Published on : Thursday, September 14, 2017
PATA Travel Mart opened today (September 14) in Macao, in a Ceremony presided by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, who is also the Chairman of the Host Committee for PATA Travel Mart 2017. Organized by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), PATA Travel Mart is Asia Pacific’s premier travel trade show. Marking this year its 40th edition, the event attracted to Macao more than 1,130 delegates from 66 destinations.
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony, joined by PATA Vice-Chairman Chris Bottrill, PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy, the Director of Asia Tourism Exchange Center of China National Tourism Administration Li Jianping, the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ip Peng Kin, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and the Director General of Tourism Malaysia Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab. At the occasion, PATA Vice-Chairman presented a PATA Special Award to Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture as a token of appreciation for Alexis Tam’s support to PATA Travel Mart (PTM).
Also attending the opening ceremony of PTM were the Executive Director of Hong Kong Tourism Board Anthony Lau, the Deputy Director General of the Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province Mei Qijie, the Nepal Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Deepak Raj Joshi, the President of the Institute for Tourism Studies Fanny Vong, MGTO Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong, the President of Sands China Ltd. Wilfred Wong and the Chief Executive Officer of MGM China Holdings Ltd. Grant Bowie, along with members of the Tourism Development Committee, members of the Host Committee for PATA Travel Mart 2017, among other international and local guests.
At the opening ceremony, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government remarked that “there is a fierce global competition in the travel and tourism market nowadays. However, the significant number of participants in PATA Travel Mart indicates the high interest of the global tourism industry in the region. The 40th anniversary of the event this year will mark an important milestone and consolidate PATA as a leading international tourism leader in Asia Pacific. With the changing face of tourism, I encourage PATA members to focus on delivering the best opportunities and working to build this important global industry together.”
Alexis Tam also noted that, “blessed with the tremendous growth-by-tourism windfalls in the last decade, Macao is poised to chart a course to the next level of developing into the World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. On one hand, we are committed to broadening our tourism offerings and diversifying visitor source markets. On the other, we value education and training as a sustainable way to improve industry standards and service quality. In Macao, we have long fostered an efficient public and private sector co-operation in the tourism industry. The collaborative link is important in promoting initiatives as well as tackling problems by stakeholders engaged in a system, in times of good and when times are bad. A very recent example we have here. After Macao was hit by the strongest typhoon in recorded history last month, tourism department and the travel industries communicate and collaborate to minimize the setbacks and ensure the competitiveness of our tourism market.”
PATA Chief Executive Officer said that “the longevity of this event, only reaffirms that PATA Travel Mart continues to provide a great business platform for networking opportunities between buyers and sellers from around the world. The success of today’s event as well as previous Travel Marts results from the partnerships between the public and private sectors. With PATA Travel Mart 2017, we are proud to have worked alongside a long and invaluable partner in MGTO.”
“As PATA acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region, we understand that to achieve such goals we must partner with our industry colleagues. Our partnership with MGTO is a perfect example of such cooperation and through this partnership, we have helped bring together over 1,000 delegates from around the world to learn, network and explore Macao,” Mario Hardy added.
The opening ceremony was followed by a tour of the guests of honor to the booths of PTM that kick started the two days of business sessions of the travel mart held at Hall D of Cotai Expo, at The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel.
As the host destination Macao booth stands out at PTM 2017
The 40th edition of PATA Travel Mart attracted to Macao more than 1,130 delegates, from 66 destinations, including 460 sellers and close to 300 buyers, with buyers marking a 13 per cent increase, compare to the previous edition. Participants also include around 100 registered local and international media and bloggers. The total exhibition floor space is more than 3,330 square metres, seven per cent more than PTM 2016. The figures were disclosed by PATA during a PTM 2017 and Host Destination Media Briefing held this morning, headed by MGTO Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and PATA CEO, Mario Hardy.
Participant exhibitors range from official tourism organizations, to leading travel companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, including airlines, hotels, and others, from Asia Pacific and beyond. While the majority of business meetings will take place in over 10,000 pre-scheduled appointments, several functions are also scheduled for delegates to network.
As the host destination, Macao is standing out at PTM 2017 with MGTO participating with one of the biggest booths at the event, measuring 517.5 square metres that invites visitors to “Experience Macao Your Own Style” and have a glimpse of Macao’s many tourism attractions. The booth has also a dedicated area for around 30 Macao tourism operators, including hotels, travel agencies, transport companies, and more, to meet with their international counterparts and promote their businesses. MGTO is also taking the opportunity to promote in its booth the attractions of the Mainland China regions among the China Maritime Silk Road Tourism Promotion Alliance.
In addition, MGTO, along with the Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, are promoting together multi-destination tourism in the three neighbor regions at the travel show with a joint booth and luncheon for delegates. On behalf of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Tourism Marketing Organization, this year presided by MGTO, during the luncheon, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes briefed delegates about the efforts to promote multi-destination tourism in the region abroad and in Greater China.
Several other destinations are also taking the opportunity to organize functions for PTM delegates, namely the island country of Palau, Korea, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia ahead of hosting other PATA signature events scheduled for this year and 2018. The programme of PTM also includes other themed PTM Talks.
Delegates had also the chance to attend PTM Forum yesterday (September 13) conducted by international speakers with a morning session that focused on smart digital travel, organized in partnership with Travel Weekly Group, and an afternoon session that debated the most effective influencer marketing strategies in travel in 2017, brought by the Professional Travel Bloggers Association. On the same day, Institute for Tourism Studies also hosted PATA Youth Symposium 2017 that included among the speakers AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes. In the evening, MGTO hosted a welcome dinner reception for delegates, with local cultural performances, including Chinese junior lion dance, Portuguese folk dance, and more.
Three PATA Gold Awards 2017 go to Macao tourism operators
One of the highlights on tomorrow’s (September 15) PTM programme is the PATA Gold Awards Lunch and Award Presentation 2017. This year, among the 31 winning tourism entities of the PATA Gold Awards, three are from Macao – namely, Sands China Ltd., winning two PATA Gold Awards in Environment and Marketing Media and Melco Resorts & Entertainment that took one Gold Award in Marketing.
In addition, from September 15 to 17, several PATA internal meetings will be held in Macao, including the PATA Executive Board and Board Meeting, PATA committees meetings, while PATA Chapters will be brought together in a PATA Chapter Colloquium, among others. MGTO Director currently serves as an Executive Board member, while the President of the Institute for Tourism Studies sits at the Supervisory Board – Finance, with other Macao PATA members also serving on the Board of the Association, such as Melco Resorts & Entertainment.
PATA Travel Mart is Asia Pacific’s premier and one of the oldest travel trade shows. Held annually in September, PTM is hosted by different destinations each year. Following the successful hosting of PATA Travel Mart in 2010 and the PATA Annual Conference in 2005, PTM 2017 provides delegates from the Asia Pacific and beyond a firsthand update about the latest developments in Macao’s tourism industry. In addition, while showcasing the city’s capacity to host major tourism exhibitions, the event provides local travel trade the opportunity to expand their international network.
Founded in 1951, PATA is a non-profit membership association dedicated to the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry, with its members comprising government, state and city tourism bodies, international airlines, airports and cruise lines, educational institutions, and travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Macao has been a PATA member since 1958, with the PATA Macao Chapter established in 1983 and the PATA Macao Student Chapter in 2012.