At the recently-concluded PATA Travel Mart in Langkawi, Malaysia, Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, PATA, spoke with TravTalk about the mart and the latest undertakings by the association.
Tripti Mehta from Langkawi
PATA Travel Mart 2018, considered to be one of the biggest tourism platforms in Asia Pacific, was a grand success as the event received over 1400 delegates. The three-day event held at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in Langkawi, Malaysia witnessed a staggering 389 sellers from 208 organisations and 33 destinations meet 252 buyers from 241 organisations and 53 source markets. Speaking at the event, Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, PATA, said, “PATA Travel Mart continues to stand tall in the Asia Pacific as the most value-adding network. The event’s continued success is due to its ability to strike the right balance between quality and quantity when it comes to buyer and seller appointments. This year’s PATA Travel Mart continued that strong tradition. The PATA team has worked hard to ensure that high-quality buyers and sellers network over several appointments.”
The Indian contingent, too, was much appreciated by those attending, as it gave them a chance to witness myriad offerings from the country’s widespread reaches. Potential international buyers from across the world met with several Indian sellers that included Odisha Tourism, Maharashtra Tourism, Le Passage to India Journeys, Indian Legends Holidays, ezeego1, Tamil Nadu Tourism, Trans India Holidays, Cox & Kings India and several others.
With a focus on human capital development, our upcoming events include PATA Global Insights Conference and PATA Destination Marketing Forum
The Indian market continues to gain momentum as far as tourist arrivals are concerned. However, the tourism industry here hasn’t been able to fully tap the potential that the country holds. The visa situation, said Hardy, has improved considerably, but work still remains to be done. It has now become a secondary issue and this is a big step forward. “The real issue is that the country is so vast. There is so much to offer from the South to the Northeast to the West. Culture is very different, food is very different, and sometimes people only know one part. There is more storytelling than used to be done about the diversity of the country, so that people who visit not only come for a short stay, but also spend three to four weeks and travel from one part of the country to another. I would say that what India really needs to do is tell more stories about the diversity of the country. Enable your population to share their own stories about their local villages and historical sites. I think India has plenty to offer,” he expressed.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has left no stone unturned in ensuring that tourism in the Asia Pacific region grow by leaps and bounds, and the mart proved to be just that. PATA also has several new initiatives under its ambit, with India itself playing host to some of them. In the recent past, the association’s focus has been on development of human capital for the travel and tourism industry to be responsible, sustainable and inclusive of local communities. “Our focus in recent months has been on human capital development and training programmes. We have a number of events coming up – the PATA Global Insights Conference and PATA Destination Marketing Forum. We also had a successful human capital development programme in Nepal,” revealed Hardy.
He also spoke about the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart in Uttarakhand, scheduled to be held between February 13 and 15, 2019. “This niche event offers a one-day travel mart and a one-day conference, providing an exceptional platform for travel trade professionals to learn more about this destination. Delegates will have the chance to meet face-to-face with adventure product buyers and sellers,” he concluded.
- PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart in Uttarakhand is scheduled to be held between February 13 and 15, 2019
- Participants will include accommodation providers, tour operators, etc, from emerging markets