From March 6-10, 2012 this year’s ITB took place in Berlin, Germany. ITB stands for Internationale Tourismus Boerse or freely translated the World’s Leading Travel Tradeshow.
With a total exhibition space of 160,000 square meters, housing 10,644 exhibitors from every country of the world, it attracted 172,132 visitors this year.
One entire hall was taken by the Tourist Authority of Thailand, while many regions of Thailand had their own exhibition spaces.
TV celebrity and former soccer coach Reiner Calmund visits the Thai Garden Resort table.
Pattaya was well represented with a great display covering 72 square meters in size.
The local Pattaya TAT office did a fantastic job with the design and decoration of the booth which included individual tables for each participant to conduct their meetings and negotiations.
The Thai Garden received the prestigious Top Hotel 2012 Award from Holiday Check for achieving 99% guest satisfaction.
Complete with a great Muay Thai boxing team from Fairtex and of course the winners of the Pattaya Bartender Festival, the stand drew huge crowds who watched the shows with great enthusiasm and came to collect the Pattaya give-away bags.
Business was being done by meeting with the contracting managers of all large travel corporations like Thomas Cook, TUI, the leading airlines and of course with smaller individual travel agents.
Vittaya Kunplome (3rd left) visits the Pattaya booth at ITB in Berlin, Germany.
The participants from Pattaya who all spend lots of money to attend this fair included the Thai Garden Resort, Pinnacle Hotels & Resorts, Sunshine Hotels & Resorts, Hard Rock Hotel, Underwater World, Pattaya Sea Sand Sun Resort, and Siam Hotels and Resorts representing the Siam Bayshore and Siam Bayview hotels.
The big players in Pattaya, like the Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn did their own Pattaya promotions in their respective corporate stands.
So it was a coming and going, and business was done in an amicable manner, yet pricing and quality were once again high on the agenda. But it was not only positive news which the tour operators addressed towards the Pattaya participants! Questions like safety on the streets of Pattaya, the water quality at our beaches, jet ski scams, the increasing traffic and parking problems and the huge influx of tourists from the Eastern European part of the world, China and India were concerns expressed by the travel agencies. These questions need to be addressed by City Hall, as several agencies advised that they will no longer actively promote Pattaya, as their clients demand a destination where they can get the most joy out of their holidays.
The Pattaya stand in all its colors.
It was overheard several times that beach destinations like Cha-Am, Samui, Khao Lak were being preferred as their beaches are much cleaner and the nightlife is not as overwhelming as in Pattaya.
Our lord mayor was unfortunately not present this year but his brother, the deputy governor of Chonburi, Vittaya Kunplome was on hand to promote Pattaya.
With the present recession in several European Countries, Pattaya has to fight for every visitor. Guests have a huge variety of choices to go and spend their well earned three weeks of yearly vacation.
Not only are we competing with places like Phuket, Samui, and Hua Hin, but also with other parts of the world like Indonesia, Malaysia, and even the Bahamas!
So Pattaya has to get her act together very fast, and provide good quality for an acceptable price for the tourists from all over the world. It will need the corporation from all players in Pattaya, like the government, tourism authorities, hotels, local attractions, restaurants, and entertainment venues, right up to the local baht bus driver, waiter, or beach vendor, to ensure that every visitor who has decided to choose Pattaya will enjoy their stay in our city and most of all will return to Pattaya!