PATTAYA, 15 June 2018: As Thailand Travel Mart winds down today at the Ocean Marina on Jomtien bay, Pattaya, it is now very likely the annual show will be back for encore in 2019.
The show established in Bangkok in the late 1990s stayed permanently in the Thai capital, with just one diversion to Pattaya in 2001, until it shifted to Chiang Mai for two years (2016 and 2017). Pattaya was selected as the 2018 venue.
Now the Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor marketing communications, Tanes Petsuwan, says it will stay in Pattaya for another year.
He confirmed Pattaya would host the show for a second consecutive year during a lunch with international and local media on Thursday.
Beyond, 2019, the travel industry on Samui Island has showed interest in hosting the show, while Phuket is an obvious choice for a future TTM possibly when the second airport opens. Both Samui and Phuket have venue constraints.
An official announcement is usually made at the closing session of the TTM, Friday, when buyers and sellers meet for a farewell cocktail party.
Tanes made no mention of the actual show venue, but did say Pattaya City would have more convention hall options in 2019 as the Nong Nooch Village is opening an exhibition centre that could host a full-fledged TTM.
Nong Nooch Village is located around 18 km south of Pattaya on a hillside estate close to the highway to U-tapao airport and Cartoon Network Theme Park.
An alternative venue is PEACH an exhibition hall owned and managed by the Royal Cliff Hotels Group. The TTM was held at the PEACH exhibition hall in 2001.
The event is the largest B2B show representing Thailand’s travel industry. Called ‘Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion’ it was held this week at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Pattaya that claims to be the biggest marina in Southeast Asia.
This year’s event was downsized in terms of sellers due to venue constraints at the Ocean Marina. TAT confirmed there were 280 sellers down from around 315, last year, while the buyer count was steady at 300.
To fit into custom-built marquees, the format was changed from booths to an open design with tables and two chairs for each seller organisation.