After being organized in Pattaya in June 2018, Thailand Travel Mart+ 2019 was successfully being held for the second consecutive year at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya, the biggest marina in Southeast Asia. Under the theme “New Shades of Emerging Destinations”, the three-day event on June 5-7 highlighted altogether 55 provincial destinations apart from the main destinations of Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Thus, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) objective is to create jobs for its huge tourism industry and distribute revenue countrywide, while creating sustainability by balancing the number of visitors to the kingdom.
Actually, in 2018 the Thai tourism industry recorded a total of 38 million international arrivals, up by 7.54% over 2017 and this year has set a growth target of 12% in tourism revenue from the international market. Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor of International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) said that this year’s TTM+ featured some important changes in the trade show component to ensure business opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
Actually, TAT counted 339 buyers from 51 countries, including companies from Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. The sellers list included 370 exhibitors, mainly from the Southern and Central regions of Thailand as well as 10 exhibitors from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries. As the trade show opened on World Environment Day, it also included some major environmental protection measures, such as an on-line trade directory to minimize paper distribution. Water coolers were placed around the hall to encouraging delegates to bring along their own water containers. Plastic bags were nowhere to be seen too. The business meetings went in high gear on June 6-7.
On the first day of the show, there was the Thailand media briefing given by Khun Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, who introduced the so-called A-B-C strategy that TAT has adopted to ensure that Thailand is going from mass tourism to niche market and preferring quality tourists and mixed market to balance visitors from countries such as China and India. A means “additional” by linking major and emerging cities, B means “brand new” by promoting new potential cities and C means “combined” by combining emerging cities together. To reach sustainability is the high aim of this promotion policy and concept. Sustainable Tourism and Social Responsibility was also the main theme highlighted during the media briefing by Mr. Gerrit Kruger, Adviser of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), which had its annual Mekong Tourism Forum in Dali, Yunnan, China on May 28-29.
Under the theme of “Making the World a Better Place through Travel”, there finally was a line-up of 10 recognized tourism experts, who held talks at separate sessions. For example, Mr. Imtiaz Muqbil, Thailand’s second longest-serving travel trade journalist, gave a talk about “Thailand: The Greatest Story in Global Tourism History”, especially about the marketing strategies that have helped Thai tourism become what it is today.
The well-organized welcome reception of TTM+ for all delegates was celebrated at the Alexa Beach Club at Na Jomtien Beach area just south of Pattaya.
Last not least, TAT has offered some post-tours to include the best sight-seeing places along the Eastern Seaboard in Chonburi, Chanthaburi and Trat as well as a trip to neighboring Cambodia to visit Battambang, Banteay Chhmar, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. There were around 130 international and domestic media, who were more than satisfied with new ideas, new destinations and new topics of discussion all designed to set the ball rolling to celebrating the 60th anniversary of TAT in 2020.
Some of the new exciting travel products during the show were the following (in alphabetic order):
Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder. Please contact Seila Hul, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Tourism, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dara Hotels, Cambodia: Please contact Sokleng You (Bell), Assistant Director of Sales, by e-mail email@example.com
Felix River Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi. Please contact Pimpatai Techachukiat (Pim), General Manger, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
InterContinental Phuket Resort. Please contact Sunny Yu Grosic, Director of Sales and Marketing, by e-mail email@example.com
Katathani Collection, Bangkok. Please contact Jiratchaya Baiphaka, Group Director of Sales, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Novotel Hotels & Resorts, Bangkok. Please contact Jindawan Suphan, Group Director of Sales, by mobile +66-8-9924-4228
Thavorn Hotels & Resorts, Phuket. Please contact Navaphat Sriboonma (Pond), Senior Sales Manager, by e-mail email@example.com
Tourism Federation, Myanmar Tourism Marketing. Please contact Ms. Khaing Khin Thar, Executive Officer, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Villa Santi, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Please contact Viengsay Souvannaseng, Director of Sales, by e-mail email@example.com
X2 Vibe Chiang Mai Decem Hotel. Please contact Thanawat Hoabjarean, Sales Executive, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai (10-6-2019)