Bangkok, September 9, 2010 — Over 700 travel and tourism organizations from Thailand, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries and around the world will be meeting in Bangkok between 8 -10 September, 2010, for the Thailand Travel Mart Plus.

The Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion is the country’s premier annual trade event, aiming to promote travel and tourism to Thailand and our neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion. One of the key goals for TTM Plus is to provide a platform for Thailand’s small and medium sized entrepreneurs to market their products and services on the international stage.

This year, more than 388 sellers and organisations are participating in the TTM Plus. The show has 425 booths, including 253 hotels and resorts, 41 travel agents and tour operators, and other tourism products and services; such as, ecotourism and adventure, wellness and spas, airlines, entertainment, theme parks, culture, and golf. In addition 14 organisations from the Greater Mekong Subregion countries also join the event this year.

These participants will meet with 335 buyers from 50 major markets around the world, including countries in Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific.

This year, for the first time, the largest contingent of buyers is from India (72), followed by the United Kingdom (25), USA (24), Russia (22), and Korea (16).

As part of TAT’s strategy to tap into new markets, this year TAT is welcoming buyers for the first time from countries including Portugal, Poland, Kazakhstan, as well as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Moreover, 60 trade visitors have also been invited from Asia to observe the TTM Plus.

On 9 September between 14:00-15:00 hours, a Thailand media briefing will be organised to provide Thai and foreign media representatives with updated information on the development of Thai tourism which includes a situation update, marketing strategies, challenges, and new tourism products. In addition, the new theme for the year 2011 “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You” will be introduced.

Media briefings will also be provided by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Madame Tussauds, and the Mekong Tourism Forum.

According to TAT Governor, Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, “TAT has embraced a five-point “balanced strategy” to ensure long-term, sustainable tourism marketing for the future of Thai tourism in 2011 and beyond.”

“These principles of balance take into consideration the fact that tourism does not operate in a vacuum but is interlinked with three key external factors &- the economy, environment and society &- which have to be taken into account.”

Thailand’s tourism sector has proven its ability to bounce back. From January 2010 until the end of July of this year, over 8.7 million foreign visitors have come to Thailand. This is an increase of 13.8 percent over the same period of the previous year.

East Asia accounts for the biggest share of visitors with a total of 4.3 million arrivals, up 14 percent. Europe has shown a solid growth rate of 13 percent, with 2.5 million arrivals. The Middle East and South Asian markets have also enjoyed strong growth at 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

In August 2010, more than 860,000 international tourists arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. This is around 7 percent more than the same period of 2009.

TAT has set a conservative target of over 14 million international visitor arrivals in 2010 which will help generate estimated revenue of 530 billion Baht (US$ 16.5 billion). The domestic tourism target is for 90 million domestic trips with a projected revenue of 430 billion Baht (US$ 13.39 billion).

TTM Plus is designed to take advantage of Thailand’s position as the hub of the Greater Mekong Subregion or GMS. Thailand is at the crossroads of the GMS and very accessible with 5 international airports, served by 97 airlines operating over 1,100 flights per week.

In terms of land transport, the infrastructure between Thailand and its neighbours in the GMS is continuously being strengthened. The 1,200 Km-long R3A Highway now links Thailand, Lao PDR, and China.

Emerging railway connections are also strengthening Thailand’s links with neighbouring Cambodia. Discussions have begun regarding the potential for a high-speed train linking Bangkok to Kunming via Lao PDR. All of these initiatives will further leverage Thailand’s position as the hub of the GMS.

(TAT News)

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