President of the Phuket Tourist Association, Ponganun Suwannakarn, leads 21 tourism operators to attend the fair, held from Oct 23-25 at Marina Bay Sands.
The event provides a good opportunity for Thai tourism operators to meet representatives from 120 travel companies worldwide, not only to boost sales but also to give the latest information to international buyers.
“Vietnam and Cambodia are emerging as new attractive destination, but Phuket’s major competitor is Bali,” said the president.
Although some European tourists opt for travelling close to home due to the euro zone debt crisis, Phuket tourism is still doing well with Asian tourists, as mostly Chinese tourists still come to Phuket, popular for beautiful beaches.
Australian tourists also love Phuket, said Peter Bloomfield, a marketing official of an Australian tour company.
“Phuket is a wonderful destination. It has been number one a long time for us. People love the beaches. They love the people. They love the food. Australians are almost proud to call Phuket their second home,” he said.
Although, now tourists can easily book hotels and related facilities online, the trade show offers a chance for direct negotiation between sellers and buyers. It is another channel to boost sales and helps create confidence among tourists and travel agents that Phuket is still an amazing destination.