The PATA Travel Mart 2011 opened today in the incredible city of New Delhi, India. Over 1,200 attendees will join the three-day annual travel trade event, September 6-9, organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The amount of floor space booked, the number of buyer organisations and the number of seller delegates attending is the biggest since 2008.
“The upturn reflects PATA’s new commitment to building the business,” said Bill Calderwood, Interim CEO of PATA. He told media at the opening press conference: “The new PATA that we are creating is changing for the better. Over the past few months the Association has taken bold decisions in order to meet the expectations of our members.”
Calderwood said that there was a unique buzz at the Mart due to it taking place in India where consumer confidence and demand for travel is high. PATA’s strategic intelligence centre said that India’s outbound is averaging annual growth of 12% and that there were no signs of it weakening.
PATA’s Interim CEO told media at the Mart venue, Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, that for the 2011 Mart, 625 seller delegates representing 288 organisations had booked 3,431 square metres (7% up on 2010). Of 288 seller organisations, 88 were first-time sellers to the Mart. In total, some 30 seller destinations (countries and territories) were present.
PATA reported that the Mart had also attracted 302 buyer delegates from 279 organisations across 50 source markets. There were 105 journalists attending from 14 destinations. Some 105 buyers were first-timers to the Mart.
Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Tourism, Government of India, said: “India, as you all know, is emerging as one of the major economies of the world with growth rate of over 8% per annum. The tourism industry is growing even at a higher pace. I am happy to share with you that foreign tourist arrivals to India have recorded a growth of over 10% during first eight months of the year.”
He added: “When the whole world was facing slow down and the tourism industry showing signs of recession, it was India among the very few which led the tourism industry’s remarkable recovery. India’s strong domestic tourism and aggressive marketing was responsible for it,” said the Minister.
PATA Travel Mart 2011 was officially opened with a lamp lighting ceremony at Pragati Maidan exhibition centre today. The ceremony was attended by Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Tourism, Shri Sultan Ahmed, Minister of State for Tourism, Shri Rajen Habib Khwaja, Chairman of PATA India Chapter, Shri Anand Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, PATA Chairman Cooray, and Interim CEO Calderwood.
PATA Chairman, Cooray, said: “I am delighted to see such a warm welcome graciously extended by the host, our long time member, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India as well as the very encouraging response from the industry for this year’s Mart.
PATA Interim CEO, Mr Bill Calderwood, told the media in the briefing after the ceremony that the energy of India and the organisation of PATA made a formidable team. “It is a team with the objective of building the business for PATA members. PATA’s vision is to keep changing for the better and build a dynamic and responsible tourism industry in Asia Pacific.”