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PATA TRAVEL MART 2006

PATA Travel Mart strength reflects Asia Pacific growth

REPORT-HONG KONG-PATA TRAVEL MART 2006: PATA Travel Mart 2006 (PTM06) opened in Hong Kong, 13% larger than PTM05 in Kuala Lumpur, with a total built-up floor space of 4,076 square metres (sq m). PATA 2006-2007 Chairman…

REPORT-HONG KONG-PATA TRAVEL MART 2006: PATA Travel Mart 2006 (PTM06) opened in Hong Kong, 13% larger than PTM05 in Kuala Lumpur, with a total built-up floor space of 4,076 square metres (sq m). PATA 2006-2007 Chairman Mr Richard Beere said: “As we open the doors on PATA Travel Mart 2006 in Hong Kong, I think we can all say ‘Wow!’. In terms of destinations and industry sectors covered, PTM is now the biggest travel trade show in Asia Pacific.”

“In fact, we believe the Mart has absolutely regained its status as the region’s best travel contracting and networking show. Over the past three years, the Mart has continued to set new records for increasing levels of buyers, sellers and destinations represented.”

Helping to drive this growth is the strong performance of Asia Pacific travel and tourism, which expanded by +7.6% international visitor arrivals (IVAs) in 2005.

IVAs into and within Asia Pacific totalled 329.7 million in 2005, according to ‘PATA Annual Statistical Report 2005 Summary & Extracts’, which was launched today at the Mart.

PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong confirmed the official delegate numbers for PTM06. A total of 417 buyers (11% more than PTM05) representing 352 organisations from 54 global source markets have arrived at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo for PTM06.

Buyers have come to negotiate with 723 seller delegates representing 336 travel organisations from 45 mainly Asia Pacific destinations.

Mr de Jong said: “Among PATA-region sellers there is new representation – and strong growth in representation – from the likes of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, French Polynesia, Northern Marianas, the Solomon Islands and Yap.”

He added: “Not surprisingly, we have seen strong growth from China, with 19 seller organisations, more than double the number last year, taking 180 sq m of floor space compared to 72 sq m in 2005.”

Mr de Jong reaffirmed PATA’s commitment to growing its activities in the “critical market” of China (PRC). Last year, PATA appointed a Beijing-based China (PRC) representative, Ms Kate Chang.

Mr de Jong also described the global nature of Asia Pacific’s source markets: “We have seen strong increases in buyers from North America, up from 33 to 44, and from the UK, up from 24 to 34. I am also excited to report that we have 24 buyers from the Gulf Region, including Dubai, which has just signed on as a PATA Allied Partner, and a first time appearance from Qatar, also an Allied Partner.”

Mr de Jong expressed PATA’s belief in the enormous potential of the Gulf Region for Asia Pacific. PATA recently appointed a Dubai-based Gulf Region representative, Ms Nicki Page.

Other new buyer markets represented at PTM06 include Hungary, the Czech Republic and Peru.

He added: “While the majority of buyers are wholesale tour operators, dealing in leisure travel, as many as 40% now have a focus on the lucrative MICE market.”

Both Chairman Beere and Mr de Jong cited PATA’s continued successful repositioning of the Mart and strong strategic support from Hong Kong Tourism Board and official airline Cathay Pacific as major contributors to the success of PTM06.

This year’s Mart includes optional luncheon workshops on Asia Pacific’s State-of-Play as well as China (PRC), India, Japan and the Middle East, four important source markets for Asia Pacific.

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