Chinese visitors to Thailand are being invited to vote for what they consider to be the kingdom’s best travel and tourism products, services and culinary delights, with the awards to be announced at a ceremony in Bangkok.
Designed to attract the attention of millions of Chinese users of Weibo, the country’s social-media platform and commerce portal, the project is a joint venture between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), King Power International, SINA Hong Kong, and Jiaranai Entertainment.
“The Best of Thailand Awards Voted by Chinese Tourists (BTVC)” project is intended to promote Chinese tourism to Thailand between April – July 2015.
TAT and Weibo have crafted a list of 17 categories, a total of 164 of the most popular travel and tourism products, services and culinary delights enjoyed by Chinese visitors, based on the most popular keywords entered in the search engine as well as specific criteria identified by TAT.
The list includes Luxury Hotels (10), Boutique Hotels (10), Resort Hotels (10), Value Hotels (10), Destinations (10), Attractions (10), Restaurants (10), Dishes (10), Fruits (10), Spa (10), Golf Courses (10), Shopping Malls (10), Shopping Areas (10), Airlines (7), Shows (10), Festivals (7) and Medical Services (10).
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT Acting Governor and Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas (5th, left) chaired the joint press conference with representatives from King Power International, SINA Hong Kong, and Jiaranai Entertainment.
The project is being publicised through online Chinese media, travel agents, tourist attractions, restaurants and other channels in Thailand and China.
Award winners will be eligible for the following prizes:
1st Prize: Round-trip ticket (Thailand-China) for two people; travel package in Thailand (1 award).
2nd Prize: Round-trip ticket (Thailand-China) for two people; accommodation (3 awards).
3rd Prize: Round-trip ticket (Thailand-China) for two people (5 awards).
4th Prize: Awards from winners of the operators (17 awards).
Weibo is the Chinese people’s no.1 micro-blogging service designed as a seamless combination of Facebook and Twitter together. Under this social platform, but with better features and mobile engagement, users can comment and interact with other users faster and easier than ever before.
China is now the top source of visitor arrivals to Thailand. Chinese visitors totalled 4,623,806 in 2014, a slight drop from 2013 (-0.29%). In 2015, TAT is expecting 5.96 million Chinese tourists generating revenue of 261 billion Baht, up from 190 billion Baht in 2014.
The profile of Chinese tourists is changing rapidly as travellers become more mature and experienced. Hence, TAT is seeing a huge diversity of Chinese tourists from first-time visitors to group-travellers to more female travellers and young people, many of whom also speak good English.
Many Chinese are repeat travellers to Thailand. TAT is targeting these travellers through marketing campaigns that emphasise the fun of shopping, enjoying a Thai massage or a game of golf. They are also being encouraged to visit new destinations; such as, Northeast Thailand.
Chinese visitors have an average length of stay of 8.1 days and spending per person / trip of up to 41,390 Baht. They enjoy travelling to different destinations in Thailand. They also prefer to travel independently and spend more time experiencing a variety of tourism activities in the local areas.
According to the January 2015 statistics, Chinese visitors were up 57 percent (560,399). The fact that the tourism situation has returned to normal is an important plus point, as it will allow the airlines to expand capacity.