Chiang Mai, 15 June, 2017 – The 16th Thailand Travel Mart Plus: Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+) 2017 has seen 388 buyers from 56 countries and 492 sellers from Thailand and the GMS countries come together to make contacts with local organisations and agents and take advantage of networking opportunities, while enjoying the warm hospitality of Chiang Mai.
Being on the scene in Chiang Mai, the TAT Newsroom took the opportunity to speak to buyers from different markets to get insider insights about the tourism sector and to find out their outlook on Thailand and the TTM+.
Mr. Lv Junbo
General Manager of International Center
Yunnan Huaxia International Travel Service
Second time at Thailand Travel Mart
Market: Families and elderly travellers from Yunnan, China
“The biggest appeal of Thailand to visitors from Yunnan is the sea! Thailand also appeals to travellers who want to discover local culture so increasingly we focus on offering temple tours, cooking classes, Muay Thai boxing and Thai Dancing.
This interest in culture means that our clients are increasingly drawn to the north, such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai while beach holidays in the south, Phuket, Samui and Krabi remain highly popular.
We generally send some 500 tourists a month to Thailand, and we expect this figure to grow by 50 per cent by 2018 as demand is growing.”
“We offer MICE and Thailand is a great market a there’s always something new. The country is seen as offering luxury and great food. Preparing Halal meals isn’t an issue and don’t come with extra charges which is good for our market.
Another advantage Thailand has over other MICE destinations is the flexibility of organisers and venues. It’s easy to make last minute changes and requests and people are always happy to help.
Also, flying time from UAE is not long and Emirates offers direct flights to Bangkok and Phuket. Most of our events take place in these destinations but we are now looking at smaller cultural venues for more exclusive groups. This could include towns like Chiang Mai. We also offer CSR programmes and are considering offering medical tourism. Thailand already has a good reputation for this in the Middle East”.
Mr. Anant Rastogi
Sales and Customer Service Executive
Al Tayer Travel Dubai, UAE
First time at Thailand Travel Mart
Market: MICE Business from Dubai
Buyers from Indonesia attending TTM+ for the first time said Thailand is a hot destination for Indonesian travellers, seeking marvellous shopping opportunities and fine-dining. It’s popular with younger travellers who enjoy taking snapshots of scenery and attractions to share on social media platforms. Popular destinations have included Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket but now smaller towns such as Hua Hin are becoming better known.
Having been introduced to the charms and unique Thai local experiences through familiarisation trips organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) over the years, Indonesian buyers are looking at introducing a number of new routings, including Ko Lipe in Satun province.
Mr. Sameer Vora
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Mumbai-based Capri Tours
First time at Thailand Travel Mart
Key markets: India, Nepal, the US
“I am looking for tour ideas that are unique and different to those readily available in the marketplace. Our key destinations remain Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, but there’s the potential to promote smaller and culturally charming cities like Kanchanaburi, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai.
Our clients are driven by the need to deliver unique experience rather than price, and that’s why I’m also taking the time for product updates in Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket both during and after attending this show. I plan to launch fixed date tours to Thailand for the first time next year. “