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Thailand applauded for successful PATA Mart

Thailand last week won warm accolades for hosting a highly successful PATA Travel Mart and Board of Directors meeting…

Thailand last week won warm accolades for hosting a highly successful PATA Travel Mart and Board of Directors meeting. Bangkok was selected as the first venue of the Mart following PATA’s decision to resume rotating the event through the Asia-Pacific cities after six years of being fixed in Singapore.

PATA’s President and CEO Peter de Jong told the Board of Directors, “Bangkok proved to be an extremely attractive, magnetic destination that really brought a great number of people to the event. It has regained its integrity and pre-eminent position on the list of international trade fairs.”

A total of 1,286 buyer, seller and media delegates representing 764 organizations from the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry attended the Mart at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre between September 22-24, 2004.

Mr. de Jong said the total attendance of delegates was 70% higher than in 2003, and thanked the “strong strategic support” of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and THAI Airways International for contributing to its success. The number of media delegates alone totalled 117, more than double the number in 2003.

The Mart was followed by PATA’s biannual meeting of the Board of Directors between September 25-26 which was attended by about 80 directors. Mrs Juthamas Siriwan, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the publicity and marketing exposure generated by the mart and board meeting would go a long way towards helping Thailand meet its strategic goal of attaining the title of Tourism Capital of Asia, with a target of 20 million arrivals by 2008.

She said, “Thailand had a total of 144 sellers at the Mart, many of them representing the wide range of emerging new products like boutique hotels and spa resorts that are becoming increasingly popular globally.”

In addition, many of the delegates tried out Bangkok’s new mass transit systems, the Skytrain and the subway, both of which have played a major role in attracting visitors to the city by making it far easier for them to get around the various tourist spots, attractions, convention centres, department stores and shopping complexes.

One of the subway stations is located right at the doorstep of the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. In coordination with the Thai Hotels Association (THA), TAT specially selected 15 hotels along the routes of the subway and the Skytrain, to accommodate mart delegates.

Many of the buyers and media also took advantage of their presence in Bangkok to take pre- and post-conference tours to Thailand’s neighbouring countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Mrs Juthamas estimated that Thailand gained foreign exchange revenue equivalent to about 73 million baht as a result of the mart.

She said, “We are very honoured that Thailand was chosen to host PTM 2004. It will further underscore our position as a quality international conference and tourism destination”.

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