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Former ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan to deliver keynote address at TTM+2016

Bangkok, 18 May 2016 – Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, the former ASEAN Secretary General, will deliver the keynote address at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+ 2016) on 8 June, 2016, at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC).

The speech, to be delivered at the Buyers-Sellers Forum, will be on the topic of “ASEAN Brand…Stronger Together”. Dr Surin, 66, was the 12th Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations between 1 January, 2008, – 31 December, 2012. A graduate of Thammasat and Harvard Universities, he was also a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand between 14 November, 1997 – 14 February, 2001.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said, “We are indeed honoured that Dr. Surin accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address. Dr Surin played a major role in creating the ASEAN community integration plan, and the tourism industry will benefit enormously from his thoughts on how to build a strong ASEAN brand.”

Now in its 15th consecutive year, the TTM+ will be held between 8-10 June, 2016, in Chiang Mai, the first time outside Bangkok. The theme of TTM’s this year, “Smile with Us”, reflects friendship, enjoyment, happiness and hospitality. It is in line with the new logo of “Amazing Thailand”, which represents the most well-known characteristic of Thainess – The Smile.

Dr. Surin’s speech at the Buyer-Seller Forum will be followed by a second session that will focus on the topic of “OTA: An Inconvenient Truth” with presentations by Mr. Daryl Lee, Regional Vice President Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Mr. Graham Wilson, Asia Pacific Vice President Sales and Marketing, Accor Group. The session will be moderated by Mr. Joseph Wang, Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Daily.

TTM+ has reported the attendance of 345 sellers from Thailand and the GMS countries, and 290 buyers from 51 countries, as well as 150 media representatives. These numbers are expected to increase further after the last minute registrations, which typically occur often on the opening day of the show itself.

China has the largest contingent of buyers (43) followed by United Kingdom (27), the Australia (22), Italy (15), India (14), and South Africa (12). A group of smaller but higher quality buyers have also been invited from emerging markets; such as, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the sellers comprise hotels and resorts (265), tour operators and travel agents (24), entertainment (8), transportation (3), NTOs (4), Greater Mekong Subregion (14) and other travel services (27).

This year, for the first time, a Joint Press Conference will be organised on 9 June, 2016, under the theme concept of “CLMVT Link: Prosper Together”. It is intended to highlight the travel and tourism connectivity between Thailand and Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam.

The official programme will begin on June 8, 2016, with a welcome reception in the evening at CMECC under the theme of “Thai Lanna” (a unique historic culture of Northern Thailand). The Thai classical music and cultural show will be accompanied by performances from Cambodia and Myanmar.

On 9 June, 2016, a “Lanna Night” reception will be hosted by The Group of Strategy Management (Upper North 1 Provincial Cluster). The trade show will be held on 9-10 June at the CMECC.

To give buyers and sellers exposure to the emerging range of quality products and services in Northern Thailand, a specialist selection of 8 complimentary pre-tours have been organised on 7 June, 2016, to highlight the best of “Thai Lanna” such as:

1)    Beauty of Royal Nature: Visit the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, Mon Chaem, home of a Mon hill tribe and the Nong Hoi Royal Project, Formula Mong.

2)    Thrills & Typical Thainess: Ban Mae Kampong to see the various training programmes under the community’s ecotourism and homestay concept and the production of a local tea called “Miang”.

3)    Communal Delights at Ban San Klangpla: San Kangpla experience at a farm cooking school by preparing your own famous Thai dishes.

4)    Chiang Mai Night Food Tour: Northern Thai food at the Worarot Market, Nimmanhaemin Road.

5)    Alternatively Thai Wellness: Experience outstanding spa services, which have won Thailand Tourism Awards i.e. RarinJinda, Oasis Spa, Lanna Come and the Jirung Life Centre.

6)    Tales of Old Lanna: Learn about Chiang Mai by retracing the cultural traditions and historical heritage of the Lanna Kingdom; i.e., Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre, Chiang Mai Historical Centre and Lanna Folk Life Museum.

7)    Wisdom & Wonders: Visit one of the most outstanding One Tambon One Product (OTOP) villages in Thailand at Ban Tawai, Wat Intrawat or Wat Ton Kwen, and Ban Rai Kong Khing.

8)    Thai Ancestry (Bike Tour): Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai, Ku Chang-Ku Ma, Hariphunchai Institute of Handwoven Fabric, and Wiang Kum Kam.

In addition, 6 post-tours are being featured for TTM+ 2016 delegates such as:

1) Reflections of Culture: (3 Days 2 Nights), Chiang Rai province (250 USD)

2) Creative Thainess: (4 Days 3 Nights), Lampang and Lamphun provinces (300 USD)

3) Fruits, Gems & the Origin of Phat Thai: (4 Days 3 Nights) Pattaya and Chanthaburi province (320 USD)

4) Traces of the Khom Civilisation: (4 Days 3 Nights) Buri Ram and Surin provinces (350 USD)

5) Southern Splendours: (4 Days 3 Nights) Phuket and Phang Nga province (400 USD)

6) Thailand-Myanmar: Sister Civilisations (5 Days 4 Nights) (800 USD)

The major sponsors of the TTM+ 2016 are Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Pelican Hotel Solutions, King Power International and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

In January-March 2016, Thailand’s visitor arrivals surged to a record 9.04 million, up by 15.45% over the same period of 2015, according to figures published by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. China continues to grow as the top source of visitor arrivals with 2.63 million arrivals, up by 31.18% over the same period in 2015.

Visitors from East Asia and ASEAN totalled 5.8 million (+19.63%), Europe 2.09 million (+8.56%), the Americas 395,278 (+15.25%), South Asia 337,938 (+9.40%), Middle East 129,001 (+15.39%), and Africa 37,109 (+11.27%).

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