Bangkok ranked in Top Ten list of global cities for dining and shopping in MasterCard Index 2018

Bangkok, 14 January, 2019 – MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index has published a survey on the dining and shopping (GDCI: Indulgences) spending patterns of tourists in various cities around the world. Bangkok was ranked third on the list of the Top Global Cities for Dining and sixth on the list of Top Global Cities for Shopping.

The GDCI: Indulgences survey is a part of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI). It ranks cities that tourists visited in the past one year. In 2018, the result indicated that Bangkok was the #1 Global Destination for the third consecutive year with Phuket and Pattaya ranked 12th and 18th, respectively. This has resulted in Thailand being the only country to have 3 cities in the Top 20 list.

In addition to the spending figures, the GDCI: Indulgences also indicate the economic implications that arise from such spending.


Bangkok, the city that is famous for food and culture, is ranked #3 of the Top Cities for Dining. Visitor spending was 108 billion Baht (USD 3.38 billion) or 20.6% of the total expenditure. Palma de Mallorca, Spain ranked #2 with a total of 121 billion Baht (USD 3.78 billion), ranked after the top-ranked Dubai with a spending of approximately 190 billion Baht (USD 5.94 billion).

Bangkok ranked in Top Ten list of global cities for dining and shopping in MasterCard Index 2018

Street Food on Yaowarat Road (Chinatown), Bangkok


GDCI: Indulgences revealed Bangkok is also a popular city for shopping, ranked 6th worldwide, with tourists spending about 120 billion Baht (USD 3.75 billion), representing 23% of the overall expenditure.

There are eight cities on the top list for dining and seven cities on the top list for shopping that are also a part of the Mastercard Priceless Cities experiential travel platform where travellers from over 90 countries can access unique and unforgettable experiences in over 40 cities around the world.

Bangkok ranked in Top Ten list of global cities for dining and shopping in MasterCard Index 2018

Shopping at The Emquartier, Bangkok

“Dining and Shopping are the key expenditure items that connect visitors to local culture, traditions and history. MasterCard has created an amazing city experience for tourists through the Priceless Cities programme, including Bangkok. Whether it is a vacation in a boutique hotel or tasting famous food in Thailand, MasterCard believes that opening up new experiences will create impressive memories for tourists from all over the world,” said Mr. Donald Ong, Director of MasterCard Thailand and Myanmar.

Mastercard is focused on helping cardholders travel the world with peace of mind through seamless planning, convenience and connectivity at the destination, and worry-free acceptance at millions of locations around the globe. Compelling travel offerings and benefits help travellers every step of their journey. More information can be found at

About the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index

The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities in 2017, and gives international overnight visitor growth forecasts for 2018. Public data is used in deriving the international overnight visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 162 destination cities.

Forecasts are based upon the weighted average of the national level tourism forecasts and the actual 2018 monthly data at the destination level, which is available to the latest month before release.

This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on Mastercard volumes or transactional data.

Thailand Tourism Awards 2019 open for submissions

Bangkok, 14 January, 2019 – Submission for the 12th Thailand Tourism Awards, the country’s most prestigious awards that recognises the Thai travel industry’s best and brightest, opens from 1 February to 30 April, 2019.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) initiated the biannual awards project back in 1996, and specifically organise the awards ceremony on World Tourism Day, as a symbolic gesture of recognition that builds awareness for responsible and sustainable tourism.

Thailand Tourism Awards 2019 open for submissionsMr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the Awards have helped develop Thailand’s tourism industry towards a more sustainable future.

“The Thailand Tourism Awards recognise operators of tourism products and services that are committed on sustainable operation and management whilst meeting the high possible standards for quality.

“These awards also serve as a catalyst for the winners, who benefit by leveraging the publicity and increased interested in their products that help drive business development.”

Mr. Yuthasak also highlighted what was new for the 12th edition including simplifying the Awards into three main categories comprising 12 sub segments.

There are now six awards in the attraction category: Outdoor Adventure Activity, Learning and Doing, Nature and Park, Fun and Entertainment, Historical and Culture, and Local and Community.

The accommodation sector now comprises four awards: Luxury Hotel, Location Hotel, Resort and Design Hotel. Whilst the health and wellness tourism sector now has two award categories: Spa and Wellness Retreat.

Selection and judging process has been streamlined and is now classified under three concepts: sustainable tourism, tourist voice and tourist interest. Experts and academics from tourism-related segments are appointed as a panel of judges to select the winners. Sophisticated information technology is then applied and integrated into the selection and judging process inclusive of tourist feedback to ensure credibility of the Awards. This also helps raise the profile of the Thailand Tourism Awards internationally.

Winners benefit by receiving a 50% discount when attending the TAT’s travel shows in Thailand and overseas, including the Thailand Travel Mart Plus, World Tourism Market and International Tourism Borse. Winners are also invited to partner with TAT in its marketing activities; such as, the Kinnari People’s Choice Awards to reward the best of the best in Thai tourism products and services.

They also get additional publicity via TAT’s marketing tools on the Thailand Tourism Awards; such as, the TAT Newsroom and TAT’s prominent social media channels; namely, Amazing Thailand and Thailand Fan Club, as well as other marketing and media platforms.

Full information on the Awards can be found at or

*TAT executives and industry partners at the press conference held last week to announce the 12th Thailand Tourism Awards’ opening for submissions.

Thailand Tourism Awards 2019 open for submissions Thailand Tourism Awards 2019 open for submissions

Thailand named ‘Top 10 Study Abroad Destinations Awards’ by China’s Juesheng and Baidu online platforms

Bangkok, 28 December 2018 – Thailand was named among the ‘Top 10 Study Abroad Destinations Awards’ by two of China’s most influential online platforms, and at the 2018 Annual Education Industry Awards Ceremony.

The awards ceremony, held in Beijing on 14 December, was jointly organised by Juesheng Education Group and China’s No. 1 search engine Baidu. The event was attended by more than 200 participants from the related public and private sectors in educational tourism both from within China and overseas.

Thailand named Top 10 Study Abroad Destinations Awards by China’s Juesheng and Baidu online platforms

Also attending the awards ceremony was Mrs. Anchalee Kumwong, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Beijing Office (2nd from right)educational tourism

This is the first time that Thailand has received the award. Others in the top 10 are South Korea, Japan, Netherlands, USA, Belgium, Mariana Islands, Singapore, Canada and Philippines.

Thailand won the most popular tourist destination by China Travel Agent Magazine

Beijing, 12 December, 2018 – Thailand won the Most Popular Tourist Destination Award for Chinese consumers in 2018, according to China Travel Agent Magazine, the country’s top-ranking publication for the Chinese travel trade.

The awards were conferred on 6 December, 2018, at the Regent Hotel, Beijing. The judging committee, selected by the China Travel Agent Magazine, included well-known travel industry experts, representatives of travel agents and media.

Thailand won the most popular tourist destination by China Travel Agent Magazine Thailand is a popular destination for Chinese visitors because of the visa-on-arrival facilities, short travel distance, value for money, diversity of its products and services, and reputation for friendliness and hospitality. Thailand and China also have much in common in terms of food, and cultural and ethnic relationships.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has five full-time marketing offices in Beijing, Kunming, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou, more than any other country.

China is Thailand’s leading source market of visitor arrivals. In January – October 2018, Thailand received 9.02 million Chinese visitors, up by almost 10% over the same period of 2017. Based on an average length of stay of eight days, they generated tourism revenue of more than 494 billion Baht, up 12.98% over the same period 2017.

Thailand won the most popular tourist destination by China Travel Agent Magazine

Thailand named the Best Destination in Asia-Pacific by Irish Travel Trade News Awards 2018

Bangkok, 04 December, 2018 – Thailand has been declared the Best Destination in the Asia-Pacific by the Irish Travel Trade News Awards 2018.

The 27th Irish Travel Trade Awards were presented on 23 November, 2018, in seven categories: Airlines, Destinations, Sea Transport, Land Transport, Travel Agency Services, Tour Operators, and All Companies. Thailand won the Best Destination in the Asia-Pacific award, ahead of Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Thailand named the Best Destination in Asia-Pacific by Irish Travel Trade News Awards 2018

Mrs. Chiravadee Khunsub, TAT London Office Director (front row, 4th from left), and other winners at the 27th Irish Travel Trade Awards ceremony

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.

Between 22-23 November, the TAT London Office met local tourism operators to market Thailand’s niche markets; such as, family holidays, weddings and honeymoons, and health and wellness.

TAT also has an elaborate online training and educational programme for Irish travel agents to keep them updated with new products and services.

The Irish Travel Trade News has been hosting the Irish Travel Trade Awards for over 26 years. The Gala Dinner ceremony is attended by more than 350 industry leaders.


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