WTM Connect Asia Gets Ready to Facilitate Business in South East Asia
Next week suppliers and buyers from all over the world will arrive in Penang for the inaugural WTM Connect Asia. From 18-20 May international exhibitors will meet with Chinese, South East Asian and International Hosted Buyers in an exclusive, closed community setting.
South-East Asia’s collective inbound (102m) and outbound (59m) leisure travel markets are growing at +5.9% and +3.8% per annum, from 2014 – 2018. Reed Travel Exhibitions have launched WTM Connect Asia to provide international travel companies with direct access to this important region.
Pre-qualified suppliers and buyers will receive a warm welcome from Reed Travel Exhibitions, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Tourism Malaysia and Penang Global Tourism. The programme for the three days of the event has been designed to ensure attendees have plenty of business opportunities as well as the time to enjoy the highlights of Penang and the Malaysian culture.
Ex CEO of AirAsia X; Azran Osman Rani and Jamling Tenzing Norgay; Indian-Nepali Sherpa Everest climber, mountain guide and author will be attending WTM Connect Asia on May 18. They will both be sharing their unique life changing stories with the audience and inspiring them for the remaining two days of back to back business meetings.
The exhibitor line up brings together some key industry players with a strong international mix. They include Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Visit Berlin,
Philippines Tourism Promotions Board, Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, Marriott Vacation Club International, Cox & Kings, Tourico Holidays Inc, Westfield Europe Ltd, Eskimos Iceland, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Europcar International, Inner Maldives, C Hotels, Crown & Champa Resorts and Penang Global Tourism.
Preparing to meet the exhibitors are top name buyers including Chongqing Guangda International Travel Ltd, Ctrip.com International, Gate 1 Travel, Mayflower Holidays Sdn Bhd, Antavaya, Tidesquare/ Privia Travel and Interpark.
The new ‘pod’ format of WTM Connect Asia focuses on pre-scheduled business appointments, filling up exhibitor and Hosted Buyer diaries before they even arrive to the event. The online diary system opened earlier this year and more than 1,760 meetings have been confirmed.
Charlie Cracknell, Senior Exhibition Director of WTM Connect Asia talks about his expectations of the first edition of WTM Connect Asia: “I’m really pleased with the exhibitors and buyers we have coming to Penang next week. With such a strong group of people, the innovative new pod format and the incredible number of appointments set to take place, I’m sure WTM Connect Asia will deliver great results for everyone involved”.
YBh. Datuk Seri, Director General of Tourism Malaysia adds: “We are very excited and proud that Malaysia has been chosen to host the inaugural edition of WTM Connect Asia. It marks WTM’s entry into South East Asia, and we are proud to collaborate on this together to pave the way for this event to take place here. This is a one-stop platform bringing together professionals from the tourism industry, it will certainly be a gathering not to be missed in one of Malaysia’s culturally vibrant cities”.