Destination experiences take centre stage at this year’s TTM+

This year’s Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) will run with the theme, Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters, and bring into focus meaningful destination experiences that will benefit travellers as well as the local community.

The event is the Kingdom’s most prominent annual B2B travel trade event, organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to promote Thailand to the world.

Thailand Travel Mart Plus will welcome 371 buyers and 433 sellers this year; Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan in Bangkok, pictured

Detailing the theme’s influence on TTM+ programming, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said a number of interesting businesses from across the country would be brought together on site to inspire unique travel experiences. These include Araksa Tea Garden, an organic tea garden in Chiang Mai; the Ruk-Khon, a group of shadow puppet-making artists in Nakhon Si Thammarat; the Luk Wa Group, a group of young volunteers promoting the unique handicrafts of Phetchaburi; and the Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, a centre of alternative medicine and herbal medicine treatment.

TTM+ delegates will also be able to sample seasonal fruits from the Eastern region and freshly brewed organic coffee that will be paired by Thai desserts.

The event will be packed with informative presentations, including Thailand destination updates; TTM Talk, where the Future of Thai Tourism comes into focus; and GMS Media Briefing, where Greater Mekong Subregion countries will provide updates on their tourism situation and trends.

New to TTM+ is the Amazing Thailand Culinary City, a trade and consumer event that spotlights gastronomy tourism through 30 Thai entrepreneurs. Event attendees can experience a food tour, dinner cruise and Thai cooking classes. Amazing Thailand Culinary City will also feature a panel discussion along with Thai food tasting.

Beyond the show floor, TAT has planned a number of pre- and post-tours for buyers and the media “to get first-hand experiences of Thailand’s many new chapters”.

The pre-tours feature customised routes that highlight Bangkok’s responsible and sustainable tourism, while post-tours are designed to showcase meaningful travel experiences in various aspects, such as gastronomy, the local way of life, and local wisdom across all five regions of Thailand.

“The Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters invites friends from around the world to our wonderful country and to write their own impressive chapters, which they can then share with their friends and family. Focusing on experience-based tourism, we wish to deliver fresh travel experiences and aim to create a meaningful travel experience for travellers, as well as the local communities and the environment,” Yuthasak told TTG Asia.

The event will also uphold TAT’s sustainability commitment. To qualify for participation in the event, sellers must have sustainability projects and campaigns that conserve the environment, reduce resource consumption, support the local community, or provide guests with valuable insights into the history, culture, or background of the community.

Sellers must also abide by the country’s Sustainable Tourism Goals exhibition standard, which is aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

With TTM+ set to kick off on May 31, Yuthasak said interest levels have been high. Buyer numbers this year are up 34 per cent over 2022, while seller numbers are up 64 per cent.

He said the scrapping of entry restrictions in many countries, especially in major source markets like China, has helped to enable more buyers to join TTM+ in person.

Improving air connectivity and growing demand for travel have also helped to spur stronger interest in sourcing at TTM+.

According to TAT, TTM+ 2023 will welcome 371 buyers and 433 sellers. Buyers hail from almost all regions ­–­ East Asia (122); South-east Asia, South Asia and South Pacific (100); Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (94), the US (16), and Thailand (39).

Seller representation includes hotels and resorts, tour operators, entertainment venues, wellness and shopping malls, airlines, tourism boards and the Greater Mekong Subregion, among others.

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