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Chinese vote Phuket favorite destination for students

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Phuket has been voted the favorite destination for Chinese students. The accolade was one of six awards won by Phuket at the annual ceremony held by China’s largest Online Travel Agent (OTA), Ctrip.com, and one of nine awards won by Thai destinations in total.

The “Ctrip Best Tourist Destination of the Year 2013 Awards Ceremony” was held in Shanghai on February 28. The event was attended by over 40 representatives of national tourism offices (NTOs) from outside China, 58 representatives of NTOs in China, and many other senior executives of the Chinese travel and tourism industry and media.

The Ctrip Best Tourist Destination of the Year Awards were launched in 2009 to rank the popularity of tourist cities, both within China and abroad.

The 2013 results were based on votes cast by about three million Chinese travellers via various social media channels, including SMS. The poll is widely recognized as the largest of its kind in the Chinese travel industry. All users of the Ctrip.com website were encouraged to vote.

The six awards won by Phuket were:
Best Students’ Favorite Destination (Rank 1)
Top 10 Best Overseas Tourism City (Rank 2)
Best Island Tourist Destination (Rank 3)
Best 80s Favorite Destination (Rank 6)
Best Couples’ Tourist Destination (Rank 9)
Best Family Fun Destination (Rank 10)

Koh Samui ranked fifth in the Best Island Tourist Destination awards, while Bangkok ranked eighth as the Best Students’ Favorite Destination and ninth as the Best Cultural Tourist Destination.

“It is a great honor to receive such awards, especially from clients and customers of China’s largest online travel agent,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Thawatchai Arunyik.

“It reinforces a positive image of Thailand and enhances the confidence of outbound Chinese travellers to select Thailand as a destination for their future holiday plans or MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions] events.”

China is now the biggest source-market of visitors to Thailand. In 2013, Thailand welcomed more than 4.7 million Chinese visitors, up 68.83% over 2012.

In 2012, the last year for which a full profile of visitors to Thailand is available, young Chinese (aged below 25) and students totalled 345,553, up 66.44% over 2011. They comprised 12.51% of the total number of Chinese arrivals that year.

Thailand is a short-haul and value-for-money destination with good airline connections and visa-on-arrival facilities for Chinese visitors. The kingdom is also well known for its long-standing tradition of friendliness and hospitality.

In a huge show of confidence in Thailand, more than 6,000 Chinese visitors attended the annual convention and incentive travel event held in Bangkok and Pattaya by the East Shanghai International Travel Service and Golden Star (International) Group Ltd on February 22 to March 3.

In 2014, the TAT expects 5.4 million Chinese travellers to visit the Kingdom, up 15% over 2013.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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