Thailand is hosting the 37th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2018) this week at the Chiang Mai Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC) under the theme “ASEAN-Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity”.
Thailand is hosting the event for the sixth time, however this year the event will be held for the first time in Chiang Mai as part of Thailand’s policy to promote secondary destinations, create more jobs in the rural areas, ensure a better distribution of tourism earnings and highlight Thailand’s linkages with the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said: “This year, we are proud to mark the first ATF after commemorating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN in 2017. We are delighted to have participated strongly in the “Visit [email protected]” campaign with a series of carefully selected Thai products, tour packages and offers to bring memorable travel experiences.”
The ATF is the only annual opportunity for both the public and private sectors of the ASEAN travel and tourism industry to get together and discuss issues and trends facing the ASEAN tourism industry.
The week-long event includes meetings of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers and national tourism organisations, private sector groupings representing ASEAN hotels, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators and airlines. This year, a ministerial meeting with China will also be held for the first time.
Among many sub-events at the Forum during the week, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau will host an ASEAN MICE Conference and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will also host an ASEAN Gastronomy Conference. PATA will host a Destination Marketing Forum 2018 and the UNWTO will launch an Open Thailand Tourism Story Book.
ATF 2018 at a Glance
Sellers are well represented with 323 booths for 275 organisations. Thailand has the highest number of participants with 146 booths from 117 organisations/companies inclusive of the Thai pavilion; Singapore has 41 booths with over 20 companies; Malaysia with 40 booths with 24 companies and Indonesia has 31 booths representing 50 companies.
The number of buyers at ATF 2018 are 240, with 25.8% coming from around the ASEAN region; 47.1% coming from the European Union; 16.7% travelling in from the Americas; and the remaining 10.4% hailing from other Asian countries.
Travel Monitor is here in Chiang Mai to keep you up to speed with all the latest ASEAN tourism news with daily reports from ATF 2018.