Thailand’s leading B2B travel industry show, the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2022, hosted on the beautiful island of Phuket until Friday, 10 June, with a focus on the country’s change towards stronger and more sustainable, more responsible tourism growth in line with the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022 – 2023: Amazing New Chapters’ marketing campaign.
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said, “Thailand is celebrating its full opening for tourism with entry requirements further eased from June 1, 2022. As such, this year’s edition of the TTM+ presents an excellent opportunity for buyers and sellers to come together and build on existing business relationships and forge new ones. Throughout the three days, TAT together with Thai tourism businesses is ready to showcase the ‘Amazing New Chapters’ in Thai tourism to inspire travellers from around the world to visit Thailand.”
First held in 2001, and taking place mostly in Bangkok each year since its launch, the TTM+ was relocated to Chiang Mai in 2016 – 17, Pattaya in 2018 – 19, and then Phuket in 2022 as part of the TAT’s strategy to promote provincial destinations. This year’s edition of the TTM+ has attracted a total of 276 buyers from 42 countries and 264 sellers from across four regions of Thailand. In addition, around 90 domestic and international media are also attending the event.
The TTM+ 2022 has been conceptualised to showcase travel products, services, and experiences that promote Thai cultural values in the ‘from A to Z Amazing Thailand has it all’ concept. And, in corresponding with the TAT’s ‘smart tourism’ strategy aimed at elevating Thai tourism’s competitiveness, the event will also highlight the unprecedented digital transformation that now plays a pivotal role in accelerating Thailand’s tourism ecosystem to quality and sustainability.
The event started with eventful activities, including registration, pre-tours buyers and media, opening ceremony, TTM Talk, Thailand Product Update, speed-dating onsite appointments, and welcome reception.
The half-day pre-tours featured three customised routes that highlighted Phuket’s natural and cultural charms. The ‘Eco-Adventure and Fishery’ route toured local farming of pearls, fish, lobster, and sea grapes, while ‘The Last Rice Field of Phuket’ itinerary took participants to experience organic farming and buffalo conservation, and ‘The Moken’s Life’ programme presented Urak Lawoi’s ways of life and faith of Phuket.
The event was officially opened in the afternoon with welcome remarks by H.E. Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, followed by a TTM Talk under the theme of ‘Global Tourism: Shapeshifting to the New Chapter’ by three keynote speakers. Rahimah Abdulrahim, Director of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, Meta, presented the first session on the topic of ‘Metaverse Possibility of Tourism Industry and Beyond’, Mich Goh, Head of Public Policy, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India, Airbnb, addressed the topic of ‘Driving Inclusive Tourism Recovery in Thailand with Airbnb’ in the second session, and Mr David Boehm, Co-founder and Chairman, Miskawaan Health Group on the topic of ‘the Future Trends of Health and Wellness Tourism’.
Buyers and media were e given a brief on the Thailand Product Update by Siripakorn Cheawwamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing and Communications, ahead of a speed-dating onsite appointment session for buyers and sellers.
The Welcome Reception conclude the eventful first day with the ‘Amazing New Chapters’ show, further reiterating the Royal Thai Government’s policy to promote the kingdom’s soft-power foundations, including Food, Film, Fashion, Fight, and Festival. Phuket’s gastronomy delights were highlighted throughout the evening along with contemporary and futuristic shows.
The two full days of buyer/seller appointments were scheduled on Thursday, 9 June and Friday, 10 June, along with a networking lunch on both days, and a networking dinner on Thursday hosted by the Phuket Tourist Association.
Throughout the three days, the TTM+ 2022 also showcased unique tourism-related products from five selected businesses; namely, Tlejourn Shoes – recycled shoes made of ocean debris, Souvenir from the Sea – recycled bags and totes made of trash, Clothear – Thai batik clothing, Nara by Natipong – accessories made of Nora beads, and Sudjai Silver – niello ware. DIY workshops are available at the Tlejourn Shoes and Souvenir from the Sea booths. In addition, cooking stations are showing how to cook local Phuket desserts.
The TTM+ 2022 was organised at the spectacular venue of the Angsana Laguna Phuket beachfront resort set within the world-renowned integrated resort of the Laguna Phuket. The event has been arranged following the health and safety measures stipulated by the Ministry of Public Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and all participants are asked to kindly abide by these measures at all times. Those from overseas must undergo all procedures required under Thailand’s entry requirements.