Fifteen village communities nationwide have become the first recipients of the Thailand Rural Tourism Award 2020 launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to help the villages attract visitors and create jobs in the rural areas.
Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana presided over the royal awards ceremony on 27 September, World Tourism Day, at the Grand Hall, The Athenee Hotel, Bangkok, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Mr. Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said the inaugural awards were the result of very successful cooperation between more than 40 organisations, including government agencies, educational institutions, the private sector and the mass media.
He congratulated all the winners and also praised the many other tourism villages for their ongoing efforts to raise their standards and maintain the product quality, which reflect their own identity of community and the beautiful nature drawing the tourists to visit.
TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said that all communities underwent a very strict selection process and were judged by a panel of experts based on a voting formula of 70% committee members and 30% media representatives. The winners received a plaque from Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana.
All of the 15 awarded villages will be provided with sales and marketing support. They are divided into five categories including:
1. Best Creative Experience Village.
2. Best Agro-tourism Village.
3. Best Homestay.
4. Best Responsible Tourism.
5. Best for Company Outing.
With the highest total scores of all categories, this made Ban Tha Khanthong Homestay in Chiang Rai Province receive the Best of Thailand Rural Tourism Award 2020.
Mr Yuthasak said, “This will maximise the publicity and promotional exposure for the villages, build confidence amongst potential visitors, and improve the brand image of Thai tourism in preparation for the post-COVID-19 pandemic period. It is in line with our overall emphasis on aligning the benefits of tourism with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”