Thai food tops in attracting tourists to Bangkok: Survey

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Foreign tourists still enjoyed travelling to Bangkok at year-end, mostly attracted by Thai food and hospitality, and their top destination of choice in Bangkok was the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, according to an opinion survey released at the end of the year.

Over two-thirds – 70.6 percent of the 663 foreign tourists polled – said that Thailand’s political conflicts and protests are less likely to influence their decision to travel to Bangkok.

Moreover, 82.1 percent those surveyed said they would revisit Bangkok and 91.8 percent will recommend Thailand to would-be visitors.

The Bangkok Poll, conducted by the Bangkok University Research Center among 663 foreign tourists at seven tourist attractions Dec 16-19, found Thai food, hospitality, historical sites, shopping centers, culture and folk arts were the top five reasons that attracted tourists to Bangkok.

As the respondents were allowed to select more than one choice in giving their impression, Thai food got the highest vote among 63.3 percent of respondents, followed by 47.1 percent who selected Thai hospitality and 46.5 percent who chose historic sites.

The Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha in the city’s main historic district, Rattanakosin Island, topped Bangkok’s list of tourist destinations, with 27.2 percent of respondents choosing them, followed by 13.4 percent who said they liked Wat Pho, a nearby temple, housing a 46-metre-long reclining Buddha statue and a school of traditional Thai massage, while 12.5 percent of those polled preferred shopping centers in Pratunam and Pathum Wan districts.

Asked about their satisfaction in travelling to Bangkok, the average score of satisfaction was 7.62 marks out of ten, an increase by 0.04 percent from an opinion survey conducted at the beginning of the year.

The highest score of 8.63 for satisfaction was given to food and drink, followed by 8.51 for hospitality. The least satisfaction, which gained a score of only 5.29, was air quality, and cleanliness received only a 6.14 score.

Meanwhile, 51.8 percent of the respondents said they would celebrate the New Year in Thailand while 41.3 percent said they would not stay, and 6.9 percent were undecided.

Among those opting to celebrate the New Year in Thailand, 6.5 percent named Chiang Mai as their destination, 5.7 percent chose Samui, 4.9 percent opted for Khao San Road in Bangkok and 4.1 percent at CentralWorld, Bangkok’s main countdown venue.

Asked about their confidence regarding security measures by Thai authorities, 79.9 percent said they felt confident and 20.1 said otherwise. (MCOT online news)