THAI ranked high as Bangkok hosts world tourism council

National carrier THAI Airways International made the top-10 list for best airlines in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a survey by the United States-based TripAdvisor website, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha touted Thailand’s role as a tourism gateway to the region at a meeting of the World Travel and Tourism Council in Bangkok last week.

In the TripAdvisor survey on Best Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region, THAI Airways International finished in the ninth spot, edging out Cathay Pacific, which is frequently rated among the world’s best airlines. Last month, THAI Smile, the national carrier’s regional airline subsidiary, was named eighth best airline in the world in the website’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2017. THAI Smile was called “excellent in every sense,” by the website.

TripAdvisor bills itself as the world’s most visited travel website. It was founded in 2000 in Needham, Massachusetts and was an early adopter of user-generated content. A public company listed on NASDAQ, it had $1.49 billion in revenues in 2015, and claims to have over 315 million ‘members’ worldwide.

Bangkok is the world’s most visited city, according to MasterCard, and last week travel executives from around the world gathered in the Thai capital for the annual meeting of the World Travel and Tourism Council, where they were addressed by Prime Minister Prayut.

The Prime Minister spoke about how Thailand has invested significantly to upgrade its transport infrastructure to link the Kingdom with other countries in the region as part of its “Thailand Plus One” tourism strategy.

The strategy positions Thailand as the travel gateway for visiting other countries nearby, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam. All have young, growing tourism industries that appeal to more adventurous travelers searching for new destinations. But their infrastructure, tourism numbers, variety of attractions and experience, pales in comparison to Thailand. That makes the Kingdom the logical jumping off point for travelers heading to those countries.

In total, the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) expect to host 121 million tourists this year, which has been dubbed “Visit ASEAN Year” to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the group’s founding.

Thailand’s national infrastructure upgrade will do much to increase connectivity in the region, and that will help serve tourists and travelers. The Kingdom is investing in hi-speed rail lines that will link the country with China in the north and Singapore in the south, as well as east-west routes.


Thailand Focus
Royal Thai Embassy