PATA hosts adventure mart in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU, 10 January 2020: Pacific Asia Travel Association is expecting around 200 adventure travel enthusiasts from 25 counties to attend the annual PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart 2020 (ATCM 2020) hosted in Kota Kinabalu.

Hosted by Tourism Malaysia and supported by Sabah Tourism and Malaysia Airlines, the mart will take place at the Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia  12 to 14 February.

The three-day event comprises of a one-day travel trade mart and one-day conference, along with sightseeing tours and hosted social functions to facilitate networking and relationship building.

Confirmed speakers for the one day conference include Dan Moore, CEO – Pandion Consulting & Facilitation; Eric Ricaurte CEO – Greenview; Irshad Mobarak, founder – Junglewalla; Jessica Yew, director – Sticky Rice Travel; Laura Raymond, facilitator – Pandion Consulting & Facilitation; Natasha Martin, adventure tourism expert, and Raj Gyawali, founding director – socialtours.

Located on Borneo island, Sabah is the second largest of 13 states that comprise Malaysia and shares the island with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan.

Sabah is famed for Mount Kinabalu one of Southeast Asia’s highest mountains and its dive sites – Sipadan Island.

PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart (ATCM) is traditionally held in February and attracts more than 200 delegates from over 25 countries. This three-day niche event, with both conference and travel mart components, brings together tourism professionals involved in adventure travel and responsible tourism to discuss creating new opportunities for promoting environmental protection and social sustainability within the industry.

The one-day conference is designed to support PATA’s vision for the responsible development of tourism, while the one-day travel mart helps promote, build and strengthen business and networks for delegates.

Upon winning the bid to host the event, YB Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said, “Malaysia is proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to host this PATA event in Malaysia. It will be a golden opportunity for us to showcase Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, world-renowned for its nature and adventure attractions.”

“We look forward to welcoming our international guests to Malaysia for a fruitful meeting and explorations of the beauty and rugged landscapes of Sabah,” he added.

The adventure travel mart is the first trade event of the year following the launch of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign.

Most delegates fly to  Sabah’s Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) the main gateway situated a 20-minute drive from the city.

Presently Sabah enjoys almost 100 direct international flights that connect to major cities including Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur (via Kuala Lumpur International Airport), Seoul (Korea ROK), Hong Kong SAR and Shenzhen (China), Singapore, Jakarta (Indonesia), Taipei (Taiwan), Manila (Philippines), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Tokyo (Japan) and Perth (Australia).

From cities with direct routes to Kota Kinabalu the cheapest roundtrip fare from Kuala Lumpur starts at USD92. The roundtrip fare from Bangkok is USD216, Manila USD114 and surprisingly the highest fare is out of Singapore at USD232.  Ho Chi Minh City does not have direct flights to Kota Kinabalu, but via Kuala Lumpur, the fare starts at USD248.

Recent marts have been held in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India; Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Chiang Rai, Thailand; Luoyang, China; and Thimphu, Bhutan.