From biking tours by night to a home-stay experience in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya, some of Thailand’s best emerging tourism destinations, products and services are to be prominently highlighted at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+) during 3-5 June, 2015, in Bangkok.
Designed to reflect the ““Discover Thainess” slogan, the diverse range of options will include many activities featured for the first time at the TTM+; such as, Street Food Tours, visit to a mask-making museum in Loei province, a monkey-training centre in Surat Thani province, and a river-boat cruise to the Laotian city of Luang Prabang, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Now in its 14th year, Thailand’s largest annual B2B tourism and travel trade event will be held at Impact Muang Thong Thani. The region’s leading trade show for Thailand and the GMS countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and China (Kunming Province), its primary objective is to help small-and medium-sized enterprises get cost-effective marketing exposure in a highly-competitive global environment.
As of 12 May, 2015, a total of 374 registered exhibitors including 274 hotels and resorts, 26 travel agents and tour operators, 14 companies from the GMS countries, 10 ecotourism operators, 10 wedding and honeymoon specialist companies, 13 entertainment venues, 4 health and wellness companies, 7 other travel services, 2 transportation companies, 7 associations, 6 NTOs, and 1 golf course have registered for this event.
So far, the TTM+ has registered 320 buyers from 50 countries. China is the largest contingent (42) followed by the United Kingdom (29), Australia (20), India (17), and the USA (15). A group of smaller but higher-quality buyers have also been invited from emerging markets; such as, Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Poland and Romania. Of these 175 are repeat and 145 are first-time buyers.
Mrs. Juthaphorn Rerngronasa, Acting Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand said “The theme of this year’s TTM, “Experience with Us”, reflects the idea that travellers want to “experience” and learn something new to satisfy a deeper need for participation, creativity, community, and idealism. It is in line with the “2015 Discover Thainess”, campaign, which highlights the experiences offered by the Thai way of life, Thai culture and hands-on Thai activities; such as, Thai boxing, Thai massage, Thai cooking, and Thai classical dance.”
The official programme will begin on 3 June, 2015, with buyers, sellers and media registration, a forum for buyers and sellers and welcome reception. The business meetings will be held on 4-5 June. Buyers and media will enjoy a full range of post-tours from 6 June onwards.
In addition, on 3 June, TAT will also create a seller’s forum under the topic of “Uniqueness is the Key” by Mr. Matthew Zatto, Tripadvisor Singapore. Also, TAT will conduct the Thailand Media briefing on 4 June, at 14.00 – 15.00 hrs.
As part of this “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign, 12 “hidden gems” will be showcased at TTM+. These are emerging new destinations renowned for their unique history, culture and lifestyle that tourists must not miss, especially repeat travellers.
A specialist selection of 10 pre- and post-tours will be organised to highlight the best of the “Thainess” products and services. Here are a few details of each:
- Experience Muay Thai: The delegates will have a chance to learn the fundamentals of Muay Thai as an intimate group-training environment. The course starts with stretching, jumping rope as a warm up, progressing to stance and footwork training. There will be the development of “weapons of Muay Thai strike” (fists, elbows, knees, and feet), the basic defensive skill; building fitness and body conditioning.
- Experience Thai Cooking: Experience the traditional cooking with Khun Saiyuud Diwong (Poo), affectionately known as Poo (short for “Chompoo” or rose apple), a long-time resident of Khlong Toei, the largest slum in Bangkok. For more than 5 years, Khun Poo has been running her cooking school in Khlong Toei for tourists as well as local residents.
- Experience the Slow Life of Old Bangkok by Canal: The tour begins along the Chao Phaya River known as the River of Kings; the river of Bangkokian life, with its bewildering variety of huge barges, cross-river ferries, thundering “long-tail” boats plus many other fascinating things afloat. Two highlights include the Artist’s House and Yodpiman River Walk, which is the lifestyle mall focusing on the heritage theme inspired by Thai colonial architecture.
- Bangkok Night Ride (Biking Tour): A night ride around the main attractions of China Town and Rattanakosin Island; such as, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, visit the Golden Mount and climb up to the top of the temple and have a top view of the Old Town of Bangkok, stop by the Chao Phraya River and watch the Temple of Dawn light up.
- Experience Street Food Tour: Discover why Bangkok is often dubbed a food capital of the world. Eat your way through Bangkok’s most savoury neighbourhoods as our knowledgeable culinary guides unveil the true stories behind local eateries and their famous recipes.
- Ancient Capital and Modern Homestay: Compelling Contrasts (Sukhothai): Visit the Ban Thong Na organic rice farm where traditional rice-growing techniques are still maintained including the use of water buffaloes to plough the paddies. Also visit an organic vegetables section and participate in a Thai cooking class. Visit the Sukhothai Historical Park, a former Thai capital and a World Heritage Site. Visit the Ramkamhaeng National Museum. Admire exhibits of original material excavated from the Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai historic sites.
- Lofty Peaks, Local Insight and Ghostly Visions (Loei): Visit the Phi Ta Kon Museum. The Museum has a colourful collection of costumes worn during the celebrations, and a display showing how the impressive masks are made. Visit Ban Chao Po Kuen, a shrine dedicated to the caretaker of Wat Phra That Sri Song Rak. Enjoy a river cruise to watch the “Prasat Loi Kro” floating by, and watch the sunset. Enjoy the Chiang Khan Walking Street.
- Ocean Life Forms, Unique Art and Living Shadows (Nakhon Si Thammarat): Take a boat trip to greet the famous pink dolphins. Experience a fresh water source on Nui Nok Island, and pay respects to the revered monk, Luangphu Tuat. See the rare geological formation of ‘Pancake Rock’ with curious parallel layers just like folded clothes. Visit the Shadow Puppet folk museum of Ban Nang Talung Suchat Trapsin, proud recipient of the Thailand Tourism Award in 1996 and 2010.
- Alluring Vistas, Ancient Weaving and Appetising Oysters (Surat Thani): Take a boat trip to view the stunning scenery on Chiaw Lan Lake at Ratchaprapa Dam in the Khao Sok National Park. Visit Wat Suan Mokkapalaram, and proceed to the ancient hand-weaving centre of Ban Pumrieng, a Muslim village, formerly part of the Maritime Silk Road, dating back 1500 years. Visit the Kradaejae Monkey Training Centre for Agriculture to see how coconut-gathering monkeys are trained. Proceed to the Sin Mana Oyster Farm Stay to see the cultivation of this famous delicacy.
- Discover Gems of the East (Pattaya): Visit the Sanctuary of Truth, an all-wood building filled with sculptures based on traditional Buddhist and Hindu motifs. Visit Ban Chak Ngaeo, an old Chinese community in Huai Yai District, Chon Buri province with its traditional way of life. Visit the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark. This first in the world waterpark features 30 breath-taking state-of-the-art water rides and slides, live Cartoon Network entertainment shows, mascot meet and greets, thrills attractions and interactive water play.
- A Glory of Two Cities (Nan and Luang Prabang): Explore Nan City by tram.
Walking tour to visit Nan Museum / Wat Phumin / Wat Changkham. Cross the border to Lao PDR. at Huay Kon International Border Crossing. Take a boat trip along the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. Take a bike trip to explore the city of world heritage, the national museum, Wat Prathat Pusi, Wat Chiang Thong. Visit Kwang Sri Waterfall. Visit Ban Xieng Lek, Ban Xang Khong and Ban Pha Nom.
- Krabi Go Green (Ao Leuk – Ko Klang – Khao No Juji): See another side of Krabi that fascinates visitors. Enjoy the activities at the Tree Top Adventure Park, almost hidden beneath a dense jungle canopy and enclosed by piercing limestone cliffs. From one platform to another and from tree to tree, adventurers balance themselves through an assortment of games; such as, rope bridges, Tarzan swings, flying skateboards, a tight rope walk, and giant zip lines. Visit the Islanda Eco Village Resort on Ko Klang.
For further information about TTM+2015, please visit http://www.thailandtravelmartplus.com.