Pata Travel Mart 2004 (PTM 04) opened in Bangkok, Thailand today with a total of 345 global buyers, representing 309 organisations from 45 countries on hand to meet 720 seller delegates representing 342 Asia Pacific travel and tourism organization from 37 countries.
The numbers represent a 70% larger turnout of total delegates than at PATA Travel Mart 2003 in Singapore, which attracted 190 buyer delegates from 46 countries, and 213 seller organizations from 33 Asia Pacific countries.
Sellers have taken up 3.571 square metres of net booth space at Queen Sirikit National Convection Centre , 54% more than last years figure of 2.325 square metres.
In addition to the registrated buyer delegates, PATA expects to welcome 30 ASTA agents plus many other trade visitors during the open day on Friday.
Of the 171 media delegates registered for the Mart, 103 are international and 68 are domestic.
PATA president and CEO Mr Peter de Jong said he was delighted with the strong turnout ands thanked the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways International for hosting the event.
Mr de Jong cited PATA s successful repositioning of the Mart and strong strategic support from the TAT and THAI as contributors to the success of the Mart.
PATA s chief executive said consumer demand was driving the travel industry, particularly pent- up demand carried over from the SARS downturn; strong economic performances in the region; the liberalization of aviation, and new low-cost carriers. During a year when PATAs Strategic Intelligence Centre is reporting Asia Pacific arrivals growth of 28% over 2003- 19% above the regions previous best year in 2000- it is no wonder tat the industry is responding to public demand for Asia Pacific, he added.
Since resuming operational and marketing control of the event in 2002, PATA has striven to reposition the mart for future expansion.
Mr de Jong said: At PTM 03, we started the repositioning of the mart. For PTM 04, we have reinstated the venue rotation system, which offers delegates the opportunity to meet with fresh faces and explore alternative destinations.
Next year PTM05 will take place in Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia, while Hong Kong will play host to PTM06 in 2006.
Our region deserves a large mainstream travel trade show, said Mr de Jong. The turnout at the Mart is a strong endorsement of PATA s vision for the region
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