Long-standing friends and supporters of the Thai tourism industry, as well as some of its best products and tour guides, were conferred well-deserved awards at a cocktail reception organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on 27 September, 2010, in Bangkok.
The 8th Thailand Tourism Awards, 7th Friends of Thailand Awards, and 6th Tourist Guide Awards were conferred on a total of 283 recipients at the function organised at the Centara Grand Hotel.
The event was simultaneously organised to commemorate World Tourism Day as well as being held in the year marking the 50th Anniversary of the founding of TAT.
All three awards are designed to promote the professionalism, standards, and image of the Thai tourism industry, recognised as one of the country’s most important contributors to economic and social development.
The Thailand Tourism Awards
Initiated by TAT since 1996 and held bi-annually, these awards are aimed at motivating both private and public tourism-related organisations to conserve the country’s natural and cultural resources and promote sustainable tourism development.
This year, the judges selected 32 Awards of Excellence and 80 Awards of Outstanding Performance out of a total of 112 nominees.
The awards have gained wide recognition both within Thailand and abroad. The Panel of Judges comprises a panel of industry specialists and key academics chaired by Dr Suvit Rasmibhuti.
The Awards are statuettes of a Thai mythical half-human-half bird creature, Kinaree, certified by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO).
The Friends of Thailand Awards
These awards honour foreign individuals and companies worldwide, who have contributed to the success of the Thai tourism industry.
A total of 75 persons or organisations from 57 countries received the Awards in four award categories including tour operators (26), international airlines (8), international media (23), as well as individual supporters and groups (18).
The Tourist Guide Awards
These are conferred on dedicated and professional tour guides to encourage them to aspire to high service standards as well as to encourage other tour guides to follow suit.
They recognise the fact that tour guides are perhaps one of the most important points of contact for any visitor and play a critical role in helping promote a better understanding of a country’s culture and traditions.
A total of 96 Awards were awarded to tour guides in specific areas of expertise as well as to the best guides in each of the four Thai geographical regions: Central and Eastern region (55), Northern region (28), and Southern region (13).