The revamped innovative and creative content and business format of the 2019 Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) has proven to be a resounding success, as indicated by the post-event survey responses from buyers, sellers and participants.Held at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, the 18th TTM+ was highlighted by the participation of new buyers and media from new source markets, new exhibitors from Thailand’s new emerging destinations, a line-up of all-Thai speakers at the knowledge-sharing platform, new tours linking the Eastern Corridor of Thailand to neighbouring Cambodia, a product showcase for community-based enterprises, and total dedication to environmental preservation.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “As this is an era of constant change, especially for travel trade shows, we decided it was time to change the entire concept of the TTM+ in order to ensure that everyone gets value for time and money. Thanks to the feedback from all the sectors.
Under the theme of “New Shades of Emerging Destinations”, the event was held for the second consecutive year in Pattaya to emphasise its new image as a tourist destination for families and luxury travellers with a broad diversity of tourism products and services.
TAT invited 338 buyers from 51 countries. In addition to top markets; such as, China (64), the UK (25), and India (23), the invitees included carefully-selected buyers from emerging source markets; such as, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Turkey and Ukraine.
To ensure the participation of serious buyers, all hosted buyers paid a US$ 300 registration fee, non-hosted international buyers paid US$ 200, and domestic buyers, US$ 100.
The number of exhibitors totalled 370, of whom 89 were first-timers to the TTM+. By category, the exhibitors included Hotels and Resorts (277), Emerging Destinations (20), Associations (9); Entertainment Businesses (12); Tour Operators/Travel Agents (23), private companies from the GMS countries (10); National Tourism Organisations from the GMS (10); and other travel services (9).
Sellers paid a registration fee of 35,000 Baht for 2 delegates.
The media list included 50 domestic and 84 international media from 26 countries including emerging markets; such as, Poland, Vietnam and Latvia.
Based on the online survey responses from 72% of the buyers and 38% of the sellers, the event was expected to generate 2.77 billion Baht worth of economic and business value. A total of 59% of the buyers and sellers said they entered into immediate business contracts, a strong indication that the trade show was attended by decision-makers on both sides.
Nearly all the buyers (99.18%) reported meeting new sellers; 97.92% said they had received more up-to-date information; 89.71% said they were satisfied with their participation, and 93.80% said they had achieved their business goals.
Moreover, 93% of the buyers felt the registration process was more organised and convenient; 92.47% felt that the sellers were of good quality, and 88.84% were satisfied with the products and services they saw.
Asked specifically about the potential of the “Emerging Destination Show Case”, 85.06% of the buyers felt that the products and services offered had the potential for inclusion in future tour programmes.
Most of the buyers (85.19%) intended to join the TTM+ in 2020.
Amongst the sellers, 90% said they were satisfied with the event and would join again next year.
Media monitoring indicated an estimate of 111 million impressions amongst readers and viewers.
TAT also invited 41 entrepreneurs from the emerging destinations in 17 provinces to attend as observers to learn more about the show and business opportunities.
The TTM+ Talk focussed on the entire new theme “Making the World a Better Place through Travel”. It included a line-up of 10 speakers, thinkers, entrepreneurs, designers, media, IT specialists and historians to provide new perspectives on how change can positively contribute to society and the environment.
The post-tour programme was designed to cement the land links between Thailand and the Greater Mekong Subregion countries. One of the tours was a five-day, four-night itinerary covering Pattaya – Rayong – Chanthaburi – Battambang – Siem Reap, showing that it is possible to go all the way to the famed temples of Angkor Wat.
The TTM+ was also a heavily environmental conscious event with reduced usage of plastic and non-degradable materials; such as, plates, bowls, forks, water tubes, etc., drinking water available from water dispensers, waste separation, use of an e-Directory and e-Survey to reduce paper usage, open-air activities in some areas to reduce energy consumption, zero usage of plastic bags, and reusable neck-straps. All the waste materials were recycled.
Community-based enterprises showcasing their products included the tie-dye fabric at Banmatjai Homemade, Phrae province; Varni Handicraft, Phatthalung province; indigo-dyed fabric, Sakon Hed Group, Sakon Nakhon province; folk charm dyeing fabric, Loei province; Doister ethnic products, Mae Hong Son province, and hand-dyed indigo fabric products, Keep Kram from the Northeast.
This year, the five co-sponsors were the Chon Buri Provincial Administration, King Power International PCL, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Bangkok Airways PCL and the Airports of Thailand PCL.