The largest event on the busy agenda of the Pacific Asia Travel Association still managed to meet the tourism management goals of the organization, by being staged on the relatively quiet island of Langkawi, Malaysia this week, reports Press Today’s western Canada editor, Ted Davis, who is attending the event.
The PATA Travel Mart is now underway at the Mahsuri Exhibition Centre on Langkawi, an island off the west coast of Malaysia that has a population of just 98,000.
With over 1,400 delegates attending the PATA Travel Mart, hotels, resorts and other tourist services are reporting a jump in bookings and sales in this normally slow rainy season. A primary goal of PATA is to promote travel to places that are not major cities or destinations, during less busy tourism seasons. Langkawi fits that agenda.
“It is by far our largest event of the year,” said Dr. Mario Hardy, the CEO of PATA, who was in attendance to open the Travel Mart.
There are about 20 events per year on the PATA calendar, including the Pacific Tourism Insights conference in Samoa in October, the PATA Global Insights conference in Greece also in October and the PATA Destination Marketing Forum in Khon Kaen, Thailand in November.
The PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart will take place in Rishikesh, India in February 2019. About 250 delegates at most, for example, are expected for the Thailand event, said Hardy.
In Langkawi, there are 389 sellers from 208 organizations attending the PATA Travel Mart from 32 destinations across Asia. Some 252 buyers from 53 source markets have been meeting those suppliers at scheduled meetings over the course of the three-day event.
Tribal dancers from the state of Sarawak, Malaysia perform during the PATA Travel Mart in Langkawi, Malaysia this week.