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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   8 December 2012 

Vientiane gears up for ATF 2013


Over 1,000 exhibitors from across ASEAN have snapped up more than 460 booths at ATF TRAVEX 2013. This strong exhibitor line-up, which is 40% larger than the previous ATF TRAVEX showcase in Phnom Penh, Cambodia represents a wide range of diverse products and services from the 10 ASEAN countries.

The exhibition boasts 75 corporate booths, the highest number achieved by the event thus far. With new exhibitors comprising 35% this year, and strong booth take-up from returning exhibitors, ATF TRAVEX
>consolidates its position as the leading travel trade event showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN destinations, products and services.

Host country Laos participates with its largest ever contingent at ATF and aims to meet and create relationships with buyers and the international and regional media. The host committee is excited at the amount of exposure the event has garnered thus far, and expects publicity to continue escalating in the lead-up towards ATF.

Talking about the country’s progress in tourism development, Mr. Saly Phimpinith, Director-General of Tourism Marketing Department in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Laos said, “Laos is constantly improving its service standards in the tourism industry. We have begun to classify hotels and guesthouses and are actively promoting community-based tourism in order to improve the standard of living in remote areas. We are happy to give ATF TRAVEX delegates a glimpse into the beauty of Laos through city tours and post-show tours.”

Through focused efforts over the past year, the TRAVEX Secretariat has attracted buyers from new countries such as Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Ireland, Israel, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,
Slovenia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. In all, 57% of buyers are expected to be new at this year’s event.

The host committee has crafted tours to give delegates an authentic experience of Vientiane and other popular destinations in Laos. Three city tours around Vientiane and Buddha Park will give visitors an insight into the history of the capital city. The post-show tours will take delegates on 3 Days - 2 Nights trips to two of the most beautiful locations in the country, Luang Prabang and Pakse/Khong Waterfall.

In keeping with the ASEAN region’s consistent efforts to promote sustainable tourism, the theme for ATC 2013 is ‘Road Map for ASEAN: Fostering Sustainable Growth, Promoting Eco Tourism.’ The keynote address will be delivered by PATA Foundation Chairman, Mr. Mario Hardy, who has been an active member of PATA since 2009.

PATA Foundation’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of heritage and support for education.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a co-operative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination. ATF TRAVEX is the longest-running annual ASEAN  leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN sellers. This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 ASEAN member nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Each year the hosting of ATF is rotated among the member countries. Lao PDR will host ATF 2013 and is all geared up to welcome over 1,500 delegates which includes more than 400 international buyers and 100 international media. ATF 2013 marks the 32nd anniversary of this event since its inauguration in Malaysia in 1981.

For more information, program up-dates and to register for ATF 2013, visit:

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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