HYDERABAD, India (September 19, 2008) – By the final day of the three-day PATA Travel Mart 2008 (PTM 2008) held September 16-19, the vast majority of international buyer and seller delegates interviewed were unanimous in the opinion that Hyderabad had risen to the occasion.
Le Passage to India’s Arjun Sharma, an Indian seller at this year’s event, said it was a bold and impressive move for PATA to stage the Mart in Hyderabad. “PTM 2008 was a great platform for Hyderabad to show its organizational skills,” he said.
Agreeing with him were tourism stalwarts Ashwini Kakar of Mercury Travels and Ram Kohli of Creative Travel.
Destination ‘Incredible India’ gave ample evidence of its diversity by fielding a large contingent of sellers, backed up by a high-level delegation of VIPs, including Indian Tourism Minister Ambika Sony, Indian Tourism Secretary Sheelbhadra Bannerjee, Joint Secretary Leena Nandan, as well as several state tourism ministers, including Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy.
The established Indian destinations of Rajasthan and Kerala; emerging destinations, such as Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradeshm; not to mention IT cities like Chennai and Bangalore; as well as the Buddhist hotspot of Bihar all reported buzzing appointment schedules and were delighted by the broad geographic mix of buyers attending the Mart.
Veena Raman of Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation said, for example, “The Mart was excellent for introducing us to buyers from short-haul source countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.”
Buyers, too, were buzzing from the Indian reception. Tom Boyd, a buyer delegate from Transworld Adventures, New York said he was surprised by the diversity of destinations in India. “I got more than I expected,” he said.
Corine Rosenbrand, a meetings industry buyer from Veenman, Rotterdam agreed, saying she was very impressed by the wide variety of venues in India.
PATA selected India for PTM 2008 because the country’s tourism industry is among the strongest and most dynamic in the world and still shows plenty of room for growth.
Between 1996 and 2006, the Indian outbound market expanded nearly 10% per year. In 1996, Indians made nearly 3.5 million trips. By 2006, the number of outbound trips topped 8.3 million, according to PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Center (SIC).
“With such a strong outbound performance and double-digit growth in inbound arrivals, India was a compelling host destination for this year’s PATA Travel Mart,” said Ms. Antonson.
Mr. de Jong agreed, “We’re proud to have brought PATA Travel Mart 2008 to Hyderabad.”
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA’s private- and public-sector members, it enhances the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region. PATA provides leadership to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 international airlines and cruise lines and hundreds of travel industry companies. In addition, thousands of travel professionals belong to more than 30 PATA chapters worldwide. PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Center (SIC) offers unrivaled data and insights, including Asia Pacific inbound and outbound statistics, analyses and forecasts, as well as in-depth reports on strategic tourism markets. For more information, please visit www.PATA.org.