A series of international accolades, awards and rankings announced over the past 10 days has shown that while Thailand’s enduring popularity as a tourist destination among the world’s travellers continues, its standing among expats hasn’t proven so flattering.
In the 2018 Readers’ Travel Awards of UK magazine Conde Nast Traveller, Thailand was voted the world’s ‘Best Country for People’ and 3rd best in the ‘Best Country’ category behind winner Italy and runner-up Greece. Samui, meanwhile, placed 9th in the top 20 list of the world’s ‘Best Islands’, as one of only two Southeast Asia spots in the top 10 after Bali in 6th place.
Industry publication Travel Weekly UK named Thailand in the top 10 in four categories of its Best Destinations in The World survey – 1st in ‘Best for Spa & Wellness’, 2nd in ‘Best for Value for Money’, 4th in ‘Best for Food & Drink’ and 9th in ‘Best for Luxury’.
In the survey, experienced travel agents were polled to compile a shortlist of 20 destinations for each award category, after which readers then voted on.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said: “That readers of Conde Nast Traveller have again this year seen fit to recognize Thailand for multiple best of the world awards, is extremely pleasing. These well-heeled travellers are discerning by nature and as such they honour us with their choices, in the most satisfying of ways.
“We are very grateful to the readers of Travel Weekly UK for these high honours. Amazing Thailand continues to remain resilient as an aspirational travel destination for millions of travellers both in the UK and worldwide.”
Meanwhile in the 2018 global survey of 68 expat destinations by Expat Insider, one of the world’s largest surveys on life abroad, Thailand placed 4th among the seven Asean countries featured after Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. The kingdom’s global ranking was 18th, with Singapore in 5th spot, Vietnam in 14th and Malaysia in 17th.
Following Thailand among the Asean countries was the Philippines in 28th spot globally, Indonesia in 50th and Myanmar in 53rd.
Conducted online in February and March, the Expat Insider survey saw the participation of 18,135 expats living in 187 countries and territories from around the world, among them representing 178 nationalities. It focused on essential topics such as quality of life, ease of settling in, family life and cost of living which were factored into the ranking calculations.