In 2018, the Thai tourism industry recorded a
total of 38 million international arrivals, up by 7.54% on 2017,
generating an estimated US$62 billion in earnings, up by 9.63%.
This year, the Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) has set a growth target of twelve percent in
tourism revenue from the international market, and the three-day
TTM+ 2019 currently being held in Pattaya will not only help the
country achieve that, but also help to spread some of that revenue
out to less well known places within the Kingdom.
Held this year under the theme of ‘New Shades of Emerging
Destinations’, TAT is using the TTM+ to to promote 55 provincial destinations which are already
popular with domestic tourists and are now seen as being ready for an
influx of foreign visitors.
The objective is to create jobs and
distribute revenue countrywide, from major cities to local
communities, while creating sustainability by balancing the number
of visitors to the destinations.
Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor
of International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and
Americas) said that this year’s TTM+ features some important
changes in the trade show component to ensure enhanced business
opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
“The total of 340 buyers from 51 countries
is up 18.47% over 2018. Meanwhile, the TAT is seeking to step up
its profile in the long-staying, high-spending Latin American
market. For the first time, the buyers list includes 13 companies
from Brazil along with new buyers from Chile, Argentina and
Colombia,” said Mrs. Srisuda.
First time buyers have also been invited from
other new source-markets such as, Lebanon, Latvia, Estonia,
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Ukraine and Israel.
The sellers list includes 370 exhibitors, mainly
from the Southern and Central regions of Thailand. In order to
help buyers home in on the emerging destinations, the directory of
sellers includes a special listing of the 20 exhibitors from this
“We recognise that in this
era of constant change in everything from customer segments to
technology and demographic profiles, the value of travel trade
shows needs to be constantly refreshed and enhanced to justify the
investment in time and money by both buyers and sellers. We also
have to marry the business objectives of the private sector with
our national objectives to create jobs, reduce income disparities
and better distribute visitors around the country. At the TTM+, all these objectives have been merged. It takes time and
effort for emerging destination cities to be recognised and chosen
by travellers, and this year’s TTM+ has set the ball rolling,”
added Mrs. Srisuda.
As the trade show opened on World Environment
Day, it also included some major environmental protection
features. All the printed materials, including the trade
directory, are online, minimising paper distribution.
Water coolers have been placed throughout the event, with delegates being
encouraged to bring along their own water containers, or use the
glasses provided. There are no
plastic bags, or plastic bottles of water in sight anywhere.
After the business sessions come to an end later
today, some buyers and media will depart for post-tours to
various parts of Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi, and the Eastern
Seaboard of Thailand as well as neighbouring Cambodia.
Thailand Travel Mart (TTM+) 2019 - TAT's Opening Press Conference