CHIANG RAI – Thailand has been declared the Best Destination in the Asia-Pacific by the Irish Travel Trade News Awards 2018. Among the other nominees were Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Ireland has a small population of 6.6 million people, but a high rate of per capita travel, with 6.3 million outbound trips. The most popular destinations outside Europe are the USA, Canada and Thailand.
In 2017, Thailand received 51,168 Irish visitors, up by 1.54%, generating an estimated 3.3 billion Baht, up by 3.47%.
Although there are no direct flights from Dublin to Bangkok, the Tourism Authority of Thailand works with numerous airline partners to route visitors through London and points in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.
The Irish Travel Trade News has been hosting the Irish Travel Trade Awards for over 26 years. The Gala Dinner ceremony was attended by more than 350 industry leaders. Chiravadee Khunsub, TAT London Office Director were among the guests.
Thailand welcomes tourists and generates tourism-related income as planned this year and expects a 10% growth of visitors’ number to 40 million next year, said the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that this year the country received 38 million visitors and generated 3.3 trillion baht from tourism. The number of Chinese visitors is at 10.5 million, up from an earlier target of 9.8 million.
He estimated domestic tours at 161 million travelers/trips, compared with a previous target of 100 million travelers/trips.
The number of visitors should rise by 10% to 40 million next year and authorities would focus on tourists’ conveniences and safety, especially safety for water transport and marine tourism that saw many incidents this year, Mr Yuthasak said.