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By Anuj Bahri

Nov 7th, 2022

I was honoured to be appointed to work alongside Sports Authority of Thailand at the World Travel Market at the Excel Centre in London held between 7th – 9th November 2022. This came just at the right time after the long-awaited announcement that Thailand will be fully reopened for tourism from the 1st October 2022. exhibited at the travel trade show that features destinations from all over the world with over 50,000 attendees. It was great to see our travel industry partners after a long time especially after the pandemic and the lifting of covid restrictions.

Our stand was one of the most impressive stands at the show as Buakaw Banchamek, Thailand’s world class fighter was in the UK for the few days and he spent some time with us.

During the 3 day event I invited people through our database and social media channels including our Instagram, TikTok and Facebook pages. I wanted people to attend The Sports Authority Expo stand which included full days of scheduled activities. Our existing and new customers came to visit us and took the opportunity to have a photo Buakaw Banchamek.

On Monday 7th November 2022 it was a privilege to personally meet with Princess Ubolratana who took time to speak to us. Sports Authority of Thailand and the ministry of tourism set a target of 40 billion bhat approx. £950,000 GBP in revenue for sports tourism in 2023, by promoting MuayThai as part of its agenda. Sports and Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that the ministry is working on a plan to integrate tourism and sports though hosting world class sporting events held in Thailand.

On Tuesday 8th November preformed a special event on stage in front of thousands of people at the centre. Buakaw Banchamek was pleasing the crowd with his striking power by doing open-mat pad work with his Thai trainer. After this one of my dear friends Liam Nolan, who is a well decorated British fighter from OneFC, demonstrated some striking padwork, and did some light sparing with his trainer Lyndon Knowles from Knowlsey Academy.

The event was highly successful and was very encouraging to see how well the sport of Muay Thai is doing globally. We got a lot of interest in our package holidays and from those who have not even done the sport but are willing to give it a go.