PATA Travel Mart 2018 (PTM 2018), hosted by Malaysia on the main island of Langkawi, has attracted over 1,400 delegates from 70 global destinations.

The event officially opened in Langkawi, Malaysia on Wednesday, September 12 with the PTM 2018 Welcome Reception, presided by the Right Honourable Dato Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Dr Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, taking place at the Langkawi International Convention Center (LICC).

PTM 2018 Photo

Picture: L/R: Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA; Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud, Deputy Director General (Promotion), Tourism Malaysia; Hon. Shri Satpal Maharaj Ji, Minister of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand India; Datuk Rashidi bin Hasbullah, Secretary General, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia; Dr. Chris Bottrill, Chairman of PATA; Rt. Hon. Dato’ Seri Haji Mukhriz bin Mahathir, Chief Minister of Kedah; Rt. Hon. Dato’ Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Dr. Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia; Hon. Tuan Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia; Hon. Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia; Thiru. Vellamandi Natarajan, Minister of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu; Mr. Teo Ah Khing, Chairman, Desert Star Holding Singapore; Dato’ Ir. Haji Amiruddin Hamzah, Deputy Minister of Finance Malaysia; Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, CEO of Langkawi Development Authority, and Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau, Chairman, Tourism Malaysia.

The delegate numbers embraced 389 sellers from 208 organisations and 33 destinations with local sellers comprising 32% of the total, along with 252 buyers from 241 organisations and 53 source markets.

During the Welcome Reception, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia, the Honourable YB Tuan Mohamaddin Ketap, noted that, “For many, PTM is considered the biggest tourism trade platform in Asia Pacific. As the host country of PTM, it is an opportunity for us to promote Malaysia as the ideal leisure and business destination. With an overwhelming 67 Malaysian sellers on board this year, we are really leveraging hard on this opportunity to meet international buyers. The Malaysian sellers include the private sector and state government/agencies such as Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Penang, Labuan, Kedah and Johor.”

Early in the day, delegates had the chance to gain insights into product development, machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence at the Travolution Asia Forum 2018, organised in partnership with Travel Weekly Group. Furthermore, for the first time at PTM, the world’s 15 most innovative travel and tourism start-ups and pitched their business models to a jury panel at the World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) Start-Up Innovation Camp 2018.

Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, September 13 at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC), the official venue of the event, Dr. Hardy said, “For over 40 years, the event’s continued success has been due to its ability to strike the right balance between quality and quantity when it comes to buyers and sellers.”