Bangkok, 9 March, 2017 – From reaching out to new travel agents of Europe to exhibitions of Amazing Thai Stories, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is enjoying a colourful and wide-ranging presence at the ITB Berlin 2017, the world’s largest travel trade show, being held in the German capital from 8 -12 March, 2017.
This year, the ITB Berlin marks its 51st anniversary. Thailand has been exhibiting there for 43 years and benefitted enormously from the business, networking and knowledge that the ITB Berlin produces.
For ITB 2017, Thailand has a total of 88 exhibitors including 79 hotels, 7 tour operators and 2 others (Chiang Mai Convention Centre and Chiang Mai Zoo). Two special exhibitors are the Sirikit Institute (Arts of the Kingdom) and the Sports Authority of Thailand.
By geographical distribution, the exhibitors include 31 from the Central Region, 47 from the Southern Region, 5 from the Northern Region, and 5 from the Eastern Region. The showcase theme is “Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand” to help visitors better understand what makes Thailand a truly unique destination.
H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “The tourism industry is now at the cusp of change. We are re-inventing and repositioning ourselves in line with the changes taking place in global travel trends, and we look forward to meeting our many friends and supporters at the ITB Berlin.”
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor added, “These are very challenging times for the entire travel and tourism industry. But increased competition gives us an opportunity to upgrade the standards of our products and services, as well as step up cooperation with our neighbours in the CLMV and ASEAN countries. That is what we will be showcasing at the ITB Berlin.”
Here is a list of some core activities that TAT will organise at the ITB Berlin 2017.
Thai Pavilion’s Activities: The Thai Pavilion, located at Hall 26B Stand No. 221, bears the theme of “Discover Amazing Stories in Amazing Thailand”. It will focus on the presentation of “Unique Thai Local Experiences” products and services. It will also feature cultural shows of Thailand and the ASEAN countries. Visitors will enjoy a Muay Thai boxing show as well as presentation of local tourism products and activities.
The events that are scheduled to take place at the Thai Pavilion are:
“The LINK” Project: On 8 March, 2017, 10.30 Hrs., TAT organised a press conference to launch “The LINK” project in which ‘L’ represents Local Experiences; ‘I’ for Innovation; ‘N’ for Networking, and ‘K’ for Keeping character. This is to promote local tourism in various communities around Thailand.
The Project is in line with a strategy to match up 10 TAT offices abroad with 10 provinces and local communities, which are deemed to be ready to host visitors. For example, the TAT Frankfurt Office will be linked to the TAT Phang Nga Office under the theme of the green link, which distinctively represents Phang Nga itself.
Meanwhile, under the theme of Andaman Culture, visitors had the chance to see a demonstration of activities including batik painting and krachut mat weaving. Travellers in the Europe and Americas region are being encouraged to visit the LINK destinations.
TAT and LCC MoU Signing Ceremony: On 8 March, 2017, TAT and Lufthansa City Centre (LCC), one of Europe’s largest grouping of individually-owned travel agencies, signed an MoU to promote Thailand as a “Destination of the Year”.
“Thai-Licious Journey” Campaign: On 8 March, 2017, TAT has launched the “Thai-Licious Journey” campaign, which features four episodes highlighting the culinary attractions of destinations in the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern provinces of Thailand. The campaign highlights unique cultural exchanges and interesting finds across Thailand, and TAT will persuade travellers to travel and eat like a local as they crisscross the kingdom.
Thailand Green Excellence Awards 2017: On 9 March, 2017, HRH Princess Ubolratana will preside over the Awards presentation ceremony to two German tour operators and one travel blogger who support and promote Thai environmental conservation efforts and offer green tourism packages.
Thailand Mini Mart: On 10 March, 2017, TAT will organise a show-within-a-show, a table top specifically for 34 Thai sellers to meet with 29 invited travel agents from various countries in Europe. Most of the buyers are medium-sized travel agents from secondary cities who need to gain better connections with Thai tourism operators. This is part of the TAT’s strategy to penetrate new source markets and generate more first-time visitors.
Thailand Happy Hour: This will be organised at the Thailand Stand on 10 March, 2017, from 16.00 Hrs. onward.
Also, TAT will organise the Thailand Networking Lunch, CLMVT Connectivity: On 10 March, 2017, after the Thailand Mini Mart, European tour operators and media are invited to attend presentations by H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports, and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, about the Thai tourism situation, new opportunities to market sports tourism, new tourism products, services and facilities and infrastructure update. This year, TAT has invited representatives of Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam to join Thailand in making presentations at the event. This cooperation will strengthen the marketing strategy to promote combined packages to the European market.
“Hivester” won the Golden Palm Award: Finally, the Thai participation will end on a high note when the Thai website www.hivesters.com is conferred the Golden Palm Award, Newcomer Prize Award for Responsible Tourism by ITB and Magazine Geo Saison.
In 2016, Thailand welcomed 32.59 million visitor arrivals, up 8.91 per cent over 2015. This included more than 6 million arrivals from Europe, up 8.87 per cent. Russia (1,089,992) has become the top European source market followed by the United Kingdom (1,003,386) and Germany (835,506).
For 2017, TAT is targeting an increase of 4.77 per cent from international visitors, while expecting to see a 9.82 per cent growth from tourism revenue.