Thailand Travel Mart 2018 in a tent

Proudly contributed by Don Ross

Company contributor TTR Weekly

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Thailand’s annual travel show, the Thailand Travel Mart 2018, will be hosted at Pattaya’s Ocean Marina Yacht Club in a giant outdoor marquee for the first time in the event’s history.

The decision to take the annual show to a relatively unknown venue in the country’s exhibitions market surprised the travel industry.

At the close of the TTM held June 2017 in Chiang Mai, it was understood the event would be held at PEACH, the Pattaya city’s only international exhibition centre and the largest on the eastern seaboard.

PEACH is part of the Royal Cliff Hotel and Resort Group well-known for hosting the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Pata Travel Mart, the ASEAN Tourism Forum and an early version of the TTM in 2001.

TAT, which owns and manages the TTM, gave no reason why it decided to host the national travel show at a relatively unknown exhibition address and some distances from the main cluster of hotels on Pattaya’s bay.

TTR Weekly sent email questions to TAT and received just a short confirmation that the show would be hosted at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club as stated in a recent press release. When asked why the TAT has not posted a floor space plan on the TTM 2018 official website, even though seller registration opened, 1 March, it said “the venue arrangement is still being facilitated.”

However, in response to a second email question, the TAT confirmed a giant tent would be erected at the Ocean Marina venue to accommodate seller booths.

“As everything is under the process of arrangement, the website has been updated, but some finalised information still needs to be provided on the website,” the statement read.

A check of the Ocean Marina Yacht Club website fails to enlighten the visitor on its “exhibition facilities” for large events. It will require considerable floor space to host a show of the size of TTM and the only practical option for TAT is a custom-built marquee similar to a circus tent equipped with air conditioning, various entrances to meet fire safety requirements and  protected walkways from the marina’s core permanent facilities to the tent site.  The tent must be able to accommodate  300 seller booths (9 sq m each).

Hotel websites are notorious for missing key features and in this case there is not even a hint of a room count for the marina’s hotel, which is according to the booking channel, Expedia, around 51 rooms. The marina’s website does suggest there are an unspecified number of meeting rooms that could be used for onsite registration secretariat and press activities.

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