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Published on : Saturday, July 2, 2016
Tour operators based on the West Coast USA have voted for Thailand as the “Destination with the Highest Client Satisfaction – Asia”. This is the fourth consecutive year that Thailand has won this award.
“The Annual Travel Age West WAVE Awards 2016” were organised on 16 June, 2016, by TravelAge West Magazine, a trade magazine based in the Western USA. The ceremony, held at Ritz-Carlton Marina del Ray, Los Angeles, USA, was attended by Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
This year’s awards featured 69 WAVE categories and “Editor’s Pick” winners. The U.S. tour operators voted for Thailand ahead of a number of other popular destinations in the Asia-Pacific.
The Editors Picks and WAVE Award is a gala event, which brings together honorees and travel agents, and recognises the outstanding qualities and services of the industry as leading travel suppliers.
Every year, the editorial team at TravelAge West, headed by Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro, reviews hundreds of travel suppliers and products. Review methods include product analysis, on-site visits, a travel agent survey and online research. After careful consideration, a list of “Editor’s Pick” nominees in a variety of categories are confirmed.
Nominees are then placed on an official WAVE ballot, which is printed in the April issue of TravelAge West, posted online and promoted in e-mail communications to travel agents throughout the Western United States.
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) commented, “It is always a good feeling to be recognised thus by U.S. tour operators. It clearly indicates that they are very impressed and satisfied with our destinations, products and services. I would like to thank all those who voted for us and assure them of our continued commitment to excellence.”
Mrs. Juthaporn hailed the continued role and importance of travel agents and tour operators as sources of business for the Thai tourism industry.
“We have a featured section on our website (www.tourismthailand.org) designed to help travel suppliers and travel agents to become a Tourism Thailand Business Partner. This programme is free of charge and provides partners with benefits; such as, the ability to promote unlimited products, services, and branches of their business, travel products, information and deals to specific markets all under one account.
In 2015, U.S. visitors to Thailand totalled 867,520, up 13.6% over 2014. In January-April 2016, U.S. visitors totalled 337,243, up 14.26%. Because this is an election year in the U.S., TAT is conservatively forecasting a small growth of 5% in U.S. visitors.
U.S. visitors have an average length of stay of 14.3 days. The visitor profile reflects a high percentage of repeat visitors and independent travellers. Average expenditure per person per day in 2014 was US$152.