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Phuket’s Andaman Travel Trade expo draws thousands



PHUKET: Thousands of visitors turned out for the opening day of the Andaman Travel Trade 2011 yesterday.

The bustling event, held with the aim of linking tour operators with businesses throughout Thailand’s six provinces along the Andaman seaboard, continues today at the Convention Hall at Phuket Rajabhat University.

Attending this year’s event are 302 tourism operators from 28 countries and 160 operators from throughout Phuket, Phang Nga, Ranong, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

“Most of the Andaman operators are happy with this event. They have had a chance to exchange business cards with foreign tourism operators,” said Phuket Tourist Association President Somboon Jirayus.

“This will give the foreign operators a wider selection [of facilities and travel opportunities that] they can provide to their customers. We expect that their customers will extend the length of their stay because of this.”

The foreign operators have been divided into two groups, each with the opportunity to visit Phi Phi Island.

TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing Juthaporn Rerngronasa, who chaired the opening yesterday, had in the run up to the event highlighted Brazil as an expanding market for incoming Phuket tourism.

In person at the show yesterday confirming Ms Juthaporn’s assertion was Leonardo Capistrano, a representative from PMG Capital Marketing in Sao Paolo.

“I am in a group from Brazil. This is my first time visiting Thailand. It is very nice to have this event. I can now get in touch with local hotels, local suppliers and local service providers.

“We expect to see more new hotels being represented at this event, such as hotels from the northern part of the island or different islands in this area, not just hotels from Patong.

“In our group there are many important tour operators. I think from now on we have more information about Phuket, so we have more alternatives for our customers,” Mr Capistrano said.

“Beaches, jet-skiing, diving, cultural sights, playing in the water, snorkeling, Patong nightlife and eating Thai food are very attractive aspects of Phuket for us,” he added.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan


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