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All eyes on Chiang Mai for TTM 2016

first_imgAll eyes on Chiang Mai for TTM Plus 2016All eyes on Chiang Mai for TTM Plus 2016In the 16-year history of the annual Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+), 2016 is the first year the event has been held outside Bangkok.This year Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north, is playing host to 850 delegates from 55 countries, all ready to meet and connect with Thailand’s tourism suppliers.Tourism Authority of Thailand executive director ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Region Dr. Walailak Noypayak said TTM Plus’ new location showcases Chiang Mai’s readiness as a MICE and tourist destination.“Chiang Mai has been exposed to international tourists for nearly 30 years,” Dr. Walailak Noypayak said. “We can see the potential of this city as an exit and entry point to other areas, including our lesser known cities.”Chiang Mai’s attractiveness, quality infrastructure and professionalism makes it an ideal MICE destination and a great fit for TTM+ 2016, she explained.The event officially kicked off on Wednesday with the ‘Smile With Us’ forum, featuring presentations about Thailand’s sport tourism, ASEAN tourism and a panel discussion about the challenges associated with the rise of online travel agents.Thailand Minister of Tourism & Sports H.E. Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul opened the forum, revealing Thailand’s new mission to become a “dream destination for sport”.“At the end of the day, people keep returning to our country because of our amazing people with a passion to serve and welcome our friends from around the world,” she said.“Nevertheless, we know we have more to offer, making Thailand a quality leisure destination.“We are pushing forward to bring quality tourism to our country and we believe sport can help us.”Top (left to right) – Ryan Delzoppo (Lastminute.com), Cristina Cali (Fusion Holidays), Mark Luckey (Rooms XML), Sherly Handjojo (TAT Sydney), Christopher Reid (Alma Travel), H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul (Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports), Melina Gouveia (Travel Weekly), Brittney Levinson (ETB Travel News), Rujiras Chatchalermkit (TAT Sydney), Rohanna Adamy (Asia Escape Holidays), Passawan Promsawat (TAT Sydney), Kuntida Noenuirai (TAT Sydney) Bottom (left to right) – Dan Penner (Viator), David Bassett (Flight Centre), Judy Anglim (Infinity Holidays), Judy Atha (Pinpoint Travel Group), Rod Carrington (Ignite Travel Group)On day two of the event, the possibility of creating a single visa for tourists to visit all ASEAN countries was a hot topic among international delegates.In response to the questions, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Mr Yuthasak Supasorn said the process of creating the visa is underway and expects it will be available in the next two years.However, Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul was quick to mention the importance of growing Thailand’s tourism with or without the single visa.“This is the real life we are living – you might not get all the convenience but you will find that the beauty of the people living [here], especially in the community and all the villages, might compensate for the inconvenience that you get,” she said.“Therefore, we welcome all your comments but at the same time do see the other dimensions that you will be able to discover [in Thailand].“You are helping us, you are growing with us and at the end of the day you might not get one way but you get the others.”TTM+ 2016 will come to a close tonight, with all delegates set to attend the Thank You Party before heading off tomorrow on post tours to discover more of Thailand. Visit Amazing Thailand Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson THAI Airways Internationalbook your flights to Thailand herelast_img read more