PATA lifts lid on the young Asian trav­eller

Ph­nom Penh, the cap­i­tal of Cam­bo­dia was the venue for the 2014 Pa­cific Asia Travel As­so­ci­a­tion ( PATA) Travel Mart from 17- 19 Septem­ber with over 1,000 del­e­gates from 58 coun­tries around the world join­ing the an­nual net­work­ing event. ROGE R ALL NUT re­por

Travel Digest - - NEWS - Roger All­nutt trav­elled to Cam­bo­dia as a guest of the Pa­cific Asia Travel As­so­ci­a­tion and AirAsiaX.

At this year’s PATA travel mart, New Zealand was named among the top ten favoured des­ti­na­tions for young Asian trav­ellers, es­pe­cially as an ad­ven­ture des­ti­na­tion. France and Aus­tralia were favoured in a num­ber of cat­e­gories. The PATA re­port, Rise of the Young Asian Trav­eller, ex­plores the rea­sons why youth travel in Asia is tak­ing off, the po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties and the chal­lenges the in­dus­try faces in har­ness­ing that po­ten­tial. The re­port ex­plores the rea­sons why youth travel in Asia is tak­ing off, which sec­tors are suc­cess­fully mar­ket­ing to the youth mar­ket ( eg low cost car­ri­ers) and who ex­erts the big­gest in­flu­ence on their travel de­ci­sions ( so­cial me­dia). PATA out­go­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Craigs said: “This re­port high­lights very ef­fec­tively why Asia's top des­ti­na­tions and tourism brands need to sit up and take no­tice of young cus­tomers and their travel tastes.” PATA says the re­port is in­tends to help tourism pro­fes­sion­als around the world to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of en­gag­ing with young peo­ple, both as con­sumers and em­ploy­ees in the travel and tourism in­dus­tries and to give them an un­der­stand­ing of the power of the young Asian trav­eller to shape global travel and tourism into the fu­ture. As one of the new­est des­ti­na­tions to be de­vel­op­ing in the boom­ing Asian re­gion, the Cam­bo­dian venue was an ap­pro­pri­ate choice for this year’s travel mart. PATA chair­man Scott Su­per­naw said: “Cam­bo­dia with its unique cul­tural her­itage that spans more than 1,000 years of his­tory has so much to of­fer in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors from its cul­tural and nat­u­ral attractions to its peo­ple and tra­di­tions.” At the rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony to open the mart the Min­is­ter of Tourism of Cam­bo­dia Dr Thong Khon said: “This event will not only be a mile­stone in Cam­bo­dian tourism his­tory which is a step mov­ing for­ward to help pro­mot­ing Cam­bo­dia – King­dom of Won­der – as a world class tourist des­ti­na­tion, but it will also showcase Cam­bo­dia’s to­day re­al­ity with full peace, po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, safety and pub­lic or­der, along with its stan­dard­ized tourism ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties. Es­tab­lished in 1978 the PATA Travel Mart ( PTM) is Asia Pa­cific's long­est run­ning and most value- adding net­work­ing event for the travel and tourism in­dus­try. Over the years it has evolved to suit the needs of the travel in­dus­try and this year's event fea­tured the first ever Re­spon­si­ble Travel Pavil­ion where mem­bers and travel in­dus­try stake­hold­ers com­mit­ted to re­spon­si­ble and sus­tain­able travel came to­gether to share their knowl­edge, ex­pe­ri­ences and lessons learnt. PATA acts as a cat­a­lyst for the re­spon­si­ble

de­vel­op­ment of travel and tourism to and from the Asia Pa­cific re­gion. Among its many roles it pro­vides in­sight­ful re­search and data to mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions. One of the key ques­tions fac­ing tourism bod­ies to­gether with the funds for pro­vi­sion of new in­fra­struc­ture is the need to source fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple to staff ho­tels and act as tour guides. At a fo­rum on Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment through Tourism held just prior to PATA a dec­la­ra­tion was made recog­nis­ing the prin­ci­ples and guide­lines for com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment through tourism and the work of com­mu­nity based tourism and its stake­hold­ers to sus­tain com­mu­ni­ties and their unique at­tributes, con­serve and pro­tect the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and cul­tural re­sources, foster knowl­edge ex­change and pro­mote lo­cal so­cio- eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, ca­pac­ity build­ing, em­pow­er­ment and poverty re­duc­tion. The dec­la­ra­tion de­fines com­mu­nity based tourism as an ac­tiv­ity, com­mu­nity owned and op­er­ated and man­aged or co­or­di­nated at the com­mu­nity level, that con­trib­utes to the well- be­ing of com­mu­ni­ties through sup­port­ing sus­tain­able liveli­hoods and pro­tect­ing val­ued so­cio- cul­tural tra­di­tions and nat­u­ral and cul­tural her­itage re­sources. The Di­a­mond Is­land Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Ph­nom Penh was the fo­cus for 450 seller del­e­gates from 233 or­gan­i­sa­tions, with 266 buyer del­e­gates from 252 or­gan­i­sa­tions seek­ing new business op­por­tu­ni­ties. There were 60 jour­nal­ists from 18 source mar­kets. A num­ber of mar­kets new to sourc­ing in­bound tourism to Cam­bo­dia made their first ap­pear­ance at PTM this year. Th­ese in­cluded Poland, Egypt, Brazil and Ar­gentina. Many agents re­ported they mainly sell Cam­bo­dia as part of a pack­age of coun­tries such as: Viet­nam, Laos and Cam­bo­dia. Cam­bo­dia re­ceived 4.8 mil­lion vis­i­tors in 2013 and the coun­try is aim­ing to re­ceive around 8 mil­lion by 2018. Although Aus­tralia was in the top ten with in ex­cess of 100,000 vis­i­tors in 2013, the num­bers from New Zealand are small. Some of the pro­jec­tions for tourism num­bers from the re­gion and in­vest­ment in tourism projects are stag­ger­ing. For ex­am­ple it is es­ti­mated there will be as many as 500 mil­lion out­bound Chi­nese tourists per year by 2020. It was re­ported that one Thai in­vestor was pre­par­ing to invest up to $ 1.2 bil­lion in new projects on and around the Chao­praya River in Bangkok alone. Other brief­ings were given by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Philip­pines and Malaysia. The Philip­pines will be tar­get­ing tourists in 2015 with a Visit the Philip­pines 2015 pro­mo­tion with five themes cov­er­ing business, his­tory and cul­ture, life­style, sports and ad­ven­ture, mu­sic and the arts. Two ma­jor events will be the 70th an­niver­sary of the lib­er­a­tion of Manila at the end of World War II and a visit by Pope Fran­cis. Malaysia had an in­crease in for­eign tourists in 2013 and is look­ing to main­tain­ing the cur­rent level of 25.3 mil­lion per year. Aus­tralia was eighth on the list of ar­rivals with 526,000, while 63,200 New Zealan­ders vis­ited, a drop of three per cent from the pre­vi­ous year. A big at­trac­tion for shop­pers is that Malaysia has three of the top ten largest shop­ping malls in the world. There will be an In­ter­na­tional Shoe Fes­ti­val in 2015. Next year, the PATA travel Mart 2015 will be held in Ban­ga­lore, In­dia.

Above: The PATA Travel Mart 2014 rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony out­side the The Di­a­mond Is­land Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Ph­nom Penh.

Left: PATA chair­man Scott Su­per­naw and Cam­bo­dian min­is­ter of tourism Dr Thong Khon ex­change gifts.

Left: Kar­nataka min­is­ter of tourism RV Desh­pande of In­dia and PATA chair­man Scott Su­per­naw en­joy a Cam­bo­dian mas­sage.

Tra­di­tion­ally dressed mod­els adorn the Cam­bo­dian stand.

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