25 Sep : India successfully hosted the just concluded Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2008. It was organized at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Selection of India as the host country for PTM 2008 was largely because the country’s tourism Industry is among the strongest and most dynamic in the region with strong potential for further growth.
"With such a strong outbound performance, and double-digit growth in inbound arrivals, India is a compelling host destination for this year’s PATA Travel Mart," were the views expressed by Ms Janice Antonson, Chairman, PATA.
Approximately 1,089 trade delegates, comprising 374 global buyers from 324 organisations and 715 Asia Pacific seller delegates from 301 organisations participated in the Travel Mart. The sold-out PATA Travel Mart this year reinforced its position as a premier travel trade event in the Asia Pacific Region.
Destination “Incredible India” gave ample evidence of its diversity with a large contingent of sellers, representing about 28% of the exhibitors at the Travel Mart, with the remaining 72% being international exhibitors from the Asia Pacific Region. The Indian exhibitors at the Mart comprised leading hotels and tour operators as well as state governments, including the host state Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
As host destination, India provided the largest single-source market buyer contingent, with strong growth coming from China (PRC), which will host next year’s Mart in Hangzhou. Regionally, European buyers lead the way, followed by Asian, Gulf, and North American buyers, with Pacific and African buyers accounting for 10% of the total. More than 170 qualified buyers were first-timers to the Mart, including buyers from 12 new and expanding markets, such as Romania, Slovenia, Brazil, Peru, Cambodia, the Maldives, and the Gulf markets.
PATA Travel Mart 2008 offered the buyers and sellers outstanding opportunities to negotiate new business over three days, during which close to 14,000 one-to-one, buyer-seller appointments were scheduled.
In addition to the business sessions, hosted dinners with entertainment programmes, lunches, sightseeing tours and golf games provide multiple opportunities for delegates to savour the culture and cuisine of the country as well as the tourist sites of Hyderabad. The Welcome Dinner for all delegates was hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India at the Falaknuma Palace and hosts for other dinners during the Mart included the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Hangzhou People’s Municipal Govt., China hosts for PATA Travel Mart 2009. Delegates also availed attractive specially designed pre and post mart tours covering Ladakh, Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, Varanasi-Khajuraho, Kerala, Bangalore-Mysore, Chennai-Pondicherry, etc.
A highlight of the event was the environment friendly measures adopted during the Mart, including minimum distribution of papers / documents in kit bags, water dispensers & environment friendly cups, recycling bins for paper and plastic, maximum use of electronic signage to reduce paper signage, and a Tree Plantation Drive in Hyderabad during the Travel Mart