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Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)Thailand is set to reaffirm its position as a leading force in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) tourism sector by targeting over 95 million international visitors by 2025. To bolster regional tourism, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will host senior tourism officials and business executives from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+), held from June 5-7, 2024.

The event, taking place in the scenic coastal district of Khao Lak, underscores Thailand’s commitment to enhancing regional tourism cooperation. Delegates will embark on special tours of Phuket, the gateway to Khao Lak, exploring key tourist attractions such as Ban Bang Rong Community and Phuket Old Town Community. These tours will showcase Thailand’s diverse tourism offerings, including sports and health, gastronomy, marine, and other recreational activities.

Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor.

Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor.

TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool emphasized the significance of this initiative, stating, “This trip is a crucial component of Minister Sermsak Phongpanich’s policy to strengthen ties with our GMS neighbors. With shared borders, values, and cultural heritage, we can learn from each other and support mutual growth in tourism.”

The high-profile guests include Mr Seila Hul, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia; Mr Khom Douangchantha, Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department, Lao PDR; Mr Maung Maung Kyaw, Director General of Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar; and Miss Suvimol Thanasarakij, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), along with executives from 15 other companies and agencies.

The GMS, comprising Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, China (Yunnan and Guangxi), Thailand, and Vietnam, aims to achieve 95 million visitor arrivals by 2025 collectively. The Thailand Travel Mart Plus, known as TTM+, includes these GMS countries, providing them with a platform to participate in Thailand’s premier B2B travel trade show. This year’s TTM+ will feature 425 hosted tour operators (buyers) from 50 countries interacting with sellers from the GMS region.

Miss Thapanee highlighted the strategic objectives: “One of the core elements of the Royal Thai Government’s IGNITE Thailand Vision is to position Thailand as a Tourism Hub of ASEAN. At TTM+ 2024, we will discuss improving connectivity across rail, road, air, and sea between Thailand and the GMS countries to facilitate seamless travel and innovative tourism packages.”

She reflected on Thailand’s ongoing commitment to regional tourism development, “Since the first Mekong Tourism Forum in 1996, facilitated by the TAT in cooperation with the Pacific Asia Travel Association, we have been staunch supporters of GMS tourism. We believe intra-regional tourism holds significant potential to enhance our economies, promote cultural heritage, and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Thailand Leads Greater Mekong Tourism Revolution.

Thailand Leads Greater Mekong Tourism Revolution.

The event aligns with regional and sub-regional forums, including BIMSTEC, BRICS, and APEC, and strengthens bilateral relations with countries such as China, South Korea, and Malaysia. The TAT Governor expressed gratitude towards the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Transport, the National Economic and Social Development Council, and the Board of Investment for their collaborative efforts in promoting Thailand as the ASEAN Tourism Hub.

As Thailand prepares to welcome its GMS neighbours to TTM+ 2024, the country sets the stage for an ambitious and collaborative future in regional tourism. With a shared vision and enhanced cooperation, the GMS nations are poised to reach new heights in their tourism endeavours, driving economic growth and cultural exchange across the region.

Thailand’s leadership in regional tourism is more than just a goal; it is a strategic and collaborative effort that promises to transform the Greater Mekong Sub-region into a thriving tourist destination. As TTM+ 2024 approaches, the spirit of cooperation and shared ambition shines brightly, guiding the way towards a prosperous future for all involved.




Written by: Octavia Koo