One of the many exhibitors was Makro, which has been in Thailand now for 23 years, and 19 months ago opened its branch here in Pattaya.
The area manager for Makro, John Pothecary, was on hand at the event and was able to speak to people attending the Expo whilst they witnessed some of the different cooking demonstrations put on by Makro.
John Pothecary (center) and his lovely and attentive team at the Pattaya Food & Hoteliers Expo 2011.
He said that even though Makro in Pattaya opened at a particularly poor time for the global economy their sales have actually met expectations. “Asian tourists have bolstered our sales and made up for any decline in the western tourists, so over all things have balance themselves out,” he said.
“Makro is basically a cash and carry … we are a wholesale operator and we obviously have a much higher focus in terms of our range and service on hotels and restaurants… The hospitality industry is vital to my business, (as are) the areas that have the highest density of foreign tourists - Phuket, Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin and obviously Pattaya, and whilst we do welcome private individuals into Makro, our pack-sizing and offering is for the professional customer.”
When asked about his expectations for the remaining months as we come up to high season, John said that the first half of this year has been very good for them; however, he does feel there maybe some impact from the western economies, but that if there is, the gap will be filled by the Asian market.
Makro are constantly reviewing the range of products they sell and have for example just introduced a new Indian range. Again this reflects an influx of tourists coming to Pattaya from India, so as the demographics change, they change with them.
There was a lot of interest by industry executives and general managers of hotels at the Expo. John Pothecary for one felt that the event was a great success and that the variety of booths attracted the many interested customers.