Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2017 opened in Chiang Mai Wednesday with Thai tourism officials citing the host city as a major selling point for Thailaind’s tourism industry.
PressToday’s Ian Stalker was on hand as Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul told a gathering at a museum dedicated to contemporary art that, “Thailand is beautiful, but Chiang Mai is a very special place… This is a living, creative town.”
Thailand traditionally hosts huge numbers of visitors each year, but those visitors sometimes largely bypass some parts of the country, with northeastern Thailand often overshadowed by other areas. Wattanavrangkul said her “personal mission” is to boost the numbers of tourists to northeastern Thailand, a part of the country she said has Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian influences, making it intriguing for visitors.
The infrastructure in northeastern Thailand isn’t always the equal of the infrastructure in other parts of the country, but she said it has good hotels and roads tourists will appreciate.
Meanwhile, Wattanavrangkul said tourists visiting her homeland can enjoy a range of activities ranging from such mainstream sports as golf to trying physically challenging ones, like Thai kick boxing.
Among those on hand for Thailand’s tourism show is transplanted Vancouver resident Jud Darwel (second from right in the photo), who works for Lifestyle, which can provide tours to such iconic Thai sights as James Bond Island.