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Thailand to hold online vote to attract more Chinese tourists

BANGKOK, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's tourism authority said Monday that an online poll in which Chinese can rate tourist attractions and hotels in Thailand will start from Tuesday, in a new campaign aiming to attract more Chinese tourists.

The online popular vote, or 2016 People's Choice Awards Thailand Voted by Chinese Tourists, is aimed at getting vital feedback from Chinese tourists about their favorite things when visiting Thailand, said the Tourism Authority of Thailand in a press conference held in Bangkok.

There are 17 categories including destinations, hotels, airlines, food and so on to be rated by Chinese people from Tuesday to June 19.

Everyone who has an account of two popular Chinese instant messaging apps Wechat and QQ can easily login a website designed for the poll, which will be advertised on popular Chinese websites and social media, said Nathan Upalawanna, senior sales consultant from Top Space, a company providing technical support for the poll.

The authority hope a 1.5 million people will join the online poll, and said about 10 of them may get free flight tickets from China to Thailand.

Hotels, restaurants and other shops joining the competition judged by Chinese online voters will get certificates to prove the recognition.

The result of the poll and winners of free trips to Thailand will be released on June 27.

Chinese tourists now account for about 30 percent of total foreign tourists visiting the kingdom, which is the biggest share.

In 2015, Thailand attracted a total of 7.9 million Chinese tourists and they generated 376 million Baht (10.64 million U.S. dollars) in revenue for the Thai economy, representing an increase of 71.14 percent and 87 percent respectively compared with 2014.

"We want to attract more 'high value' tourists from China, especially those people with a high income living in cities, so we just put luxury hotels in the hotel category for people to rate," said Srisuda Wanapinyosak, deputy governor for Asia and South Pacific marketing of the tourism authority, adding that they expect the number of Chinese tourists this year to be over 10 million.

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