Bangkok, 10 March, 2015 – A total of 49 high-class boutique hotels, health and wellness specialists, ecotourism operators and wedding management companies are amongst the first-time exhibitors at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+) to be held during 3-5 June, 2015 in Bangkok.
Clearly reflecting the superb diversity of the travel and tourism products in Thailand and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the surge in participation by first-time exhibitors meets the primary objective of the TTM+, viz., to help small- and medium-sized enterprises get cost-effective marketing exposure in a highly-competitive global environment.
Now in its 14th year, Thailand’s largest annual B2B tourism and travel trade event will be held at the Exhibition Centre Hall, Impact Muang Thong Thani. It is the region’s leading trade show for Thailand and the GMS countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and China (Kunming Province).
As of March 3, 2015, a total of 258 registered exhibitors included 202 hotels and resorts, 14 travel agents and tour operators, 9 companies from the GMS countries, 7 ecotourism operators, 7 wedding and honeymoon specialist companies, 7 entertainment venues, 4 health and wellness companies, 3 other travel services, 2 transportation companies, 1 association, 1 NTO, and one experience Thainess niche-market company.
The participation by 49 first-time exhibitors is one of the highest turnouts in the event’s history. Of that number, 36 are small- and medium-sized Thai hotels located nationwide, both independent operators and chain-affiliated. Three are health and wellness specialists, three ecotourism operators, and two wedding and honeymoon management companies.
Other first-timers include two boutique hotels from Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, and one tour operator from Bhutan. The rest are tour operators from Thailand.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said, “This diversity makes it even more important for quality buyers to attend, especially from within Asia. Many of these hotels are emerging in new destinations which are becoming increasingly accessible, thanks to low-cost airline connections.
“As such, this year’s TTM+ will go a long way towards helping us meet our over-arching objective to spread tourism income and create more jobs nationwide.”
So far, the TTM+ has registered 304 buyers from 53 countries. India is the largest contingent (45) followed by the United Kingdom (26), USA (21), and Australia (17). A group of smaller but higher-quality buyers have also been invited from emerging markets; such as, Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Lebanon, Panama, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. Of these 154 are repeat and 150 are first-time buyers.
Mr. Thawatchai said, “We are focussing our promotion strategies towards new source markets where there is a strong interest in Thailand. New buyers from these markets will get a good opportunity to experience the Thai products. Once they start promoting Thailand in their markets, other operators are sure to follow.”
The theme of TTM’s this year, “Experience with Us”, reflects the idea that travellers want to “experience” and learn something new to satisfy a deeper need for participation, creativity, community, and idealism. It is in line with the “2015 Discover Thainess”, campaign, which highlights the experiences offered by the Thai way of life, Thai culture and hands-on Thai activities; such as, Thai boxing, Thai massage, Thai cooking, and Thai classical dance.
As part of this “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign, “12 hidden gems” will be showcased at TTM+. These are emerging new destinations renowned for their unique history, culture and lifestyle that tourists must not miss, especially repeat travellers.
Also this year, TAT will invite Community Based Tourism (CBT) groups; such as, “Local Alike”, which help local communities build their tourism marketing and management expertise. A number of Thai cooking schools and Muay Thai boxing schools are also expected to join the trade show.
The official programme will begin on 3 June, 2015, with buyers, sellers and media registration, a forum for buyers and sellers and welcome reception. The business meetings will be held on 4-5 June. Buyers and media will enjoy a full range of post-tours from 6 June onwards.
Applications for buyers and sellers are still open. Forms can be found on the website www.thailandtravelmartplus.com until 31 March, 2015.