Stakeholders sing PATA Travel Mart 2009’s hosannas; hail opportunity

KATHMANDU: This year’s PATA Travel Mart (PTM) in Hangzhou China has received widespread praise from industry delegates, China-based sellers and the host city’s organising body.

Local sellers expressed great satisfaction with the pre-matched appointments system and seemed very impressed with the outcome of the appointments. Many companies are reporting firm commitments or the concluding of actual business agreements, according to PATA’s Beijing-based regional director Kate Chang.

Hosting PATA Travel Mart may be regarded as an excellent and successful case study for promoting Hangzhou as a leisure and MICE destination. It is a very good opportunity for service improvement and product enhancement, said the Hangzhou Tourism Commission.

A seller from Nepal, Pawan Tuladhar, who is president and CEO of Dharma Adventures in Kathmandu, said,”I have been participating in PATA Travel Mart for the past six years and I am pleased to say that it gets better every year.”

A survey of delegates, conducted by PATA, showed that 80 per cent of buyers attending PTM 2009 were satisfied with the results of pre-matched business appointments and 87 per cent were satisfied with the quality of sellers at the Mart. Some 76 percent of sellers stated that buyers’ attendance at PTM 2009 met their expectations. Around the same number plan to attend PTM 2010 in Macau.

“I have been attending PATA Travel Mart for the past five years, evolving new relationships with agents, hotels, resorts and attractions year after year. Every PTM that I attended has contributed to our endeavours to add new destinations and, of course, each year brings us closer to our existing suppliers and gives us an opportunity to know what is new,” said Guldeep Singh Sahni, managing director of Weldon Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd in India.

The set-up and choice of city for this year’s PATA Travel Mart has elicited praise from many quarters. “It was a well-organised event and the Buyer/Seller online meeting arrangements worked very well, giving us ample opportunity to increase our meeting base — even at the last minute. The venue was suited for PATA 2009 and the hospitality in Hangzhou was warm and welcoming,” said Nilufer Mama, president and CEO of Millenium International Travel, Canada.

Over 1,000 delegates, including local and world media, attended the 32nd annual PATA Travel Mart.