THAILAND’S annual trade fair, the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2012 held between June 6 and 8 at the Impact Exhibition Centre in Bangkok, showcased the region’s top travel products and services.
TTM+ 2012 is the eleventh show organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and it has proven to be one of its most successful in terms of participation. Out of the total 462 buyers, 47 per cent of those are first time participants, indicating, that despite the global economic downturn, people are still looking to indulge in travel.
This year also saw the fair witness its broadest scope of participating countries, welcoming new buyers from emerging markets from the Baltic area, Latin America, North Africa, and South Asia. The buyers also have a wide variety to choose from with 380 sellers, made up of hotels, tour operators and travel agents, and tourism companies from every segment of the industry. In addition to this, buyers have the luxury of exploring inter-regional options thanks to TAT’s inclusion of several National Tourist Organisations from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) including Bhutan, China’s Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
The annual TTM+ event will also play an increasingly important role as the Asean Economic Community (AEC) approaches, coming into effect in 2015. One of Thailand’s major advantages is its geographical location at the heart of South East Asia. The trade and services liberalisation that will come with the AEC will boost people movements through and within the 10-member Asean grouping. In terms of travel to the GMS countries, the recent opening up on Myanmar will also benefit Thailand due to the two countries’ close connections by air, land, and sea.
“A new marketing strategy has just been approved by the Asean NTO’s Tourism Marketing and Communication Working Group, which Thailand is proud to be chairing for 2011 – 2012. This strategy identifies the relevant products and target markets, charts specific short-terms and long-terms strategies, and identifies ways to execute them via adequate funding, communication channels and measurement indicators. TTM+ 2012, which brings together buyers from throughout the region, is a great way to highlight Thailand’s tourism products and services while forging stronger links with our neighbouring travel destinations,” explained Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
The TTM+ 2012 is part of a wider marketing strategy that is aimed at targeting 20.5 million international arrivals in 2012 to generate approximately $25 billion in revenue.
By Karen Osman