The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has pledged to make the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Chiang Mai an organizational success, especially the TRAVEX buyer-seller part, where millions of dollars of business is transacted annually.
Demand for Southeast Asian tourism products is growing at 10% a year according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), making ASEAN the fastest growing tourism region in the world.
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“TRAVEX is the engine room driving much of ASEAN’s tourism success story,” said Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor. “That’s why we are calling out to exhibitors to book their space, and for buyers to come and showcase the best of Southeast Asia to the world.”
ATF takes place at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC) 22-26 January, 2018, with travel industry buyers conducting business on the floor of TRAVEX 24-26 January.
“Based on its experience organising the Thailand Travel Mart (TTM), TAT undoubtedly has the marketing reach and buyer-handling discipline to make TRAVEX work smoothly for ASEAN,” said Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Ms Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, who is current Chair of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers grouping.
“While TAT is organising TRAVEX, make no mistake, this is an ASEAN show with leading tourism products from all 10 ASEAN member states – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam,” said the Minister.
Hosted and non-hosted travel industry buyers will have to meet rigorous criteria: be experienced in the tourism or travel business, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region; be a senior decision maker or consultant, negotiator and influencer from an outbound department with high-level responsibilities; have purchase authority to contract with ATF suppliers and make purchasing decisions on the show floor; have a history of organising outbound groups and events to multiple destinations; be able to show a history of continuous travel purchases; and be able to demonstrate that they regularly work with travel suppliers in the leisure travel or MICE sectors.
ATF Facts at a Glance
Around 47% of ATF buyers come from Europe, 15% from the Asia Pacific, 9% from the Americas, 4% from Oceania, and 3% from the Middle East.
At the ATF 2017 in Singapore, there were 660 exhibitors, 13,000 scheduled buyer-seller appointments, and over 2,500 attendees.
In 2017, 36% of exhibitors were accommodation businesses, 25% travel agents or tour operators, 17% NTOs or convention and visitor bureaus, 8.5% travel technology firms, and 3% were in the transport sector.
ATF in Chiang Mai 2018 will be the 37th incarnation of the show and the sixth time it has been held in Thailand.
The theme for 2018 will be “ASEAN – Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity.”
ASEAN is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary with a Visit ASEAN@50 Golden Celebration campaign that aims to raise international tourism arrivals to the region from 109 million in 2015 to 121 million by year end 2017.