TTF talks up retail therapy

BANGKOK, 10 January: The Thailand Tourism Forum (TTF) will return for its eighth edition, 21 January, spotlighting one the Thai capital’s retail tycoons.

Adopting the theme “Managing Tourism – Ensuring Great Experiences and Sustainable Outcomes,” Thailand’s largest annual hospitality event has secured a record audience of 850 tourism and hospitality industry leaders for the half-day forum sessions.

The city’s Mall Group chairwoman, Supaluck Umpujh, will deliver a keynote presentation on the importance of retail entertainment to deliver a better travel experience.

She heads one of Bangkok’s wealthy retail families operating the Emporium, EmQuartier, Siam Paragon and Mall shopping malls.

TTF 2019 will zero in on how Thailand’s tourism sector performs at a time when travel arrivals are estimated at 38 million for 2018. However, the industry is facing challenges of overcrowding, declines in hospitality standards, a shortage of qualified staff with adequate language skills and tourist safety lapses.

“TTF 2019 comes at a critical crossroads for Thailand’s tourism industry. As growth rates continue to soar, the country needs to evolve and expand its tourism infrastructure to cope with rising demand,” said C9 Hotelworks managing director and co-organiser of TTF 2019 Bill Barnett.

“TTF 2019 will focus on the major new developments currently taking place in the Kingdom, while looking ahead to the future and discussing how Thailand’s tourism industry should be managed to ensure its long-term success.”

Following an opening address by Barnett on “Managing Tourism – Growth & Sustainability,” other key speakers at TTF 2019 will include Robert Hecker, managing director of Horwath HTL and Rahul Mittal, director of Cistri (Urbus), who will address the “Essentials of Master Planning;” and Jesper Palmqvist, STR’s area director for Asia Pacific, who will provide an update on Thailand’s hotel performance and outlook.

David Keen, CEO of QUO, and Stephan Roemer, CEO of Diethelm Travel Group, will look at “Destination Marketing – Thailand & Overseas Best Cases.” attractions called “Hey Neighbour, Can I Borrow Your Waterslide?”.

Organised by the American Chamber of Commerce – Thailand (AMCHAM) and C9 Hotelworks Hospitality Consulting Group, TTF 2019 is free-to-attend. The event will conclude with an evening cocktail party, hosted by the InterContinental Hotel Bangkok, providing opportunities for networking.