More than 1,000 delegates from 60 countries around the world have joined the annual B2B travel trade event organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), hosted by the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and supported by the Chengdu Municipal Tourism Administration, Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition and the Chengdu Culture & Tourism Development Group.
“PATA is delighted to be back again in the People’s Republic of China, this time in another iconic city in China, hosting PATA’s signature travel trade event and connecting the world to the Asia Pacific region,” said João Manuel Costa Antunes, PATA Chairman at the opening press briefing. “The Mart, in its evolving format, continues to create new business opportunities for delegates around the complete visitor economy.”
Chengdu is the third city in China to host a major PATA event and the first to host PATA’s Travel Mart in south-western China. A growing tourism destination, and two hours closer to Europe, Chengdu is a logical connectivity point for China. Already some direct flights from European hub cities such as Frankfurt and London have commenced, with more airlines introducing new routes in the near future.
Antunes later said, “Wherever we go in the world, much of the talk is about China and its Asia Pacific neighbors and how it is transforming the travel and tourism world. Businesses from around the globe are trying to find ways to tap into this lucrative market. PATA continues to provide opportunities that nurture the growth of the region’s complete visitor economy.”
With the recent opening of the New Century Global Centre, the largest standalone building in the world, the Mart is another timely statement that helps to showcase the city’s infrastructure development capabilities to host large-scale events, its rich natural resources historic attractions and its natural hospitality.
The PATA Chairman told media at the Mart venue, the Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center, that for the 2013 Mart, 563 seller delegates representing 246 organisations had booked almost 3,000 square metres of floor space. Of these seller organisations, 44% are first-time sellers to the Mart. In total, some 31 seller destinations (countries and territories) are present.
The Mart has also attracted 473 buyer delegates from 373 organisations across 49 countries and territories. There were 80 journalists attending from 12 source markets. Some 25% of buyers were first-timers to the Mart.
Established in 1978, PATA Travel Mart is Asia Pacific’s leading and longest running B2B show for the travel industry. Evolving over the years to suit the needs of the industry, this year’s event offers workshops to help delegates connect to the highly lucrative Chinese travel market.
A launching ceremony in front of the trade floor officially opened the Mart today, and was presided over by PATA Chairman Eng. Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, Director of Chengdu Tourism Administration Liu Qiang, Director of Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition, Mu Tao and Director of Chengdu Culture and Tourism Development Group, Yin Jianhua.
At the opening reception dinner on September 15th the PATA Chairman Joao Manuel Costa Antunes told delegates to be ready to be pleasantly surprised by an upbeat ‘can do’ attitude on the Mart floor this week. “That’s how they do it in China. The commitment of China’s young people to the industry is changing it for the better.”
The PATA Travel Mart was preceded by the bi-annual Board meetings at which PATA’s value propositions to foster business building, host innovative events, provide unrivalled insights through PATAmPOWER and support human capacity building for the industry was enthusiastically debated and advanced during the two days of meetings with members and PATA activists in Chengdu.