Thailand reaps top global awards for three most popular tourist destinations in 2015

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Bangkok, 4 February 2016 – Thailand’s positive image as the leading destination on a global and regional (Asia Pacific) level has been further strengthened with the recent winning of awards from MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015 and Euromonitor International, recognising Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya as the world’s and Asia Pacific’s most popular destinations for international travellers.

Bangkok_Silom-Bang Rak 500x300
Bangkok at night

The first MasterCard’s Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015, which is an offshoot of the annual Global Destination Cities Index, revealed that Bangkok topped the most popular city with 21.9 million international overnight visitors, representing a 28.6 per cent growth over the previous year. It also topped the total nights stayed by international tourists with a cumulative 107 million nights and also topped the total amount spent at US$15.2 billion.

When comparing among destination cities in the Asia-Pacific, Bangkok retained its position at number one. This ranking has remained unchanged since 2013 when the Thai capital became the first Asian city to top the global list.

This is followed by Phuket which recorded 9.3 million, or a 15.5 per cent growth, and Pattaya which saw 8.1 million, a 10 per cent growth, in international overnight visitors in 2015. In terms of total nights stayed and total expenditure, Phuket earned a total of 40.8 million nights and an expenditure of US$8 billion while Pattaya chalked up a total of 27.2 million nights and total expenditure of US$3.1 billion.

Pattaya Bay
Pattaya Bay
The Sino-Portuguese town houses and administrative buildings of old Phuket are still homes to flourishing businesses.
Phuket’s old town

Meanwhile, Euromonitor International has released its fifth annual survey on ‘Top 100 City Destinations’ in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2014. Its ‘Top 100 City Destinations Ranking’ reported by Caroline Bremner on 28 January, 2016, named three Thai destinations among the world’s top 25 with Bangkok came in at the 4th rank, followed by Phuket in the 17th rank and Pattaya in the 19th rank.

Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “We are honoured to be recognised by two of the world’s most prestigious organisations. Despite the challenges we had to go through in 2015, global travellers remain confident in our country and made a decision to make Thailand their travel destination.”

Bangkok is well-known among international travellers for a variety of shopping choices, tasteful authentic Thai food, cultural heritage, lively nightlife, and beautiful historical attractions. Meanwhile, Pattaya and Phuket are both famous beach resort cities and recreational destinations attracting a wide range of international tourists from holidaymakers, families, honeymooners, adventure and sports enthusiasts to the destinations each year.

In 2015, the Thai tourism industry hit the highest record in its history, receiving tourism revenue of 1.4 trillion Baht or a 23 per cent year-on-year increase, and attracting 29.8 million international tourist arrivals or an increase of 20 per cent over 2014. For 2016, with the plan to focus less on the number of visitor arrivals and more on attracting quality tourists, TAT is targeting 1.5 trillion Baht in tourism revenue from international tourists.

References:

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