During ATF 2004 in Vientiane, this year’s travel
exchange (TRAVEX) took place at the newly built Lao International Trade
Exhibition and Convention Center (Lao-ITECC).
This was a trade-only mart designed to offer
opportunities for suppliers of ASEAN travel products to meet carefully
selected buyers from around the world during special appointment sessions.
It was also an ideal platform for buyers to gather the latest information on
newly developed tourism products and services, establish promising business
contacts and know about tourism trends in the ASEAN region.
Miss Adel heading the Cambodian Culture Village project team.
Lao-ITECC has an exhibition area of about 10,000 sq m and
meeting facilities for up to 2000 delegates. In addition, Lao-ITECC can
provide more than 20,000 sq m space for outdoor exhibitions or be used as a
car park for up to 1,000 cars. At a cost of 7.5 million USD, it is an
investment of the Lao World Group Company run by prominent Thai businessman,
Peter Chan. After ATF 2004, the venue will become an entertainment complex
that includes restaurants, retail outlets, a bowling alley and a cinema.
Miss Thu Trang representing Siem Reap Airways, now flying to Bangkok and Ho
Chi Minh City.
For ATF 2004, a total of 467 booths were registered for
TRAVEX including booths from all the provinces of Laos and a reserved area
for handicraft shops. 258 booths were taken by hotels and resorts, 83 by
tour operators and 17 by airlines. Thailand had the largest number of booths
with 91, followed by Lao PDR with 72, Malaysia with 55 and Indonesia with
Sellers outnumbered the buyers by 4 to 1, with only 264
registered buyers attending. Interesting to note that Germany was the
leading country with 24 buyers, closely followed by Singapore with 23,
United Kingdom with 19 and USA with 18. On the top agenda were eco-tourism
products and sellers who were banking on this emerging trend, were in high
Held from Sydney offering her 300 partners online to meet your accommodation
needs in Indo China.
By country and corporate grouping, the following
companies are worth mentioning. Sunshine Borneo Tours and Travel, who is the
only licensed travel agent specializing on inbound tourism in Brunei and who
sell green packages for the whole of Borneo. In Cambodia, there is the new
established Cambodian Cultural Village some kilometers northwest of Siem
Reap, where 11 unique communities represent a different ethnic heritage.
Tourists can see the traditional Apsara dance performance and witness a
typical Khmer wedding ceremony. Ben Bala, marketing director of Cambodiana
Hotel in Phnom Penh, ascertained that tourism in Cambodia is surging ahead.
Siem Reap Airways flies now even to Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok.
Bali is still the top destination in Indonesia. There
were representatives from Alila Hotels and Resorts, Grand Mirage Resort,
Melia Benoa Resort, Pansea, and Santika Beach Hotel. Bintan is another
emerging island for holidays, being reached in two hours by ferry from
Singapore, where Patrick Lee advertises the Bintan Resorts.
Interesting to know is that Laos has now both Lao Hotels
and Restaurants Association (LHRA) and Lao Association of Travel Agencies
(LATA). There is also a new Mekong Hotels Association (MHA) with 300
partners online to meet your accommodation needs, supervised by Anne Held
from Sydney. Emerging tour agencies offering trekking, biking and rafting
are Lao Youth Travel, managed by Vilay Phiahouaphanh from Vientiane, and
Tiger Trail in Luang Prabang, managed by German Markus Peschke, who is
steadily establishing an Elephant Camp and Resort in the scenic Mae Khan
If you look for nice accommodation in Luang Prabang,
there are the Dutch managed Grand Luang Prabang Hotel with a breathtaking
view of the Mekong River, and Pansea Phou Vao, managed by French Nicolas
Pillet. Furthermore, the centrally located hotel Souvannaphoum will shortly
be taken over by Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts from Singapore. The
outstanding new product of Malaysia is Menara Kuala Lumpur or KL Tower,
offering the highest viewing points of the city and elegant private function
floors for the incentive market. Also recommended are the Mutiara Hotels
& Resorts, Quality City Centre in KL, and Sunway Lagoon in Petaling
In Yangon/Myanmar, there is the up-scale Kandawgyi Palace
Hotel near the world famous Shwedagon Pagoda or to Sedona Hotel on the way
to the airport. Sunbird Tour, managed by Austrian Werner Rumpf, will take
care of your travel needs.
If you are in Singapore, try to use the services of RMG
Tours and stay in the Novotel Apollo/ACCOR Hotels. Thailand has many
recommended hotel chains, such as Amari Hotels and Resorts, Amora-Rydges,
Anantara Resorts and Spas, Aprime Hotels and Resorts, Central Hotels and
Resorts, and Sofitel/ACCOR Hotels.
Swiss Heinrich Stocker is GM of the Rembrandt, one of
Bangkok’s best business hotels. Peter Wiesner, vice-president of Bangkok
Airways, is still banking on the Mekong Heritage Project, while the balance
of rivalry between Diethelm Travel and Asian Trails as tour operators in
Bangkok is still undecided.
In the Philippines, contact Blue Horizons Travel and
Tours, offering diving, and Vietnam has, besides the long established tour
companies of Saigon Tourist and Vietnam Tourism-Hanoi, a few new players in
Vidotour Indochina Travel and Vietravel, being one of the most reliable
incoming travel companies in Vietnam. Besides the most luxurious Furama
Resort Danang, managed by German Paul Stoll, you can also find the
sophisticated Sunrise Beach Resort in Nha Trang, managed by Patrick
Fernandez. Finally, Victoria Hotels and Resorts have dramatically expanded
with their prestigious properties into Angkor.
For further information, please contact GMS Media travel Consultant
Reinhard Hohler by e-mail [email protected] cmnet.co.th