ATF: Talks and trade show take off

HALONG BAY, Vietnam, 16 January 2019: The 38th ASEAN Tourism Forum rolled out the first of a week of scheduled meetings, Monday, that will involve tourist offices NTO and ministerial delegates from the 10-member countries.

But the ATF’s staple event, remains the annual TRAVEX that gets underway Wednesday for three days of business appointments between 394 travel content suppliers and around 390 international buyers.

Contradictory figures are emerging ahead of the TRAVEX with the Chinese news service, Xinhua, saying 290 buyers have been hosted, which is close to last year’s 240 buyers registered when Thailand hosted the show.

However, other local media in Vietnam put the buyer attendance much higher at just below 400.

Over the last five years TRAVEX buyer attendance averaged slightly less than 400, but commenced a slide south when Singapore hosted the show in 2017 with 350 buyers. The decline continued when Thailand hosted the show in 2018.

Overall approximately 1,500 delegates are expected to participate in more than 100 meetings, business, and social functions during the weeklong event when official delegations from ministries and national tourist offices are included, plus the 140 hosted media or locally registered media.

The TRAVEX will convene at the Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Centre (QNEPEC), 16 to 18 January, while government and tourist offices from the 10 countries are holding private meetings on policy matters at a separate hotel venue.

ATF is the official annual gathering of stakeholders from the 10 member states of ASEAN – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Around 394 travel content suppliers from member countries, including 70 companies from Vietnam, will have an opportunity to meet travel buyers from 53 countries.

The host country is providing 15 pre and post-ATF tours including cruises of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay-Hai Phong City, as well as trips to Yen Tu Mountain and Ninh Binh.