BERLIN: Thailand has been awarded the “Best Destination of the Year” by Connoisseur Circle, a German luxury lifestyle magazine.

The Connoisseur Circle Hospitality Awards 2019 presentation ceremony was held on 6 March, 2019, at the Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel in conjunction with the ITB Berlin 2019, the world’s leading travel trade show, which was being held in Berlin during 6-10 March, 2019.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, K. Tanes Petsuwan, said, “This award belongs to the entire Thai travel and tourism industry for making Thailand such a wonderful destination for German, Austrian and Swiss visitors.”

The “Best Destination of the Year” was judged on the basis of superior products and excellent services, outstanding efforts and professionalism in catering to the needs of European luxury travelers. The Connoisseur Circle gathered comments from writers of the magazine, tourists, frequent travelers and reviews posted on the “Trust You” platform throughout the year. The final decision was made by a 20-member judging committee.

K. Tanes said, “Thailand is a vibrant country with a spectacular range of products for luxury travelers; such as, our quality spas, health centers and elegant shopping malls. Our elegant boutique resorts offer privacy and seclusion, and upscale restaurants now dot the rooftops of many 5-star hotels.

“High net-worth individuals can also enjoy beachfront pool villas and well-equipped yachts and cruises in Phuket and Pattaya to accommodate the need of island hoppers. Numerous renowned hotels have hosted the rich and famous for many decades.” K. Tanes said that this year, TAT has set a growth target of 11.53% in tourism revenue from the European market.

Germany is Thailand’s third largest source market from Europe, second only to the UK. In 2018, Thailand recorded 889,777 German visitors, up by 4.66% over 2017, generating an estimated 57.643 billion Baht (1.784 billion USD), up by 8.30% in tourism revenue.

Switzerland and Austria are two of the most important markets in Europe for Thailand.

In 2018, Swiss visitors to Thailand totaled 207,596, (-0.92%) generating an estimated 17.508 billion Baht (541 million USD) in tourism revenue. Austrian visitors to Thailand totaled 116,779, up by 11.45%, generating an estimated 9.096 billion Baht in tourism revenue, up by 13.95%.