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► Pattaya Shines at the ITB in Berlin | Best Asian Destination

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.

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. 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!

► Thailand - Best Asian Destination

Thailand was again named the “Most Popular Destination” and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was honoured as the “Best Asian Tourism Board” by Go Asia, at the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) Berlin 2012, the world’s leading B2B platform for the travel and tourism industry. This is the ninth year in a row that members of Go Asia have chosen Thailand as Asia's most popular destination, and the fourth year in a row that they have also recognised the TAT as the best Asian tourism board.

Also in this year's Go Asia awards, Thai Airways International received the "Best Asian Airline" award. In the private sector, the "Best Hotel in Asia" awards went to the Peninsula Bangkok, Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spa, and the Mandarin Oriental Dara Dhevi in Chiang Mai.

The awards reflect the outcome of an online poll conducted by Go Asia, a marketing network that specialises in marketing Asia as a destination for travellers. Members of the Go Asia network including tour operators, airlines, and tourism boards are eligible to vote in the poll. The two awards were presented to TAT Governor Mr Suraphon Svetasreni at the ITB Go Asia Award gala night.

"The TAT is honoured to again receive such a high level of recognition from those in the travel and tourism industry. The Thailand brand has tremendous appeal for millions of visitors from all over the world, while the Kingdom's tourism sector strives to offer an ever-increasing variety of unique and memorable experiences for visitors. This award will inspire us to continue developing Thailand as a destination of choice for international travellers from the German-speaking regions of Europe," said Governor Suraphon.

Go Asia is a dynamic marketing alliance that specialises in marketing Asia as a destination. Founded in 2003, Go Asia aims to enhance Asia in German-speaking regions through joint marketing activities; such as, the Go Asia website, participation in exhibitions and trade fairs, media relations and training initiatives.

Friday, May 29, 2020