The inaugural WTM Connect Asia event drew to a close in Malaysia on Friday.
As the first ever World Travel Market-branded event in Asia, this three-day trade show gathered buyers and sellers from more than 30 countries, including China, the US, UK, Germany and several ASEAN states.
Over the course of the final two days (19 & 20 May), more than 1,800 buyer-seller meetings took place, while other events included fam trips for hosted buyers and networking sessions, such as a beachfront gala dinner at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa.
Charlie Cracknell, senior exhibition director for Reed Travel Exhibitions, which organises the WTM events, said that initial feedback from delegates had been positive.
“We have been delighted with the feedback from both exhibitors and buyers alike who report highly productive and quality business meetings providing real ROI,” he stated. “The event has been enhanced further from exceptional service from our hosts and partners. Attendees have been wowed by a variety of cultural experiences, beautiful hotels, delicious food and breath-taking scenery. WTM Connect Asia has brought together leisure travel buyers and sellers in a truly unique setting.”
WTM Connect Asia was supported by Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, and Penang Global Tourism.
Exhibitors in attendance included the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, Philippines Tourism Promotions Board, Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau, Visit Berlin, Jac Travel, Inner Maldives, Eskimos Iceland, Cox & Kings, Marriot Vacation Club and Banyan Tree, among others.
“I’m pleased that the inaugural WTM Connect Asia has successfully concluded,” said Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, director general of Tourism Malaysia. “It has indeed contributed greatly in boosting the Asian leisure travel market. Throughout these three days, the event has provided a great platform for Malaysian and international sellers to showcase their products, network with international hosted buyers and explore potential partnerships and business opportunities.”
WTM’s Asian expansion will continue this week, with the launch of the inaugural WTM Connect China event in Sanya, which runs from 23-25 May 2016. WTM Connect Asia will return to Penang in 2017.