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THAILAND TO HAVE STRONG PRESENCE AT ATF 2004 IN LAO PDR

Travel and Lifestyle Press Releases วันพุธที่ ๒๘ มกราคม พ.ศ. ๒๕๔๗ ๐๙:๑๒ น.
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Bangkok--Jan 28--TAT
Thailand is preparing to have a high profile representation at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2004 in Vientiane between January 30-February 7, 2004, the first time it will be hosted by Lao PDR.
The Forum will bear the theme "ASEAN: The New Tourism Landscape".
About 322 sellers from ASEAN countries, corporate and media in 394 booths are expected at the event of whom eighty-five organizations (ninety-one booths) will be from Thailand.

The ATF is the most important annual gathering of government and private sector representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) organized by ASEAN National Tourism Organisations and the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) since 1981. It is rotated annually among the 10 ASEAN member countries.

The ATF's main activities include meetings of the ASEAN tourism ministers, national organizations and tourism-related business operators from government and private sectors and media as well as the Travel Exchange(TRAVEX).

In addition to their own discussions, ASEAN Tourism Ministers also meet with their counterparts from China, Japan and Korea to discuss ways to boost intra-regional travel and tourism flows.
This year, the ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) will be held on February 4 and the TRAVEX between February 3-6, 2004, at the purpose-built Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao ITECC).

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn, said, "The ATF always provides a valuable opportunity for Thailand to showcase its new products and developments. We are looking forward to a strong presence this year."

She said the ATF will help highlight two of Thailand's most important strategic tourism policies: Promotion of the country as a major travel hub of the Greater Mekong Subregion, as well as the ongoing plan to develop it into the Tourism Capital of Asia.

The network of highways, airports and seaports emerging throughout the region will make it extremely easy to travel throughout the region and allow the private sector to develop attractive fly-drive-cruise-air packages, she said.

"This will mean developing Thailand not just as a centre of tourism but a centre of excellence in associated fields like fashion, food, health and spa, meetings and conventions, automobile production, information technology and mamy more industry sectors," Mrs Phornsiri added.

TAT and the TTG Asia travel trade newspaper will host a late night function on February 4, 2004, from 22.00 hrs to 24.00 hrs. The function will bear the theme "Songkran Festival", a cultural New Year event that is also held in Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The ATF will help promote the cause of intra-ASEAN travel. The ASEAN countries are Thailand's largest source of visitor arrivals; in January-September 2003, arrivals from the ASEAN region totaled 1.7 million, or 24.82% of total arrivals.

ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Contact
International Public Relations Division
Tel: 66 2 250 5500 ext. 1574-8
Fax: 66 2 253 7419
E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th   End.
-RK-

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