Thailand Travel Mart 2016 Opens in Chiang Mai

_DSC0027Chiang Mai (Thailand) – June 8, 2016 ( – The Thailand Travel Mart 2016 Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+ 2016) opened today in Chiang Mai, the northern capital of Thailand, with more than 850 delegates from 55 countries. The three-day event, the largest travel trade show of its kind in Thailand, is being held from 8-10 June, 2016 at the state-of-the-art Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC).

The decision to hold the TTM+ in Chiang Mai was a very strategic one because the entire North and Northeast Thailand region is set to become a major bridgehead between Thailand and its neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Celebrating the launch of the ASEAN integration that took effect this year, TTM+ 2016 will see senior tourism executives of Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Myanmar hold a joint press conference to discuss the theme concept, “CLMVT Link: Prosper Together.”

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to personally meet everyone who’s anyone in the Thailand’s travel industry scene, especially our overseas partners. This will be my first TTM+ since I assumed the TAT governorship in 2015. In planning this year’s event, we had promised to make it unique, different and distinctive. The unique content indicates that this objective will be achieved.”

Now in its 15th consecutive year, TTM+ is being held under the theme concept, “Smile with Us”, which reflects friendship, enjoyment, happiness and hospitality. It is in line with the new logo of “Amazing Thailand”, which represents the most well-known characteristic of Thainess — The Smile.

To be held at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC), the event as of today has reported registration by 345 sellers from Thailand and the GMS countries, and 305 buyers from 55 countries, 110 trade visitors, as well as over 100 international and local media.

China has the largest contingent of buyers (43) followed by United Kingdom (27), Australia (21), India (17), Italy (15), South Africa (13) and Russia (11). A smaller group of high-quality buyers have also been invited from emerging markets such as, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

The sellers comprise hotels & resorts (265), tour operators & travel agents (24), entertainment (8), transportation (3), NTOs (4), the Greater Mekong Subregion (14) and other travel services (27).

TTM+ 2016 will open with a presentation on Thailand’s Sports Tourism potential by H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports. This will be followed by the forum for sellers and buyers to be addressed by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, the former Foreign Minister of Thailand and former ASEAN Secretary General, on the topic of “ASEAN Brand…Stronger Together”.

Dr. Surin’s speech will be followed by a second session on the topic of “OTA: An Inconvenient Truth” with presentations by Mr. Daryl Lee, Regional Vice President Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, GTA and Mr. Deepak Ohri, Chief Executive Officer, Le Bua Hotels and Resorts. The session will be moderated by Mr. Joseph Wang, Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Daily.

Later in the evening, the Welcome Reception will be presided over H.E. General Tanasak Patimapragorn, the Deputy Prime Minister under the theme of “Thai Lanna” (a unique historic culture of Northern Thailand). The Thai classical music and cultural show will be accompanied by performances from Cambodia and Myanmar.

On 9 June, the Joint Press Conference will be organised under the theme concept of “CLMVT Link: Prosper Together”. Representatives of CLMVT countries confirmed to speak are 1) Mr. Try Chhiv, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia, 2) Ms. Manisakhone Thammavongxay, Director of Public Relations Division, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR, 3) Ms. Daw Khin Than Win, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar, 4) Mr. Vu Nam, Deputy Director General, Tourism Marketing Department, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam, and 5) Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand.

Also on 9 June, a “Lanna Night” reception will be hosted by The Upper Northern Provincial Cluster at Chiang Mai Grandview Convention Centre. The “TTM+ 2016: Thank You Party” will be held on 10 June. In addition to the trade show on 8-10 June at the CMECC, a specialist selection of 6 complimentary pre-tours have been organised on 7 June to highlight the culture, heritage, folklore, cuisine, products and facilities of “Thai Lanna”.

Three post-tours have been offered for TTM+ 2016 delegates to see other destinations; such as, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun, Phuket and Phang Nga. One five-day tour also covers Thailand and Myanmar.

The major sponsors of the TTM+ 2016 are Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Pelican Hotel Solutions, King Power International and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

In January-April 2016, Thailand’s visitor arrivals surged to a record 11.7 million, up by 14.12% over the same period of 2015, according to figures published by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. China continues to grow as the top source of visitor arrivals with 3.44 million arrivals, up by 27.35% over the same period in 2015.

Visitors from East Asia and ASEAN totalled 7.63 million (+17.26%), Europe 2.52 million (+8.89%), the Americas 502,627 (+13.76%), South Asia 459,157 (+8.72%), Middle East 226,973 (+11.36%), and Africa 51,566 (+6.44%).

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