BANGKOK, 3 February 2017: Ministry of Tourism and Sports presented awards, Wednesday, to Thailand’s seven best tourist destinations of 2016.
Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said the seven best destinations were considered from 17 destinations that qualified to be part of five thematic clusters that would have the potential to be part of a national itinerary.
The awards were categorised into three categories; ecotourism, community-based tourism, and cultural tourism.
Community-based tourism destinations included communities in Chanthaburi and Trat and communities along the Andaman Sea in Krabi.
Cultural tourism destinations focused on handicraft communities in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Lampang and Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast (south I-san).
They were all nominated based on their so-called “unique identities”, the availability of basic infrastructure, the efficiency of community management, the affordability of their products, hospitality and tourist safety.
The minister said the award were a starting point to develop tourism programmes offering new alternative route for tourists within the five cluster themes.
“We aim to add more attractive destinations for travellers, increase tourist length of stay and expenditure as well as spread tourists from overcrowded destinations and generate revenue to communities.”
The ministry hopes tour planners and agencies will include the awarded destinations in tourism programmes and help communities and destinations to improve quality and their readiness to handle international visitors.
The five thematic clusters are:
Lanna Culture: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun and Phayao
Andaman: Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang and Satun.
Royal Coast: Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Ranong.
Active Beach: Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat.
South I-San: Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket, and Ubon Ratchathani.