600 million members worldwide) and Jiaranai Entertainment (as the project coordinator).
The Awards ceremony was a plaque of honour to the establishments that received the highest scores and certificates to the operators in the Top 10 of each category based on the most references recorded by the search engine SINA Weibo. The winners were as follows:
1. Best Luxury Hotel: W Bangkok
2. Best Boutique Hotel: Koh Chang Kacha Resort and Spa
3. Best Resort Hotel: Patong Resort Hotel Phuket
4. Best Value Hotel: De Lanna Hotel Chiang Mai
5. Best Destination: Chiang Mai
6. Best Attraction: Floating Market in Pattaya
7. Best Restaurant: Sirocco
8. Best Thai Dish: Tom Yam Kung (spicy shrimp soup)
9. Best Thai Fruit: Durian
10. Best Thai Spa: Let’s Relax (Phuket)
11. Best Golf Course: Gassan Khuntan Golf and Resort (Lamphun)
12. Best Shopping Mall: Siam Centre
13. Best Shopping Area: Siam Square
14. Best Airline: Thai AirAsia
15. Best Thai Show: Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives
16. Best Festival: Songkran Festival
17. Best Medical Service: Bangkok Hospital Phuket
The Awards ceremony was broadcast live on the weibo.com website. The campaign, to be held annually henceforth, generated enormous recognition and brand awareness for Thailand amongst Chinese tourists.
Chinese tourists could vote through weibo.com during 8-29 May, 2015 (1 vote / 1 IP address / day). At the end of the voting period, a total of 5.56 million IP addresses were recorded, while the number of interested persons who viewed the campaign totalled 35.73 million (as of 1 June, 2015). Chinese tourists were incentivised to vote by having their names entered into a lucky draw. The winners will be given round-trip airline tickets, a Thailand package tour, accommodation, and other prizes.
TAT will now cooperate with its partner travel agencies in China to launch package tours featuring the award-winning tourism products and services. Holding the Awards every year is designed to encourage the Thai tourism industry to constantly improve their products and services in order to win the Awards in the future.
In 2014, Chinese visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 4,610,524 and generated revenue of 190.829 billion Baht, an increase of 1.01% over 2013 and spending per person / day up to 5,497.49 Baht. Projections for 2015 are 5.17 million visitors and 219 billion Baht in tourism revenue.
Popular Thai tourist destinations for Chinese are Bangkok, Phuket, and Chon Buri. They like Thai food, beach resorts, historical sites, Thai cooking classes, medical tourism, beauty surgery and diving activities.
Photo caption: H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports at the “The Best of Thailand Awards Voted by Chinese Tourists” awards ceremony organised under the theme of “Thainess” at the Central Post Office, Bangkok recently.