IT'S BUSINESS as usual in Thailand's far north and southern regions, with the Tourism Authority of Thailand scheduled to bring in about 300 international buyers to attend two travel marts in Chiang Mai and Phuket this month.
The buyers, comprising about 200 travel experts from Asia and South Pacific, and 100 more from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas—including 20 from Argentina and Brazil (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 8), will be arriving via Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
They will then take connecting flights to Chiang Mai to attend the Chiang Mai & the North Tourism Forum (November 22-23), and afterwards fly direct to Phuket to attend the Phuket-Andaman Travel Mart (November 25-26).
In addition, TUI Frankfurt office will be sending some 150 travel experts from Germany to Phang Nga for the launch of its summer 2012 brochure on November 10, while Thai Airways International will be flying in 336 VIPs, media and travel experts from Denmark on its inaugural Copenhagen-Phuket direct service on November 12.
Meanwhile, Bangkok-based Destination Asia (Thailand) managing director, Pornthip Hirunkate, said the DMC was able to retain eight out of 10 incentives groups between October and November, by diverting them to either a combined Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai itinerary or just Phuket.
While Phuket International Airport reported a 20 per cent growth in passenger arrivals for October, compared to the same period last year, Chiang Mai-based Standard Tour director for MICE department and worldwide leisure market, Vorapong Muchaotai, said it was slightly more difficult to gauge the situation in Chiang Mai.
Even though hotels in Chiang Mai have been receiving increasing numbers of domestic guests, there have been some cancellations from international markets, due to the floods as well as the postponement of the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek festival, which will now start on December 14.