Thailand at China’s Largest Travel Show

Shanghai – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and a strong private sector delegation staged a high-profile presence at the China International Travel Mart 2014 (CITM) to further boost arrivals from Thailand’s top visitor generating country.

The China International Travel Mart, held during 14-16 November at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, was organised by the China National Tourism Administration, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and Civil Aviation Administration of China. The annual event, which positions itself as one of Asia’s largest professional travel marts, is alternatively held in Shanghai and Kunming. Exhibitors and delegates come from over 100 countries.

Thailand has had a presence at CITM ever since it was established. This year, the Thai tourism contingent comprises of 52 exhibitors, including hotels and resorts (22), travel agents (17), entertainment and zoo (5), airline (1) and other agencies (7).

The Thai pavilion presented the kingdom’s major natural and cultural tourist attractions under the new tourism theme of “Amazing Thailand – Discover Thainess”. It was divided into three zones:

1.     Tourism Information Zone providing information in Chinese and English;

2.     Business Discussion Zone offering a platform for Thai sellers to meet buyers;

3.     Games and Show Zone presenting quiz games on Thai tourist attractions as well as cultural and dance performances.

On 14 November, 2014, TAT hosted the “Amazing Thai Night” at the Shanghai Science Hall JE. Over 200 leading tour operators and media in China were invited to the function.

TAT Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “Thailand is a popular destination for Chinese visitors because of the visa-on-arrival facilities, short travelling distance and high value-for-money factor. Thailand and China also have much in common in terms of food, culture and ethnic relationships.”

Chinese visitors totalled 4,609,717 in 2013, up 66.95% over 2012. During January-September 2014, Chinese visitors to Thailand totalled 3.09 million, a decline of 17.37% over the same period of 2013, largely due to the political situation in Thailand.

In 2014, TAT is expecting 3.96 million Chinese visitors, generating an estimated 29.2 billion Yuan (157 billion Baht) in tourism revenue.

With political stability now restored, TAT is planning a major marketing blitz to promote the new campaign “2015 Discover Thainess”.

Aimed largely at the FIT market via increased use of social media, the marketing messages will emphasise the Creative Tourism concept, where tourists can immerse themselves in exclusively Thai activities; such as, Thai boxing, Thai massage, Thai cooking, Thai classical dance, Thai way of life, Thai culture and Thai experience.

At present, TAT has five offices in China: Beijing, Kunming, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.