The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) revealed that the success of the Thailand Travel Mart 2008 Plus and Thailand Travel Fair 2008 exceeded the set target and surpassed that of last year.
Held on 5-8 June in Bangkok, TTM 2008 Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Sub-region and Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle was a significant venue for buyers from around the world to meet and talk business with local sellers and those from the Mekong area. And for this year TAT incorporated the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) into the event in which more sellers from Malaysia and Indonesia also attended TTM. Also the consumers-oriented Thailand Tourism Festival 2008 (TTF) was held at the same period to allow overseas buyers to witness a variety of the nation’s tourism products.
Speaking of the consumer event, H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Tourism and Sports Minister, said that TTF is aimed at encouraging domestic travel. With quality tourism products from all 76 provinces of the kingdom being categorized and displayed under one roof, this provides Thai visitors with the most updated information on the latest range of tourism-related activities and products and inspires them to travel more.
“We’ve received positive feedback praising the well-planned organization of the event. I have ideas for TAT to hold this similar event in different parts of the country to stimulate more travel,” he added.
On 5 June, the first day of TTF, there was a total of 17,741 visitors, an increase of 5.33% from last year’s open day, and with Bt16,250,070 spending registered. Most of them were interested in booking hotels and other accommodation, purchasing products and ecotourism and cultural packages, and buying handicrafts and other goods.
Mrs. Pataraporn Kaweerat, General Manager, Bundhaya Resort in Satun province, said the company joined TTM and TTF every year and business results for this year are as expected, while Mrs. Napat Srimaserm, Managing Director, Southern Plus Travel from Surat Thani, commented that less public relations to promote the TTF as well as the impact from oil prices crisis caused her company’s business to sharply drop by 50%, compared to last year’s results.
For better-known hotel groups like the Dusit Thani, business is as good as ever. Mr. Apichat Tungguay, Senior Sales Manager, revealed, “It’s better this year with more response from our target clients… At TTM, we’re 85% successful while at TTM we gained as much business as we expected, thanks to our client base and the name of the group.”
For TTM 2008, 473 buyers from 63 countries attended, a 31.2% increase over 2007. The 392 seller organizations participating this year included 16 companies from the Greater Mekong Sub-region and 41 companies from the IMT-GT.
Most of the buyers were pleased with the organization. Mr. David Kevan of Tropical Locations, London, said it is well organized and on- site appointments went on smoothly. “Everything is O.K,” he said. Mr. Johann Ehrensperger, Manager-Wholesale, Invogue Tours, South Africa, came to the event for the fourth time and would be back next year.
Mr. Martin Foong, Managing Director, Hi Ha Holidays Travel & Tours, based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, also attended TTM for the first time as a hosted buyer; his company has been promoting a few destinations including Thailand for years. The new programme he would like to promote will include Khao Yai with a wine museum and attractions like Chokchai Farm as selling points.
As one of the sellers, Mr. Pinyo Ratchabandit, Sales & Marketing Director, Takolaburi, confirmed business results from this year’s TTM exceeded last year’s but showed some concern about political instability.
“With regard to tourism, I’d love Thai politics to be more stable. Overseas visitors all love Thailand. Let’s hope for no more national catastrophes and more stable politics, then the future of tourism will be brighter and better.”
Mrs. Lernapa Bilyee, Resident Manager, Tipa Resort in Krabi, was also content with the overall outcome with business reaching an 80% satisfactory rate.

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