BY HAYDEE CRUZ — Outrigger Resorts in Thailand attended the Thailand Travel Mart+ (Thailand Travel Mart, plus the Mekong Region, TTM+) in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, June 8-10. The Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort, the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas and the Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort were all center stage for the Mart, which showcases the best of Thailand to an international buyer audience.
Having been held for 14 consecutive years in Bangkok, TTM+ moved north to Chiang Mai this year and was staged at the impressive new Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC).
With over 850 delegates from over 55 countries, it was a great networking opportunity for our team at the Outrigger booth: Duanphen Klinkrong, (director of sales, TLP), Kusalin Singhatham (director of sales, TSR) and Andrea Hogg (UK Outrigger global sales and marketing representative).
Together we met one-on-one with over 70 partners during business sessions. As a result we were able to secure quite a few pre- and post-event site inspections to our three Thailand resorts and identified new partners from long-haul and regional markets.
Visitor arrivals to Thailand for January to April 2016 totaled 11.7M, up 14 percent over the same period in 2015. This is based on a 27 percent increase in arrivals from China, now by far the largest source of visitors. There was also a resumption of growth from Russia and a strong performance by the ASEAN countries in Southeast Asia.
In 2015, Thai tourism hit a record in terms of revenue and number of arrivals. Total revenue was $US42 billion from foreign visitors, up 23 percent over 2014 and based on total visitor arrivals of 29.8 million, up 20 percent over 2014.
This year the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says it will be focusing on attracting quality tourists and less on number of visitors. Nevertheless, the TAT is targeting 8 percent tourism revenue growth this year.
Thailand is now firmly a mass-market destination with a lot of competitive price squeezing. Our strategy is to concentrate on the premium visitor and distinguish us from the competition through value added innovations such as unique Outrigger Signature Experiences.