Sixty One Thai Tourism Products Score High Marks in Best in Travel 2012 Poll

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Bangkok, August 22, 2012: Thai tourism destinations, airlines, airports, hotels and spa resorts scored high marks in the Best in Travel 2012 Poll announced by the popular website Smart Travel Asia 2012.

Altogether, a total of 61 Thai tourism industry products were listed in the poll rankings, some in the top ten and others in the top 25. The list was led by Phuket, which was ranked the second-best holiday destination in Asia. Bangkok ranked 4th best city for business and fifth in the top ten holiday destinations in Asia. Ko Samui ranked the 10th best holiday destination in Asia.

Thai Airways International, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Samui Airport also fared well. An analysis of the poll results also indicated that the award-winning products were located nationwide, including Hua Hin and Chiang Rai.

Commented TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “We are proud to see so many of our destinations and products scoring highly in these rankings. It clearly shows that the determined effort made by our entire industry to upgrade quality is paying off and getting global recognition.”

Announcing the awards, Smart Travel Asia’s Editor-Publisher Vijay Verghese said, “This year (2012) marks the eighth year of our online poll to discern travel preferences among our affluent frequent traveller readers who take over 16 air trips a year.

“The focus of the Best in Travel Poll is to determine which travel brands are sought after and why. The three-month exercise from May to July each year offers insights for our own editorial direction and generates useful comparative research data for hotels and airlines.”

Mr. Verghese said that one interesting finding this year is that affluent travellers by and large first seek trusted brand evaluations online (rather than price), but often fail to find this due to the blizzard of booking engines and sales sites that tend to dominate search results. “Readers clearly state that they will first evaluate a brand before booking it,” he said.

“Another point to emerge is that while affluent travellers make travel decisions online, they do not commonly book online. They go offline to talk to a human being in order to ask questions and personalise the purchase. Business travellers in particular are averse to online bookings as travel circumstances change rapidly and unpredictably. They tend to use their own trusted travel agents or will talk to sales persons at a hotel of their choice. In other words, tracking ‘conversions’ often fails with this elite audience.”

Approximately 70 percent of the voters were based in Asia (largely Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and the Middle East), 15 percent in UK/Europe and 15 percent in USA and North America. They recorded an average of 16.22 air trips (up from 15.75) over the past 12 months and earned US$162,134 in household income (up modestly from US$156,716 in 2011).

There was no charge for nomination or any hidden fee. Readers were free to vote for any of thousands of travel products in Asia from Japan to the Middle East.

Here is a listing of all the Thai destinations and products that won awards:

In photo: Smart Travel Asia presents plaques recognising the Best in Travel 2012 results to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). From left to right: Mr. Vijay K Verghese, editor & director of Smart Travel Asia; Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, director of the International Public Relations Division, TAT; and Ms. Pidichanan Petchngaovilai, Advertising Manager, Thailand & Indochina of Smart Travel Asia.

For further information, please contact International Public Relations Division, TAT