During the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Travel Mart 2004 in Bangkok on September 22-24 hosted by the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways International (THAI), 720
sellers from 37 countries tried to offer new exciting travel products to
345 international buyers. But behind these bare facts is more than a
marketing concept. The travel mart in itself is a magnet to all kinds of
people to see new projects and developing new partnerships. Total tourism
is the name of the game in order to counterbalance the negative effects of
communicable diseases, terrorism, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sontaya Khunplome (second from left) visits the ACCOR Asia Pacific booth.
However, despite the challenges facing the global
tourism industry, tourism in the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest
growing in the world against a slowing down in old Europe and in America.
Consequently, new travel products are welcomed and prove the health and
vigor of regional travel and tourism mainly propelled by the emerging
source markets of China, India and the Middle East.
Cambodiana by the mighty Mekong River.
During the three days of selling and buying at the
Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, there were some outstanding
tourism products offered.
Chiang Mai, which is awaiting a myriad of new hotel
constructions, announced its controversial Night Safari Park with elephant
trekking near the Jaguar Trail and Swan Lake, where tourists can learn and
understand natural resources and the environment. The park will be opened
on April 13, 2005.
ACCOR Asia Pacific with nearly 4.000 hotels in 90
countries will open Sofital Phi Phi Villa and Spa in early 2005, tucked
into a hillside on Phi Phi Don Island in the south of Thailand.
AMARI Hotels and Resorts introduced their five star
comfortable Trang Beach Resort and idyllic Emerald Cove Resort located on
the secluded Klong Prao Beach in Koh Chang, while Phulay Beach Krabi
Aprime Resort offers the latest state of the art facilities at the Andaman
In Myanmar, the newly inaugurated Lisu Resort in Putao,
Kachin State awaits brave visitors to stay for an exclusive four day
wilderness journey across the pristine headwaters of the Irrawaddy River,
perhaps the last unspoiled frontier of Southeast Asia. This exciting
project was co-founded by Brett Melzer from Balloon over Bagan. When in
Bagan, go no further than the Bagan Hotel River View and don’t miss
sailing in the RV Pandaw, the Irrawaddy River cruising boutique hotel, in
an original 1947 built colonial steamer. When in Yangon, stay in the teak
Kandawgyi Palace Hotel and face to face with the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda.
Cambodia offers the highly recommended Cambodiana Hotel
in Phnom Penh, where the Mekong River splits into four arms. Besides the
elegant and luxurious City Angkor Hotel, other new projects come up in
Siam Reap every day, while the deepest South has a new airport in
Sihanoukville and the already opened deluxe Sokha Beach Resort. East meets
West Travel in Bangkok takes care of all and functions as the official
representative of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism.
A world of treasures also awaits you in Vietnam, where
Vidotour Indochina Travel with its head office in Ho Chi Minh City
organizes different tours in the colorful and intriguing Mekong Delta.
By far the largest space in the exhibition hall was
occupied by India to advertise special tours in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,
Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. N.N. Prasad,
Chief Executive Officer of the emerging Uttaranchal Tourism Development
Board, even dared to invite members of the media to come and see the four
holiest pilgrimage centers of Hinduism there. Countries like Bangladesh,
Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka occupied much smaller booths.
From the Pacific region were representatives of
Micronesia, who introduced the Palau International Coral Reef Center, then
the Philippines, Indonesia and East Timor with their world-famous diving
sites as well as Malaysia to promote the 99 tropical islands of Langkawi
in the Indian Ocean.
Finally were China specialists CITS Guilin and other
attractions, spanning from the Korean Peninsula to Australia and Egypt.
For further information, contact GMS Media Travel Consultant Reinhard
Hohler by email: [email protected]