Regional Tourism Booster | PATA Travel Mart Held in Malaysia
LANGKAWI: PATA Travel Mart (PTM), the Asia Pacific’s leading travel trade event, held at Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) in Langkawi, Malaysia, where more than 1,400 delegates from 70 countries attended the exhibition.
“Pata Travel Mart continues to stand tall as Asia Pacific’s most value-adding networking and contracting event. For over 40 years, the event’s continued success has been due to its ability to strike the right balance between quality and quantity when it comes to buyer-seller appointments. This year’s Pata Travel Mart continues that strong tradition with some strong official figures,” PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy said in his address.
The international event, which got off to a colourful start on September 12 with an inaugural dinner reception dinner at the MIEC, has registered a total of 389 sellers from 208 organisations and 33 destinations. On the buyer side, it has hosted a total of 252 buyers from 241 organisations from 53 source markets. The event ended on September 14.
Speaking on the occasion, Yb Tuan Mohamaddin Ketapi, Minister Of Tourism, Arts And Culture Malaysia, said: “As the host country of PTM, it is an opportunity for us to promote Malaysia as the ideal leisure and business destination. With an overwhelming 67 Malaysian sellers on board this year, we are really leveraging hard on this opportunity to meet international buyers. The Malaysian sellers include the private sector and state governments/agencies such as Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Penang, Labuan, Kedah and Johor.”
“A key area we are constantly working on is visa facilitation. Improved visa facilities in China and India are making it convenient for more travellers to visit Malaysia. In fact, we are seeing double-digit growth from these two markets due to the positive steps taken to facilitate their travel here, and we hope that this can be expanded to other markets,” Ketapi said.
“Malaysia has also signed up to be the Official ITB Partner Country 2019. We are deeply grateful to accept this title ship as it entails publicity opportunities globally as well as the potential to reach out to key decision makers and top industry players in the region,” he added.
Malaysia had last hosted Pata Travel Mart (PTM) in 1986 and 2005. It has now returned, this time, to the beautiful island of Langkawi, which is being positioned by the country as a top-of-mind destination.
Last year’s tourism performance saw Malaysia welcoming a total of 25.9 million tourists with RM82.2 billion ($19.8 billion) in receipts. It is now targeting to grow to 30 million arrivals and tourist receipts to reach RM100 billion ($24.1 billion) by the year 2020.
“Moving forward, our direction for 2018-2020 is to optimise digital marketing; focus on industry collaborations; leverage on major events for publicity; also leverage on mega projects coming on board in Malaysia; integrate our marketing campaigns with other Government agencies; and promote Malaysia as a filming destination,” Ketapi added.
“We are optimistic that the tourism industry will flourish in light of upcoming infrastructure and facilities developments, our promotional and marketing strategies for 2018 until 2020, and support from the Government and private sector,” he said.