The Thailand Travel Mart 2013 Plus (TTM+2013) to be held between June 5-7, 2013, will break new ground with two first-time events: the participation of Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration and the introduction of debates to the Travel Forum.
Both will help expand the quality of participation in Thailand’s largest business to business event, and also raise the level of intellectual discussion to a new high.
The Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration has a registered a team of 26 delegates to participate in TTM+. This is a very important step forward as the TTM+ is designed to showcase the exciting tourism products of the entire Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) which includes Yunnan province of China, Myanmar, Laos PDR, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Yunnan is located in the lower Southwestern part of China and shares a long border with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. It is also close to Thailand, Bangladesh and Bhutan, making it an important gateway to Southeast and South Asia. Yunnan’s 16 prefectures and municipalities have a total population of 44 million, including 25 minority groups. Its capital is Kunming.
Yunnan’s unique tourist attractions include magnificent snow mountains and glaciers in the north, vast tropical rain forests in the south that are homes to rare fauna and flora species, the meandering and roaring “Three Rivers On Parallel” in the west, the spectacular karst landforms in the east and volcanoes in the southwest.
In recent years, it has seen a significant development of infrastructure and transportation networks. Kunming Changshui International Airport is now the fifth largest airport in China, with connections to 10 cities within Yunnan Province, 60 cities within China and 14 international cities, such as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Seoul, Yangon, Vientiane, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Mandalay, Dhaka, etc.
The emergence of road and rail links, including the Asian Highway and the Trans Asian Railway, will also enhance its connections with Bangkok, Lashio (Myanmar) and Hanoi (Vietnam). River navigation along the Mekong is also on the rise. All this will make Yunnan a very important point on the tour package circuit.
On 28 April 2012, TAT and China (Yunnan) signed a memorandum of understanding on promoting the flow of tourists between the two countries.
As for the concept of debate, it has been incorporated into the forum for Buyers and Sellers on the topics “Creative Travel” and “DIY Tourism.”
The first Keynote session on the topic “Changing destination perceptions through creative travel” by Professor Greg Richards, will be followed by a debate on the topic: “Bangkok needs repositioning through creative tourism techniques and implementation.”
Based in Barcelona, Prof. Richards is Professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Tilburg and Professor of Events at Breda University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. He has worked on projects for numerous national governments, national tourism organizations and municipalities, and he has extensive experience in tourism research and education, with previous posts at London Metropolitan University (UK), Universitat Roviria I Virgili, Tarragona (Spain) and the University of the West of England (Bristol, UK).
The second Keynote session on the topic “DIY in tourism: Dynamic Packaging, the pros and the cons” by Mr. Frank Oostdam, will be followed by a debate on the topic: “dynamic packaging will become the tourist’s preferred option of buying holidays”.
Frank Oostdam is chairman of the ANVR, the Dutch Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents, which has a membership of 220 Tour Operators and 1400 Travel Agents in the Netherlands. He is leading the ANVR team in reengineering the ANVR and its functions in line with the changing scenario of the travel industry and overall market conditions.
One important trend impacting the future of the travel agents community is the future of Dynamic Packaging, a method used in package holiday bookings to enable consumers to build their own package of flights, accommodation, and car rental instead of purchasing a pre-defined package.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni welcomed all these inaugural events at the TTM.
He said, “The strong presence of Yunnan province will certainly give a major boost for buyers seeking new destinations in this part of the world. At the same time, the inclusion of debates is now important in order to broaden industry discourse and provide an opportunity for such an important issues to be discussed in a comprehensive manner”.