High hopes for Thailand travel mart plus in june
By Suchat Sritama
The Nation

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is to hold Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2008 in Bangkok from June 5 to 8 at Challenger Hall, Impact Muang Thong Thani.

As many as 390 tourism organisations and businesses from Thailand and the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries have confirmed their participation.

Meanwhile, 473 client groups from 63 countries, mostly from India, the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Australia and emerging countries like South African and Eastern Europe have confirmed plans to attend.

Operators from China and Burma are still planning to join despite recent natural disasters in those countries.

TAT's deputy governor for international marketing, Juthaporn Rerngronasa, said the first two days would be trade and business talks between sellers and buyers and the last two days would be open to the public.

She said it would be the first time that the newly established tourism alliance IMTTG, or Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Triangle Growth, would attend the event as part of this year's IMTTG campaign, Visit IMTTG Year. "Operators in GMS and IMTTG countries are trying to lure more international tourists to the region," Juthaporn said.

Operators from Malaysia and Indonesia are preparing to introduce new tourism services at the fair and they hope to reclaim international visitors.

Juthaporn said TAT would spend Bt30 million on the event. Major spending is to cover air tickets, accommodation and tours for registered buyers and sellers.

Each seller and exhibitor is required to spend Bt30,000 per booth.