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Thailand Boosts Greater Mekong Sub-Region Tourism: TTM+ 2024 Aims for 95 Million Visitors

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Thailand is championing regional tourism in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) by inviting executives from national tourism agencies and entrepreneurs from over 15 organizations. Their collective goal? To attract over 95 million foreign tourists to the GMS by 2025. The senior tourism officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar will be special guests of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+), scheduled from June 5-7 in Khao Lak, Phang-nga Province.

Before the event officially starts, these VIP visitors will embark on a tour of Phuket, exploring the Ban Bang Rong Community, the historic streets of Phuket Old Town Community, and several facilities dedicated to Sports and Health Tourism, Gastronomy Tourism, Marine Tourism, and other recreational tourism products. TAT Governor Miss Thapanee Kiatphaibool emphasized the importance of this pre-event tour, stating, “This journey is a crucial element of the policy set by Mr. Sermsak Phongpanich, Minister of Tourism and Sports, to bolster relations between Thailand and our neighbors in the Greater Mekong Subregion. We share more than just borders—we share values, culture, and heritage. I am confident that we can learn from and support each other.”

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

The GMS comprises six member countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, China (Yunnan and Guangxi), Thailand, and Vietnam. With joint tourism initiatives, the region projects a total visitor arrival of 95 million by 2025. The Thailand Travel Mart, dubbed “TTM+” because it incorporates the GMS countries, provides these nations a platform to engage in Thailand’s premier B2B Travel Trade show. This year’s TTM+ will see participation from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar, featuring booths visited by 425 hosted tour operators (buyers) from 50 countries around the globe.

Miss Thapanee stated, “A pivotal aspect of the Royal Thai Government’s IGNITE Thailand Vision is to establish Thailand as the Tourism Hub of ASEAN. During the TTM+ 2024 event, we will delve into improving rail, road, air, and sea connectivity between Thailand and the GMS countries to enable seamless travel in and across the region. Since the first Mekong Tourism Forum in 1996, facilitated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in collaboration with the Pacific Asia Travel Association, we have been ardent supporters of tourism and travel within the GMS. We firmly believe that intra-regional tourism holds immense potential and can significantly contribute to our economies, promote culture and heritage, and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

“This initiative also syncs with regional and sub-regional forums such as BIMSTEC, BRICS, and APEC and builds upon the bilateral discussions between Thailand and countries like China, South Korea, and Malaysia.” She added, “We extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Transport, and National Economic and Social Development Council for their steadfast cooperation in positioning Thailand as the Tourism Hub of ASEAN.”


  1. travel_bug June 7, 2024

    Ambitious goal, but 95 million visitors by 2025 seems a bit unrealistic given the current global scenario. What do you all think?

    • Samantha Liu June 7, 2024

      I agree. The pandemic has changed everything. Also, Myanmar’s political situation can’t be ignored.

      • Anna Torres June 7, 2024

        True, but don’t forget tourism can be a catalyst for recovery. We can’t rule it out entirely.

    • John D. June 7, 2024

      Thailand has been resilient before, they might just pull it off!

      • travel_bug June 7, 2024

        Maybe, but resilience doesn’t fix border closures and travel fears overnight.

  2. Carlos Hernandez June 7, 2024

    The focus on regional tourism is smart. Internal tourism might actually be the key to the recovery post-COVID.

  3. Globetrotter63 June 7, 2024

    Thailand is always full of surprises! But what about sustainability? Massive tourism can harm the ecosystem.

    • Maya Singh June 7, 2024

      Totally agree. They need to balance tourism with serious environmental policies.

  4. David P. June 7, 2024

    As a frequent traveler to the region, I appreciate their focus on cultural exchange and heritage. It’s about time!

  5. Linda Clark June 7, 2024

    Why isn’t China mentioned more? They are a massive player in this region.

    • Sammy June 7, 2024

      Probably because China has its own huge tourism industry to manage.

  6. historybuff22 June 7, 2024

    It’s great that they are highlighting historical places like Phuket Old Town. Awareness of local culture is crucial.

    • Christine W. June 7, 2024

      Absolutely! Tourists should know more than just the beaches.

  7. EcoWarrior108 June 7, 2024

    Gastronomy Tourism sounds like a fancy term for promoting food tourism. But it can end up encouraging unhealthy eating habits. Anyone else think so?

    • Mark Davis June 7, 2024

      Not really. Gastronomy Tourism can introduce travelers to healthier, traditional cuisines. It’s not all junk food.

    • EcoWarrior108 June 7, 2024

      That’s a fair point. But I hope they promote local, organic foods over mass-produced options.

  8. Sarah June 7, 2024

    It’s just another political move to strengthen ties with neighboring countries. Let’s not romanticize this too much.

    • GlobalCitizen June 7, 2024

      Political or not, it’s fostering connections, and that’s a good start.

    • Gary June 7, 2024

      Can’t argue with more international cooperation, whether politically motivated or not.

  9. karen629 June 7, 2024

    I went to Phuket last year, and the development is remarkable. They’re definitely capable of hosting such a massive event.

  10. Alex F June 7, 2024

    B2B travel trade shows are super impactful for tourism. Networking is key in this industry.

  11. Lars G. June 7, 2024

    I think the challenge will be in ensuring all these countries work together smoothly. Communication and logistics can be a nightmare.

  12. Mikachu June 7, 2024

    95 million is a stretch, but setting high goals is motivating I suppose.

  13. Sammy June 7, 2024

    Does anyone else think that focusing on regional forums like BIMSTEC and APEC makes more sense than purely tourism events?

    • travel_bug June 7, 2024

      Definitely! Tourism needs a strong economic and political foundation to succeed.

  14. Phil June 7, 2024

    I’m more interested in how they plan to improve rail and road connectivity. That can change things drastically for travelers.

  15. Alex F June 7, 2024

    Agreed! Good infrastructure can make or break a travel experience.

  16. Ramesh June 7, 2024

    Events like TTM+ can really put lesser-known destinations on the map. Not everyone wants to just visit Bangkok.

  17. Megan June 7, 2024

    Let’s just hope they keep the authenticity of these places and not turn everything into a tourist trap.

  18. Ravi Kumar June 7, 2024

    The focus on health tourism is really interesting. Post-pandemic, people are more health-conscious.

  19. Hannah June 7, 2024

    Thailand has been great at combining leisure with health and wellness. That could attract a different crowd.

  20. Alan D. June 7, 2024

    A potential boon for local economies there. People often underestimate how much tourism can boost local business.

  21. Giselle June 7, 2024

    It’s important that the benefits trickle down and don’t just make the rich richer.

  22. Jonathan June 7, 2024

    95 million visitors also means more job opportunities in the tourism sector. Big win!

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