Thailand moves ahead with events to boost tourism

Thailand Travel Mart 2014 Plus (TTM+) will return to Bangkok next week
Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) will return to Bangkok next week

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pressing ahead with a series of events and promotional activities in an effort to boost tourism arrivals following the recent coup.

The tourism board has confirmed that the annual Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) will go ahead as scheduled from 4-6 June at Bangkok’s Impact Exhibition & Convention Centre. This event is expected to attract 296 buyers from 46 countries to meet with 403 exhibitors from Thailand and the Mekong region.

And the TAT, which is also organising a series of pre- and post-event tours for delegates, said the event provided an opportunity for international buyers see that tourism operations in Thailand have not been affected by the recent coup.

“In spite of the current political situation, we are very pleased that many buyers and sellers are still assured to attend the event. This is a major vote of confidence in Thailand, the quality of our tourism products and services, and the determination of the travel trade to go on with business as usual,” said TAT governor Thawatchai Arunyik.

Running alongside the TTM+ will be the annual consumer travel event, the Thailand Tourism Festival 2014. This will give local tourism suppliers from across Thailand the chance to display their products.

“The TTF is the biggest tourism event in Thailand and allows a cross-section of the industry’s biggest players – service providers, agents, hoteliers or tour operators – to meet face-to-face with end consumers, the tourists and travellers they aim to serve,” said Thawatchai.

Meanwhile, Thailand will also press ahead with its annual nationwide retail event, the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale. A record 15,000 establishments in seven of Thailand’s main tourism destinations – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Koh Samui – will participate in this year’s edition, which will be held from 15 June to 15 August 2014.

And in an effort to further boost international arrivals, the TAT is partnering airlines and tour operators in Europe and the Middle East to launch a series of promotional tour packages to the country, while also cooperating with online travel agents on a range of tactical digital campaigns.

“We recognise the need for us to be even more proactive in our strategies and activities to make sure that Thailand remains a must-visit destination among travellers,” said Thawatchai.

International arrivals to Thailand dropped 4.9% in the first four months of 2014, even before the coup was announced. The TAT has since reduced its full-year arrivals target for this year from 28 million international visitors to 26.3m – slightly down on the 26.7m visitors achieved in 2013.

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