The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) once again staged an exciting “Shopping Challenge” on 17 June, 2015, to mark the opening of the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2015. The fun-filled event saw 15 teams of representatives from across Asia race around Bangkok’s best loved malls and shops to bargain for items as they compete for a 100,000 Baht prize.
Mrs. Vilaiwan Twichasri, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business said, “The Shopping Challenge is a wonderful way to kick off the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale as it showcases the massive range of goods and products available in Bangkok, many of them uniquely Thai. The event attracts teams from all over the region, ensuring the nationwide sale enhances Thailand’s reputation as Southeast Asia’s shopping hub and lifestyle destination.”
One of the teams in specially designated tuk-tuks to complete their mission.
The Shopping Challenge took place on 17 June from 13.00 – 17.00 hrs. with the opening and closing ceremonies held at the Gaysorn Shopping Center in the heart of Bangkok’s renowned Ratchaprasong shopping district. The 15 teams of 36 representatives from 11 Asian nations were required to race around some of Bangkok’s most famous malls and shopping centres including, Gaysorn, Siam Paragon, Siam Centre, and CentralWorld, with the aim of finding the best bargains in the fastest time.
Mrs. Vilaiwan Twichasri (middle), and on her right, Mr. Wiboon Nimitrwanich, TAT’s Executive Director of Tourism Investment Department, along with some members of the 15 teams from 11 Asian nations.
In the Shopping Challenge, teams are given a 10,000 Baht budget, an interpreter and a list of goods to find in Ratchaprasong’s malls. The team that returns within the 1.5 hour timeframe, having found the items on their list, are declared the winners. In case of a tie-break, it is the team that spends the least which wins. This means contestants need to use bargaining skills to ensure success.
Registration for the Shopping Challenge took place from 13.00 – 14:00 hrs. before each team travelled to Siam Paragon in especially designated tuk-tuks at 14.30 hrs. The teams had from 15.00 – 16.30 hrs. to complete the challenge and return to the Gaysorn Shopping Center where the winners were announced at 17:00 hrs.
The 100,000 Baht prize Shopping Challenge was won by Ms. Niharika Keerthi and Ms. Vidya Kishore Kumar the team from India who clinched the top spot after an exciting and closely fought event
The Shopping Challenge was first held at the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale in 2009 when the Malaysian team took the first prize; and again in 2014 when a team from Beijing came out on top. The challenge has been popular among competitors and the public so organisers have brought it back to open the 2015 event. This year, teams from Brunei, Mumbai and Chengdu will be joining for the first time.
The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale has grown year-on-year since it started in 1999, and is now the biggest event of its kind in the kingdom with 15,000 shops in 110 malls and shopping centres taking part and offering discounts of between 5 and 80 per cent on certain goods as well as other fun and money-saving promotions.