H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, stated that under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the tourism industry has been severely affected by travel restrictions for both Thai and foreign tourists. This includes travel behavior that takes safety into account. He continued that the Thailand Tourism Awards, therefore, was a mechanism for raising the standard of tourism products and services. This year, the standard for hygiene and safety that meets the criteria of the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) had been added. This was to create an image of Thailand's tourism as "White Tourism" (clean, convenient, safe, fair, and environmentally friendly) and also to build confidence for both Thai and foreign tourists in a new way of tourism. This would lead to the creation of a safe and impressive travel experience, especially participation in social and environmental sustainability.
Miss Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Deputy Governor for Domestic Tourism, Tourism Authority of Thailand stated that TAT organised the Thailand Tourism Awards biannually, and these awards serve as a vital benchmark for guaranteeing the quality of the products and services within the tourism industry, as well as provide assurance that these products and services show sufficient social and environmental responsibility. The awards are also a way of promoting and supporting the development of products and services within the industry, as well as creating a healthy level of competition in order to achieve new levels of efficiency and quality, to ensure the industry conforms with the latest SHA hygiene and safety standards, and to emphasise the quality of Thai tourism on an international level. A team of experts from the industry analysed and judged the entries and awarded the prizes according to the five project criteria, which were as follows: 1. White Tourism, 2. Compliance with the BCG Model, 3. SHA Hygiene and Safety Standard, 4. Environmental Responsibility, and 5. Voice of the Customer.
There was a grand total of 346 entries in this year's competition with 185 of those entries completing the criteria and receiving awards. The awards were divided into three categories: 1) Tourist Attraction, a total of 83 prizes, 2) Accommodation, a total of 69 prizes, and 3) Health and Wellness Tourism, a total of 33 prizes, with each category featuring Thailand Tourism Awards (Outstanding), Thailand Tourism Gold Awards (Excellence), and Hall of Fame Awards for entrants who had received three consecutive Thailand Tourism Gold Awards.
In this year's competition, a total of 10 Hall of Fame awards were presented. Three awards were in the attractions category: Chiang Mai Night Safari (Chiang Mai), Tiffany Show Pattaya (Chon Buri), and Flying Hanuman (Phuket), one award in the accommodation category: Siam Bayshore Resort Pattaya (Chon Buri), and finally six awards in the Health and Wellness Tourism category: Banyan Tree Spa (Phuket), Banyan Tree Spa Samui (Surat Thani), Fah Lanna Spa (Chiang Mai), RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort (Chiang Mai), Oasis Turquoise Cove Spa (Phuket), and Oasis Spa Pattaya (Chon Buri).
TAT hopes that the Thailand Tourism Awards project could achieve its purpose of acting as a tool, which would create and stimulate sustainable ethical interaction between the public and private sectors and local communities, as well as encourage the development of attractions within the tourism industry, thus creating a wider market for the products and services offered by the Thai tourism industry. It is also hoped that the awards would create opportunities for employment and income across the entire economy and help to maintain sustainable tourism in Thailand.
Source: NINETY-NINE ENTERTAINMENT