Promoting “Eat Thai, Visit Thai” is the highlight of Thailand’s participation in this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) held between 5-7 November, at the Excel Exhibition Centre, London, United Kingdom.
The WTM is the world’s second biggest travel trade show. Thousands of trade visitors attend the business-to-business event to negotiate contracts, source new products and services, learn about the latest worldwide industry developments, and network.
This year marks Thailand’s 38th consecutive year of participation. A record total of 40 Thai tourism companies comprising 27 hotels and resorts, nine tour operators, and three other related offices are attending.
At the WTM 2018, the Thai pavilion bears the theme of “Eat Thai, Visit Thai” to focus on the Local Thai food, which is linked to travel in the secondary tourism destinations of Thailand. The ‘Eat Thai, Visit Thai’ promotion corresponds with the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan.
By leveraging on two of Thailand’s lucrative industries – food and tourism, which generated 850 million Baht and 2.76 trillion Baht respectively in 2017, the promotion is expected to help promote the kingdom’s emerging generation of 55 secondary destinations and better balance the distribution of tourist arrivals between the urban and rural areas.
Visitors to the Thai pavilion will also find other Thai exhibitors; such as, the Sports Authority of Thailand where visitors will find sports tourism products, handicrafts specially designed by the Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (SACICT), Bangkok Airways, and the winners of the TAT Start-Up Project.
On 5 November, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat delivered a policy speech at the Thailand Briefing Networking Lunch. He provided an update of Thailand’s tourism situation, strategies, and new products and services.
After the briefing session, Minister Weerasak also presented the Responsible Thailand Awards 2018 to various organisations. This is the first year such awards are being conferred by TAT to promote sustainable tourism.
In addition, this year’s participation is particularly important for relations between the Thai and British people in the wake of the help provided by British cave divers and experts in the rescue of the 13 Wild Boar football team in Tham Luang Cave in June-July 2018.
During the WTM, TAT will present Thailand Elite Cards to the three British cave divers and experts who were among the multi-national team of rescuers.
The United Kingdom is now Thailand’s second largest market out of Europe. Thailand welcomed more than 714,258 UK visitors during January – September 2018.
In 2017, UK visitors had an average length of stay of 18.25 days per person per visit, well above the 9.5 day average of all visitors to Thailand. In the same period, UK visitors had an average daily expenditure of 4,290 Baht. This generated a total of about 74 billion Baht in foreign exchange revenue.