Exceeded Mart targets show promise of Asia/Pacific: TAT


The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s deputy governor for international marketing Phornsiri Manoharn is a very happy woman.

Buyer and seller numbers at this year’s Mart exceeded those set by PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and surpassed last year’s figures – that’s welcome news for the host NTO and country.

This year’s Mart had 318 buyer organisations and 361 buyer delegates from 43 countries.

“That’s an 80 percent increase from last year’s 176 and these buyers are the decision-makers of their companies – presidents, CEOs and managing directors,” Phornsiri said in an interview with TravelWeekly.

She said the buyer profile reflects 73 percent leisure and wholesalers; 16 percent MICE – “we have a lot of incentive houses” – and 11 percent niche markets, like diving and golf.

Seller numbers were also on the upswing this year – 338 compared to 213 last year – a more than 50 percent jump. They occupied 30 percent more space at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre – 3,571 square metres versus last year’s 2,325 square metres.

“We are very happy that we have exceeded the target set by PATA which was 300 buyers and 300 sellers,” said Phornsiri.

“This must surely be one of the most successful PATA Travel Marts,” she said. “It indicates that the Asia/Pacific region shows promise and has a lot of prospects, especially after what happened last year.

“It also augurs well for the future of PATA Travel Mart.”

She added that the growth in the region’s prospects is also seen in the rise of numerous low-cost airlines in the recent past.

Phornsiri said this year’s Mart attracted a lot of new sellers, especially NTOs, coming in from the emerging markets like Bhutan, Timor-Leste and Cook Islands and Nepal.

“It’s quite a challenge but it shows that these destinations are really serious about tourism and show promise,” she said.

New sellers also included serviced apartments which are focusing on the long-stay markets. Hotel chains took up about 25 percent while independent hotels and resorts took up 26 percent.

There were also more media representation this year – 67 organisations from 24 countries compared to 49 from 15 countries last year.

Asked what the attractive numbers for this year’s PATA Travel Mart mean for next year’s Thailand Travel Mart, Phornsiri said she was optimistic and would “follow this year’s strategy for our Mart next June”.

This year’s Thailand Travel Mart was subsumed under the PATA Travel Mart.

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