Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket were recently voted among the 20 most popular and best value cities in Asia by US travellers, according to TripAdvisor’s TripIndex report.
Conducted by the popular travel website, TripAdvisor, the index aims at helping US travellers identify the destinations that offer the best value by comparing the price of a one-week trip to different Asian cities between 1 November, 2015, and 30 April, 2016. It evaluates primary travel expenses including a seven-night hotel stay and average round-trip airfare from the US as well as a year-over-year comparison of the overall costs.
In the rankings of the top 20 best value destinations in Asia, Chiang Mai came in fourth, Bangkok in seventh place, and Phuket – Kathu in particular – tenth.
The report described Chiang Mai as providing the lowest cost in Thailand by giving a sample price point of US$1,577 for the total one-week trip, representing a 21 per cent decrease than the previous year. Travel expenses in Bangkok for the polling period stood at US$1,680 (nine per cent lower than last year) while costs in Kathu, Phuket dropped 20 per cent year-on-year to US$1,902.
The index also stated that travel expenses for popular destinations in Asia will have dropped on an average of 12 per cent year-over-year, allowing travellers to save as much as 32 per cent on a trip to the Far East during the next six months.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the TAT said, “Apart from offering the best value for money, Thailand provides the US visitors with the best travelling experiences due to the diversity of destinations to fulfill the different desirable holiday. Also, we would like to welcome US travellers to Thailand and see how Thainess, Thai hospitality, our rich history, culture and Thai ways of life can fulfill their holiday time.”
In 2014, the number of tourists from the United States totalled 762,530, who generated revenue of 52.16 billion Baht (1.6 billion US) to the Thai tourism industry. Moreover, the figure indicates that US travellers spend 4,956 Baht and have an average stay of about 14 days per person travelling in Thailand. Also, the top destinations to this market, which responds to the result of the TripAdvisor survey, include Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. US visitors favour beaches and culture in Thailand.
In order to keep attracting US tourists travelling to Thailand, the two TAT offices in the United States have planned their marketing strategies and activities in 2016. These include conducting advertising via on and off-line channels, organising in-market trade shows for the growing segments; such as honeymoon, adventure, luxury, and leisure.
The TAT US offices are promoting Thailand as a holiday destination with interesting attractions by inviting media and travel agents to join the familiarisation trips, which for the past several years, have attracted multiple high impact broadcast TV shows from the US to film in Thailand.
Earlier this year, TAT attracted an Emmy Award winning 30 minute show, ABC’s Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin, to film in Chon Buri where the show featured sea turtle conservation project and on Mae Klong River where Mr. Corwin caught the world largest giant string ray and in Chiang Rai’s Anantara Elephant camp where showcasing Elephant’s intelligence. The show aired all three Thailand episodes on ABC in October, 2015 with 1.8 million viewers per week in the US.
According to the latest international arrivals to Thailand from January – October 2015, the US market recorded at 677,198, representing an increase by 12.96 per cent over the same period of 2014.