Participants pleased with quality and choice of PATA 2008


Feedback from international buyers and sellers at the PATA Travel Mart (PTM) 2008 held in Hyderabad last month was favourable according to organisers.

Buyers from countries including the Netherlands, China and the US, said they were delighted by the quality appointments, the pre-mart appointment matching system, and the professional and personal style of doing business.

PATA region’s travel and tourism products were impressive too. Louise Oostenbrink of Louise’s Travel Choice, the Netherlands said, “I look for exclusive destinations for my clients, and I found a wide range of choices at PTM 2008, which was rewarding.”

“As a buyer of niche products, PTM 2008 was very rewarding for me,” said Mark Pavlovsky, of Real Travel, Germany.

Delegates on the supply side were also delighted by the Asia Pacific’s travel contracting and networking show. Matt Grayson of the USA based National Tour Association, who led a delegation of US sellers to Hyderabad said, “I have always found PATA events to be productive, as we always meet new people. PATA Travel Mart 2008 has been very fruitful.”

Tony Everitt, CEO, who organised the largest ever Pacific Village at a PATA Travel Mart said, “PTM 2008 went very well for us, as there were many buyers who were curious about the ‘New Hemisphere’ markets.”

Udom Metatamrongsiri of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said PTM 2008 helped to dispel doubts about the country’s tourism situation given the political problems in the country. He reported a “good response” to the scheduled October launch of ‘Visit Thailand 2008-2009’.

“PTM is great because of the pre-fixed appointments,” said Shreyas Shah of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel, Pattaya, Thailand. “But we also held many unscheduled appointments, which amounted to nearly double of what we expected!”

Other independent hotels, such as the Royal Plaza Hotel of Hong Kong, and the The Chill in Koh Chang, Thailand, said the travel mart provided “extremely important exposure”, especially as they got to meet “high quality buyers”.

PATA 2008 opened on September 17 with some 1,089 trade delgates, comprising of 374 global buyers from 324 organisations and 715 Asia pacific seller delegates from 301 organisations from 38 countries.

More than 170 qualified buyers were first timers to the travel mart, all of whom were vetting by PATA. They include buyers from 12 new and expanding markets, such as Romania, Slovenia, Brazil, Peru, Cambodia, The Maldives and six Gulf markets.

As host destination, India provided the largest single source market buyer contingent with strong growth coming from China which will host next year’s travel mart in Hangzhou.

Of the buyers, 56 per cent were wholesale leisure operators, 5 per cent were international meeting industry specialist and 39 per cent were looking for both leisure and business travel products.

The scenic town of Hangzhou will host PATA Travel Mart 2009, at the World Trade Center Zhejiang, Hangzhou, China (PRC) from September 22 to 25, 2009.