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June 11, 2014

Asia: TTM Plus could become WTM Thailand next year

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Rumors that Thailand Travel Mart Plus could be rebranded as World Travel Market (WTM) Thailand next year received a mixed response from the trade floor at last week's show.

The move hinges on a deal being brokered between Reed Travel Exhibitions and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which organises the tradeshow. An official from the NTO told TTG Asia e-Daily that negotiations with WTM were ongoing but that no final agreement had been reached.

One Thailand-based travel specialist who preferred to remain anonymous said he would not have a problem if the event is rebranded, "as long as it brings the volume (of buyers)".

However, he expects any deal with Reed, which owns and operates WTM and its four satellite events, would benefit hotels more than other sellers.

Ray Aucott, owner of Pack Ya Bags Travel Wholesale from New Zealand, said: "I'm not convinced it would work," he said. "WTM events are very well organised, but the problem is that Reed's list of buyers is very Eurocentric, so I'm not sure that it would work for the Thai exhibitors. (The organisers) have to be very careful not to lose the local connections that have been built up over the years."

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