The Tourism Authority of Thailand will go ahead with the Thailand Travel Mart 2014 Plus, the country's largest travel industry business-to-business event, from June 4-6 at Impact Muang Thong Thani.
TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said last week that in spite of the political situation, TAT is very pleased that many buyers and sellers are still assured to attend the event. This is a major vote of confidence in Thailand, the quality of its tourism products and services, and the determination of the travel trade to go on with business as usual.
The 13th TTM+2014 is designed to promote the tourism and service business in Thailand and its Greater Mekong Subregion counterparts. TTM+ buyers and media can also enjoy a full range of pre- and post-event tours showcasing Thailand’s world-renowned natural beauty and rich cultural heritage and see first-hand that it is “business as usual” in Bangkok and Thailand.
This year’s theme, “Experience with us”, reflects the fact the leisure travel is shifting away from just recreational holidays to more experiential and fulfilling activities.
“Today’s travellers want to ‘experience’ something new, learn something and satisfy a deeper need for participation, creativity, community and idealism. That is why TAT launched ‘Thainess’, our way of life as embodied in our culture, art, food and way of life,” he said.
This year, the exhibition area is divided into two groups – product-based and leisure.
Four experiential Thainess products are being presented for the first time in one area – ecotourism, wedding and honeymoon, health and wellness, and experience Thainess products such as Thai boxing and Thai cooking classes.
The sellers of leisure products cover the normal range including hotels, tour operators, entertainment, transportation, golf courses, associations, National Tourism Organisations and travel services.
Of the 403 seller organisations registered, 77 per cent are repeat sellers while 23 per cent are new participants.
The 296 buyers from 46 countries are equally divided between first-time and repeat buyers. The top five major buyers by country are China (35), the United Kingdom (26), Australia (18), India (18), South Africa (16) and Japan (14).
About 44 per cent of buyers are from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, 24 per cent from Asean, South Asia and the South Pacific, 23 per cent from East Asia and 9 per cent from the American region.
TAT has invited buyers from major markets – Europe, Southeast Asia, East Asia, America and Australia – and new potential markets – East Europe, CIS, the Middle East, South America and South Africa. A special effort has been made to reach out to tour operators who plan to feature Thailand for the first time.
“In preparation for the Asean Economic Community in 2015, we also believe this is an excellent opportunity to promote many wonderful and emerging destinations and attractions in the provincial regions, especially in those areas bordering our Greater Mekong Subregion neighbours – Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar,” he said.
An industry forum will be held on the topic of “Amazing Thailand – simplicity to luxury”. Media briefings will be given by TAT, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Myanmar’ Hotels and Tourism Ministry.