TTM+ 2023: Showcasing Thailand’s Effort toward Sustainable Tourism
The event ushered in a new era of business opportunities for buyers from across the world as the Kingdom showcases its newest products and services.
The Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2023, the country’s leading B2B travel show took place between May 31 and June 2 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok. The event ushered in a new era of business opportunities for buyers from around the world looking for the meaningful, one-of-a-kind travel experiences in Thailand and within the ASEAN region.
The theme of TTM+ 2023 was ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters’ as part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) strategy to highlight the country’s ongoing efforts towards a meaningful travel direction. The objective is to elevate supply and distribute tourism revenue countrywide, while creating sustainability by leveraging the kingdom’s 5F soft-power foundations – Food, Film, Festival, Fight and Fashion.
The 2023 edition of TTM+ witnessed a strong growth of participants, 374 buyers from 50 countries, 435 booths of quality sellers from across Thailand and the Greater Mekong Sub-region, and 112 media from overseas and in Thailand.
Presiding over the opening ceremony, H.E. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “The TTM Plus 2023 is a showcase of the Amazing New Chapters of Thailand’s tourism towards sustainability and being a quality destination. While continuing to be an important platform for all participants to foster a long-lasting business relationship, the event is also envisioned to highlight the leveraging of sustainable standards, technology and Thai soft powers to transform Thailand’s tourism sector.”
This year, the TTM+ has returned to Bangkok after it was relocated to Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and then Phuket in previous years as part of the TAT’s strategy to promote provincial destinations. This provides a great time for overseas buyers and media to first-hand experience the growth of facilities, infrastructure, and business prospects that Bangkok has to offer after the travel and tourism industry has returned to normal.
The opening day programme included Thailand product update and TTM Talk, and the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) product update presented by Cambodia. The TTM Talk on the subject of ‘Building A Sustainable Future for Tourism with Innovation Technology’ was presented by Google Cloud Thailand.
Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, said, “The TTM Plus is one of Thailand’s most significant B2B travel trade events, and has gained its own reputation as a ‘must-attend’ on the annual travel trade calendar. This year’s event marks the 20th time that it is being held and continues to maintain Thailand’s market position, as well as help promote travel within the ASEAN region.”
He also said, “The TAT is targeting THB 3 trillion in revenue from the tourism industry next year, with 2 trillion from the international market and 1 trillion from the domestic market.”
Steps on Sustainability
The Thailand Pavilion, which continues to be a centrestage for business negotiations, also reinforces the country’s direction towards sustainability led by technology, digital transformation, and sustainable practices.
Thailand’s tourism towards sustainability comprises a wide range of destinations and activities that deliver sustainability experiences, including exploring local community by bike at Bang Krachao, Samut Prakan; adventurer travel in Umphang, Tak; slow life at low- carbon destination on Ko Mak in Trat; and exploring the Little Amazon and surfing at the Memories beach in Takua Pa, Phangnga.
TAT is also developing a national drive that encompasses the entire Thai tourism industry with the development of the Sustainable Tourism Goals (STGs) based on the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations. Among the new initiatives include a STAR (Sustainable Tourism Acceleration Rating) system to certify sustainable tourism businesses.
Meanwhile, TAT continues to develop a new tourism ecosystem and elevate supply through such initiatives as the Thailand Tourism Awards, ‘Up- Skill Re-Skill’ human resources development project, and ‘CF Hotels’ online platform for hotel and lodging operators to sustainably manage businesses.
There were booths dedicated for ‘Technology’ and ‘Net Zero Tourism’, the TAT’s pavilion featured unique tourism-related products and DIY workshops to showcase meaningful travel experiences on offer in Thailand. Other activities included an exhibition and tasting of seasonal fruits as well as demonstration of brewing organic coffee, which will be served and paired with Thai dessert finger food.
For 2023, TAT hopes to see around 80 per cent of the tourism revenue generated in 2019, which is expected to be THB 2.38 trillion, out of which THB 1.5 trillion will be generated from the overseas market and THB 880 billion from the domestic market.
This year, from January 1 – May 27, Thailand welcomed 10,378,457 international arrivals generating THB 428 billion. The top five tourism markets were from Malaysia (1,606,373), China (1,098,604), Russia (734,995), South Korea (627,760), and India (583,319).
“The exhibition is very good. There is a sense of optimism as tourists are coming back to Thailand. For us, the Indian market is very promising especially for the high-end segment. Travellers of this segment prefer the Chiang Rai region. The exhibition will help us to recover from the Covid-induced losses,” said Eric Hallin, General Manager, The Legend Chiang Rai
“The event is well organised. We have received a very good response from the visitors across the world. The exhibition helped us to meet our known clients after a gap of 4 years. Besides meeting our known clients, we also met many new clients which will help us to strengthen our business. I also met many new clients from India as well,” stated Sarinphat Thongsiriwaranon, CEO, Khaoyai Nature Life & Tours Operators.
“It’s a very good exhibition. I am very impressed the way they organise it. The event clearly tells us that Thailand is not just Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya but it is more than that. I must say it is a successful visit for me,” said Manish Gupta, Partner, Encore Holidays.
“I must say it is well organised. Many hotels have participated in this exhibition. No doubt, TTM+ 2023 edition is one of the best so far,” said Runit Mody, Director, Worldwide Tours & Travel.