The show was hosted in Pattaya back in 2001, followed by decades in Bangkok before it moved to Chiang Mai in 2016 for a two-year stint.
Now the annual B2B event, that showcases travel content from across the country and neighbours in the Mekong Region, moves south to Pattaya’s Ocean Marina’s on Na Jomthien bay, 13 to 15 June.
A city by the sea with close to 50,000 hotel rooms, many of them in properties flying the brands of international chains, Pattaya is the nearest international beach resort to Thailand’s main aviation gateway Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Notorious for its glitzy entertainment and a raucous red light district, the resort is reinventing itself to appeal to families through themed hotels and water parks. It is also renowned for competition-standard golf courses and a variety of venues for brand launches; regional corporate incentives and conferences.
Blessed with exceptionally beautiful seascapes of islands clearly visible from five-star hotels that grace its three bays, Pattaya draw thousands of family travellers from the Thai capital and Asia, particularly China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Ocean Marina, the venue for TTM this year, happens to be Southeast Asia’s largest yacht marina that attracts regional regattas and a luxury clientele for its bare-boat charters.
So why host the Thailand Travel Mart in a destination that has breathed commercial success from its early days in the late 1960s?
One underlying reason for bringing the TTM back to Pattaya, is the recent launch of an ambitious USD 45 billion investment in Thailand’s eastern seaboard region.
Tagged the Eastern Economic Corridor, the region stretches from just north of Pattaya along the coast eastwards to Rayong and Chanthaburi provinces.
Showcasing Pattaya as a prime tourist destination at the heart of EEC plans and accessible from three international airports in central Thailand will present a big picture scenario to international buyers and media attending the TTM.
The timing is perfect to explore new travel content on a coastline from Pattaya all the way to the border with Cambodia in Trat province.
In the run-up to Thailand’s premier travel trade show, government announcements have spotlighted the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor that will require a vast infusion of investment over the next five years.
Just 36 km south of Pattaya, a massive development of U-Tapao airport is already underway. A fast-train rail line, that will link U-Tapao to Suvarnabhumi and Don Meuang airports in Bangkok, also gained approval during the first quarter of this year.
By 2023, the rail link will establish a transport triangle that will give travellers a choice of three airport gateways within a one-hour transfer by high-speed rail.
Investment in the overall Eastern Economic Corridor has reached USD9.3 billion since the master plan was approved in 2017.
Linking U-Tapao with Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, via a high-speed train will also help to alleviate passenger and aircraft congestion at the two Bangkok airports.
It will kick-start an expansion of airline services to U-Tapao and open up vast opportunities for travel planners to build new itineraries to explore the eastern seaboard all the way to the Cambodian border and beyond.
Read full article at TTR Weekly: http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2018/04/ttm-opens-door-to-east-thailand-tourism/
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