Stockholm, January 9, 2008 – Fagbladet Travel News, an independent Norwegian travel trade magazine, presented its annual Grand Travel Award on 7 January 2008. The award presentation ceremony, which was hosted at the Clarion Royal Christiana in Oslo, was attended by some 350 distinguished representatives of the Norwegian travel industry.
Thailand ranked first in the “World’s Best Tourist Country” category, making this the fifth consecutive year that Thailand has won the Norwegian Grand Travel Award. Thai Airways International the kingdom’s national carrier, was voted “The Best Intercontinental Airline” for the fourth consecutive year in 2008.
His Excellency Ambassador of Thailand to Norway, Mr Jullapong Nonsrichai, accepted the award on behalf of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Thai Ambassador was accompanied by Mr Manit Boonchim, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand office in Stockholm, and Mrs Hilde Harai, Manager of the Thai Airways International Office in Oslo.
The Grand Travel Award was being hosted for the thirteenth time in 2008. Winners in each of the travel-related categories are selected by a travel trade jury comprising 300 members of the Norwegian travel industry. The awards are presented in a total of 17 categories with scores allocated according to a scale of 1-6, with 1 being the lowest score and 6 is the highest.
In 2006, Thailand welcomed 101,920 visitors from Norway representing an increase of 20.89 per cent over the 2005 total. The average length of stay was 14.21 days with per capita spending of 3,844.74 baht per day, generating a total tourism income of USD 146.92 million.
In 2007, TAT Stockholm estimates that visitor arrivals from Norway will reach 110,000, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. The year-over-year growth in tourism revenue is expected to increase by 15 per cent. The key destination strengths that account for the steady growth of visitor arrivals from Norway are the friendliness and warm hospitality of the Thai people and value for money.