Bangkok, 10 March, 2014: Phuket has been voted the Number One top destination for Chinese students. It was one of six awards won by the exotic South Thailand resort island in the annual ceremony organised by China’s largest online travel agent (OTA), Ctrip.com, and one of nine awards won by Thai destinations in total.
The “Ctrip Best Tourist Destination of the Year 2013 Awards Ceremony” was held on 28 February, 2014, in Shanghai. It was attended by over 40 representatives of national tourism offices (NTOs) from outside China, 58 representatives of NTOs in China, and numerous other senior executives of the Chinese travel and tourism industry and media.
The Ctrip Best Tourist Destination of the Year Awards were initiated in 2009 to rank the popularity of tourist cities, both within China and abroad. The 2013 results were based on votes cast by about 3 million Chinese travellers via all social media channels, including SMS. The votes are widely recognised as the largest of their kind in the Chinese travel industry. All users of the www.Ctrip.com website are encouraged to vote.
- Best Students’ Favourite Destination (Rank 1): Phuket
- Top 10 Best Overseas Tourism City (Rank 2): Phuket
- Best Island Tourist Destination (Rank 3): Phuket
- Best 80’s Favourite Destination (Rank 6): Phuket
- Best Family Fun Destination (Rank 10): Phuket
- Best Couples’ Tourist Destination (Rank 9): Phuket
- Best Island Tourist Destination (Rank 5): Ko Samui
- Best Students’ Favourite Destination (Rank 8): Bangkok
- Best Cultural Tourist Destination (Rank 9): Bangkok
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “It is a great honour to receive such awards, especially from clients and customers of China’s largest online travel agent. It reinforces a positive image of Thailand and enhances the confidence of outbound Chinese travellers to select Thailand as a destination for their future holiday plans or MICE event.”
China is now the biggest source-market of visitors to Thailand. In 2013, Thailand welcomed more than 4.7 million Chinese visitors, up 68.83% over 2012.
In 2012, the last year for which a full profile of visitors to Thailand is available, young Chinese (aged below 25) and students totalled 345,553, up 66.44% over 2011. They comprised 12.51% of the total Chinese arrivals that year.
Thailand is a short-haul and value-for-money destination with good airline connections and visa-on-arrival facilities for Chinese visitors. The kingdom is also well known for its long-standing tradition of friendliness and hospitality.
In a huge show of confidence in Thailand, more than 6,000 Chinese visitors attend the annual convention and incentive travel event organised by the East Shanghai International Travel Service and Golden Star (International) Group Ltd on 22 February – 3 March, 2014, in Bangkok and Pattaya.
In 2014, TAT is expecting 5.4 million Chinese visitors, up 15% over 2013.