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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  24 September 2014  

PATA Travel Mart 2014 held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai

PHNOM PENH: The PATA Travel Mart 2014 (PTM2014) opened on September 17 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with over 1,000 delegates from close to 60 countries around the world joining the annual networking event organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and generously hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia.

"Cambodia with its unique cultural heritage that spans thousand years of history has so much to offer international visitors from its cultural and natural attractions to its people and traditions," said PATA Chairman Scott Supernaw at the opening press briefing on September 18.

The PATA Chairman told the media at the the Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center (DICEC) that 450 seller delegates representing 233 organizations had booked over 3,000 square meters of floor space. Of these, 52% are first-time sellers to the PATA Travel Mart. In total, some 31 seller destinations (countries and territories) are present.

PATA Travel Mart has also attracted 266 buyer delegates from 252 organizations across 48 countries and territories. Some 28% of buyers were first-timers and there were 60 journalists attending from 18 source markets.

Additionally, the International Conference on Community Development Through Tourism held two days before the Mart attracted over 300 delegates, while the ASEAN Tourism Investment Forum held on September 18 in the afternoon at the Sofitel Hotel attracted nearly 200 delegates.

Established in 1978, the PATA Travel Mart is Asia Pacific’s longest running and most value adding networking event for the travel and tourism industry. Evolving over the years to suit the needs of the industry, this year’s event features the first-ever Responsible Travel Pavilion, where members and travel industry stakeholders that are committed to responsible and sustainable travel can share their knowledge, experiences and lessons learned in an informal setting. Furthermore the Association introduced a new initiative, namely PTM Talks, which involve a small seminar area within the main trade hall for organizations to conduct 20-minute 'power' workshops to engage and interact with a small group of delegates.

A ribbon cutting ceremony in front of DICEC was presided over by His Excellency Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia, Mr. Scott Supernaw, Chairman, PATA, His Excellency R V Deshpande, Minister for Higher Education and Tourism Government of Karnataka, India, His Excellency Pa Socheatvong, Governor of Phnom Penh, Mr. Martin Craigs, CEO, PATA, His Excellency Chhuon Dara, Secretary of State of Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia, and His Excellency Ouk Socheat, Secretary of State of Ministry of Culture & Fine Art.

At the breathtaking opening reception dinner on September 17, Mr. Supernaw stated that "Over the last few months all of us at PATA have been highly impressed by the passion and commitment of Cambodia to host PATA Travel Mart 2014, as well as the conference, forum and youth symposium being held in conjunction with this event."

The next PATA Travel Mart 2015 will be held in Bangalore, India.

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