Human Size Travel Trade Shows

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Inspired by the 38th PATA Travel Mart 2015 which successfully concluded in Bangalore, India; I feel the need to reflect on travel trade shows and their future.

I often get asked if I believe Travel Trade Shows still have a place in 2015. My answer is yes, human face-to-face interaction is still very much needed and is still the best way to developed sustainable business relationships. However, I am a strong believer that smaller, human-size, niche trade shows are more effective and offer a well-targeted audience a more realistic way to engage in conversations that will deliver better results.

PATA Travel Mart (PTM) has maintained its low cost approach to trade shows, offering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the perfect platform to trade with similar counterparts in new destinations. PTM, as it is often referred to, has the unique feature of moving from destination to destination every year providing its host the opportunity to showcase what it has to offer to global tourists and trade professionals.

PTM may be 38 years old and one of the oldest travel trade shows in the Asia Pacific, but it has evolved in recent years to be a place for business, network and knowledge sharing, where industry friends gather and where new relationship are built. This year’s forums, workshops, and seminars were well attended and engaging for all the delegates in attendance. The Technology Forum in partnership with Phocuswright and Connecting Travel was the talk of the week and featured innovative Indian start-up companies that were highly engaging and inspiring. The entertainment provided by the host during PTM was delightful and showcased the culture and heritage of the destination, creating lasting memories and experiences for all PTM delegates.

Interest from destinations wishing to host future PATA Travel Marts is increasing and is now coming from beyond the boundaries of the PATA region, offering the organisation an interesting dilemma for the future. Bid applications for hosting the 40th and 41st PATA Travel Mart in 2017/2018 are still open and we welcome all destinations to get in contact with us to receive a copy of the bid application.

The 39th PATA Travel Mart 2016 will be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia, from September 7-9, 2016 and we invite all buyers, sellers and interested sponsors to contact us at to register their interest.


Till next time,


Mario Hardy

Chief Executive Officer

Pacific Asia Travel Association