Thailand Opens Up to the Travel Trade Industry with the Return of Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2022

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From ‘Amazing Thailand’ to ‘Amazing New Chapters’, Thailand’s change of their tourism slogan is indicative of their optimism for the country opening up to the world after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic set Thailand back in terms of tourism.

Thailand has just loosened up their regulations last month, doing away with strict health protocols such as mandatory PCR tests on arrival. It’s back in business.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) led the way by bringing back Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) last week. Pre-COVID, the event has been a leading B2B travel industry show held yearly, attracting participants from all over the world. This year’s TTM+ 2022 opened with a big bang on 10 June 2022 at beachfront resort Angsana Laguna Phuket, with almost 800 trade participants and members of the media from 42 countries.

Photo © Asia 361

H.E. Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand officially opened the event, which was followed by a series of talks under the theme of “Global Tourism: Shapeshifting to the New Chapters” by keynote speakers from Meta, Airbnb and Miskawaan Health Group.

Photo © Asia 361

Photo © Tourism Authority of Thailand

It is evident that Thailand has not been resting on its laurels in the last two years. The country has adapted its tourism strategy to focus on niche segments such as digital nomads and sustainable tourism, according to Ms. Sukanya Sirikanjanakul, Executive Director for ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Region, TAT.

The shift in focus is reflected in Thailand’s new ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ marketing campaign, geared towards responsible and sustainable tourism. TTM+ 2022 showcased travel products, services and experiences revolved around the new focus on quality and sustainability.

At the event, selected businesses also had the opportunity to share their unique tourism-related products, one of which is Tlejourn Shoes – a company that makes shoes from recycled ocean debris. Another company – Souvenir From the Sea – was on hand to let visitors have a go at decorating upcycled bags made of trash collected from the oceans.

Participants get to have a go at decorating upcycled bags at the event. Photo © Asia 361

“Thailand is open and ready to welcome tourists from around the world. Despite the long break the pandemic brought us, we have continued working and over these two years there have been many changes and adjustments in the tourism industry globally and in Thailand,” remarked Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing and Communications.

“So, we have come up with new directions and marketing communication concepts that are curated to cater to the current trends and make the most memorable visits for our tourists.”

In the first five months of this year, international arrivals numbered 1.23 million. For the year 2022, Thailand has set a target of 7 to 10 million international tourists and 160 million trips from the domestic market with tourism revenue generation of 1.5 trillion Baht.

Thailand is also set to host a number of international events this year such as the Eleventh APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting and Sixtieth APEC Tourism Working Group Meeting in Bangkok in August, the MotoGP in September and Laguna Phuket Triathlon in November.

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Katherine Goh is the managing editor and co-founder of Asia 361. On days when she is not writing, she spends her time dreaming of becoming a travel photographer. For editorial matters, she can be reached at email: [email protected]

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