Four of Thailand’s top niche-market tourism segments will be featured prominently at the 2012 Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+2012) to be held from 6th-8th at the Impact Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Centre in Bangkok.
Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand together with the Thai tourism industry, the TTM will feature products and services related to Ecotourism, Golf, Health and Wellness, and Wedding and Honeymoon in a special dedicated pavilion. There will also be a category focusing on General Leisure.
The TTM+ is the country’s premier annual trade event designed to promote travel and tourism to Thailand and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion. One of its primary objectives is to provide a platform for the region’s small and medium sized enterprises to cost-effectively promote their products and services, especially as many of them cannot afford to go to foreign trade shows.
This year, over 400 booths are available for travel operators and service businesses across Thailand and the GMS countries. The business categories arranged for the event are Accommodation, Entertainment, Tourism Organisation / Association, Tour Operator / Travel Agent, Transportation, and Other Travel Services.
Buyers are sourced from the major markets such as Europe, South East Asia, Eastern Asia, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as emerging ones such as the CIS countries, Eastern Europe, Middle East, South America, and South Africa.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said: “The focus on the four niche-market segments is based on the global trend for more experiential tourism, especially among repeat travellers seeking to spend more focussed time on a particular activity.
“There is direct benefit for both buyers and sellers in this product based category. It will open up opportunities for doing more business, understanding each other’s needs and improving the creativity and quality of services. This is because the buyers and the sellers could directly relate to each other’s field of expertise.”
Ecotourism: The Thai travel and tourism industry is becoming increasingly conscious of its environmental responsibilities. Khun Suraphon added: “The need to reconcile the economic and ecological impact of travel and tourism is critical to the Balanced Strategy that we are pursuing as part of our tourism development policies.”
The TAT has for years been undertaking environmental protection activities and projects such as the Green Leaf Certification Programme, the Thailand Tourism Awards programme, and the 7 Greens Concept, with an aim to promote environmentally-friendly tourism.
Golf: Thailand has over 200 high standard golf courses nationwide. Many of them have been designed and created by some of the game’s best-known players such as Nick Faldo, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Steve Ballesteros, Gary Player, and Greg Norman. In recent years, Thailand has hosted many major golf events such as the Thailand Golf Championship, Asia Pacific Golf Summit, PGA Conference of Asia, Honda LPGA Thailand, the 30th tournament on the tour’s annual roster and the 3rd Golf PGA Royal Trophy 2009.
Health & Wellness: A surge in Health and Wellness visitors is driven by the fact that Thailand is an excellent place for both preventive and curative forms of therapies and treatments. Thailand has over 200 international-standard hospitals and clinics, state-of-the-art medical technology, reasonable medical costs and excellent hospitality. It is also a perfect place for post-treatment convalescence and recovery.
Patients and members of their family can enjoy a good post-treatment holiday in Thailand at excellent value-for-money prices. Thailand is estimated to have attracted 1.8 million foreign visitors seeking medical treatment in 2010. It is also an excellent locale for people seeking to learn how to meditate and massage, based on the country’s long-standing Buddhist traditions.
Wedding & Honeymoon: In recent years, Thailand has become increasingly popular among wedding couples and honeymooners from India, China and France. Many Indian couples choose Thailand because they wish to tie the knot in a land renowned for its sense of grace and style, following customs and ceremonies with rich roots in Buddhist culture. The secluded, all-inclusive resorts are perfect for honeymoons.
Invited media and buyers will be able to avail of a range of post tours that will showcase these products as well as Thailand’s world-renowned natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.
Last year, TTM Plus welcomed a total of more than 1,000 participants, including 150 members of the media, from 30 countries. The 368 seller organisations included 78 agencies who were first-time sellers at this event. The 425 buyers from 54 countries included 120 first-time buyers.