Thailand came in third - tied with the Caribbean island
countries - as the first places that came to mind when thinking of tourist
destinations, making it the only Asian destination in the top 10, according
to the so-called "Branding Thailand" survey.
Italy and France came first and second, respectively
while Spain and the United States were tied for fifth, followed by Brazil,
Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland, which all shared the 7th spot.
The Branding Thailand survey was conducted by the Kellogg
School of Management at Northwestern University in the United States and the
Sasin Graduate School of Business Administration at Chulalongkorn
The survey said Thailand was rated highest for
hospitality to visitors. It also made it to the top in people’s minds as
an exotic holiday destination, followed by India, China and Egypt.
Thailand was also top of the list when it came to value
for money for shopping holidays with plenty to offer at good prices.
However, respondents said that shopping was not a priority factor when they
chose to travel.
Interestingly, China was voted as truly representing
Asia, thanks in part to its gigantic size, while Thailand came in second.
India and Malaysia tied for third. For Thailand, scenery, natural beauty and
cuisine were leading factors.
The survey respondents, meanwhile, suggested that in
order to become a "Tourism Capital", the ‘must-have’
*Good infrastructure, wide range of accommodation, easy
accessibility and good transport.
*A multitude of attractions and activities, beautiful
scenery and landscape.
*Unique, stable government, economy, and environment.
*Welcoming locals who can communicate easily in English.
"Exotic" seems to be the most distinguished and
representative word for Thailand, followed by "friendly people",
according to the survey.
And when it came to products and services, food
immediately popped up. Textiles, garments and jewelry were also outstanding
categories, though tarred with "cheap" and "imitation"