Thailand to Host Tourism Summit
Thailand is to become the first ASEAN nation to host the world’s biggest tourism event, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit.
The event, which is scheduled for April 2017, will be held in Bangkok with hundreds of leaders in the global travel industry expected to attend, including representatives from the public and private sector.
Each year, the event is a magnet for travel industry experts to share and debate ideas regarding the global tourism market. China, South Korea and Japan are the only other Asian nations to have hosted the event, with Thailand being the first country in Southeast Asia.
The announcement is seen as positive news for Thailand’s tourism sector, as it underlines that the country is considered one of the leading destinations in the world. It also demonstrates confidence that Thailand has the necessary facilities and infrastructure to host an important global event.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will be one of the main sponsors, and has requested THB100 million (US$2.8 million) form the government to support the occasion, which will give the Kingdom’s tourism sector a boost amongst high profile operators and investors.
Tourism plays a key role in the country’s economy, with recent statistics showing that the sector grew by 18 percent in 2015, accounting for a significant percentage of the country’s GDP. The tourism segment also provides almost six million jobs.
According to Sugree Sithivanich, the TAT’s deputy governor for marketing communications, the theme of next year’s event will be ASEAN tourism, aviation trends and the role of budget airlines.
Over 600 visitors are expected to attend, including approximately 300 members of the WTTC and 300 industry professionals from Asian companies and ministries.
updates by Wayne Hue