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Pattaya Daily News

27 April 2007 :: 21:04:15 pm 25671

Thailand remains top Asian Destination, Especially for green travelers.

Thailand, according to the Asia Travel Intentions Survey 2007’, retains its position as the most popular Asian holiday destination, especially for 84% of Swedes polled, with the Philippines and Indonesia remaining among the least popular overall. “Thailand’s reputation as a relaxing place where people can enjoy the local culture, natural beauty and friendly people continued to increase in the minds of those looking to travel to Asia,” according to the survey.
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Over 50% of the respondents chose Asia . “With events such as the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, unique cultural experiences and the importance of relaxing and environmentally-friendly travel options, it is not surprising that the region continues to attract travelers from around the world,” the survey maintained. The Olympic Games is likely to account for 19% of Asian visitors.

The key developments revealed by the survey were:

• “the overwhelming majority of respondents in every origin market believe that travelling increases their appreciation of other cultures” and fosters global ties.

• 80% were enviro-culturally sensitive “Responsible Eco-tourists “

• with 8.3 million exiting Indians in 2006, they’re the emergent Pan Asian travellers

• Asia is increasingly becoming THE “Destination”, over 50% favouring it, an increase of 9% on last year and 18% on 2005.

• only 3% were put off by the 2004 Asian Tsunami

• recent political unrest had virtually no effect on the 20% who chose Thailand

• Credit-Debit cards were by far the preferred cash access medium

• tourism revenue is likely to exceed US$1.3 trillion for Asia in 2007

Commissioned by Visa Asia Pacific and PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association ), the survey uses a sample of 5000+ respondents from 10 countries: China, Japan, , Korea, India, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Canada and the US. All chosen, GMI Research, the “surveyors” freely admit, for their Asian-friendly populaces; 67% of the respondents having already experienced Asian delights.

Inquiry categories focussed on:
• potential barriers
• travel experience and intentions,
• attitudes to travel in Asia and particular destinations,
• the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
• perceptions of negative events and
• eco-tourism.

The barriers remain:

• Terrorism – more than 50% saw Indonesia as still being a Tsunami victim, subject to terrorism, along with the Philippines and Sri Lanka, similarly perceived, terrorist-wise.
• Bird Flu discouraged visits to China (58%), Vietnam (37%), Thailand (35%) and Indonesia (34%).
• War – Sri Lanka,
However, as Peter de Jong of PATA pointed out “in an atmosphere of conflict and misunderstanding, the travel and tourism industry can be an incredibly powerful force for conciliation.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Tourism News

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