ATF 2012 TRAVEX took place in Manado City between 8-15 January 2012, with the attendance from over 1400 delegates representing Buyers from all over the world, also Media and official delegates from the ten Asean countries. Dr. Taleb Rifai, CEO of UNWTO attended the event also and talk about Tourism in Asia and how Asean countries succeeded in attracting more tourists.
The Indonesian government choose Manado city to hold this event in order to promote the city, Manado is very nice city, most popular with the treasures underwater, where thousands of divers come from all the over the world for diving and snorkeling. The city also popular with shopping malls, the prices here are less than Jakarta, the most thing that impressed us is the Resorts, that spread in the city and in the mountains inside the jungle, hospitality was excellent, the Indonesian government made our trip a wonderful one.
The ten Asean countries held a media briefing to all Media, the first was from Indonesia, where H.E Ms. Mary Pangesto addressed the Media with latest development, followed by Lao, where the next ATF2013 will be held.
Luncheon and dinners offered to us during the 5 days, the food was excellent and most is the warm welcome from everybody that we met with.
Last day of the event, a closing ceremony took place and the flag of ATF was handed to Lao to host next year ATF.
Flight to Manado is not easy, I took a flight from Amman to AbuDhabi, but the connection was not good, I have to wait over 7 hours in Abudhabi Airpot, then to Jakarta with over 9 hours nonstop flight, then from Jakarta to Manado that take 3 hours. So it was 16 hours flying and 14 hours waiting at Airports between flights, but it was really deserve, as we really enjoyed our time. My advice for travelers to Manado is to study the trip very well, as there are many budget Airlines fly to Manado, but you have to choose the one that good for you, for example, from Jakarta its very easy, also from Singapore, in fact it was my mistake of not choosing the correct connection.
ATF boasts 20% more registration from exhibitors, buyers and media as compared to the same time last year. The 2012 leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of Asean destination products and services. Some 200 buyers and close to 85 media have also submitted their registrations early in order to maximise their chances of getting one of the limited hosted places available.
Exhibitors include hotel chains such as Dusit International, the Sol Melia Group, Jakarta, Sunshine Borneo Tours and Travel, Dorsett International, Centara Hotels and Resorts, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts Indonesia, Eastin Hotel, Siam Kempinski Hotel and Vacation Singapore DMC. Among the 200 buyers are organisations like Select Vacations Australia, Big Tree Travels and Tours Malaysia, Optimal Travel Services UK, Tui Netherlands, Go Vacation Thailand and Hotelrooms Inc.
ATF TRAVEX Secretariat believes that much of the early interest can be attributed to a successful ATF 2011 that scored high among the over 2000 attending delegates. Delegates included more than 1,000 exhibitors representing more than 400 companies from the 10 ASEAN nations, more than 440 international buyers representing 55 countries, close to 150 media from across 32 countries and more than 400 NTOs.
Over 90% of buyers rated the quality of exhibitors and their business appointments as excellent or good, reflecting the effectiveness of ATF TRAVEX as a choice business platform. Said buyer Rose Ann Shetty, CEO of Galavantor from UAE, “It was very productive meeting suppliers of my niche products. The show provides excellent information”.
Said 2012 Exhibitor Mrs. Amornrat Boonwittaya, Director of Sales and Marketing of Zinc Invision Hospitality Co. Ltd, “We have a three fold objective for ATF 2012: 1. To strengthen business relationships with existing accounts and seek prospective clients, 2.To create product awareness and drive business volume within key selective markets and 3. To create awareness of new projects and forge new business relations.”
Based on ATF’s proven track record, she is confident that it is an effective platform to meet these objectives.
Interested 2012 Buyer Mr Fong Chin Lim, Managing Director of Bigtree Travel & Tours Malaysia is also looking forward to ATF 2012. He says, “ATF TRAVEX is an excellent platform for us to meet with ASEAN suppliers and source new products.”
In a statement to the TRAVEX secretariat, His Excellency Ir. Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia said, “The Golden Kawanua Convention Centre is just one of the many exciting efforts that Manado is making to contribute to a successful ATF 2012. The convention centre is just 10 minutes away from the Sam Ratulangi Airport, which is accessible from a host of international destinations.”
The capital of the North Sulawesi province, Manado is a diver’s paradise. Famous for its eco tourism efforts, Manado is home to dramatic and diverse landscapes and a treasure of flora and fauna. Indonesia hopes to introduce the world to Manado through ATF 2012.
As always, ATF combines business appointments, an education component and numerous social functions. Held in a sprawling exhibition hall, the business appointments will encompass the majority of delegates’ schedules over the three days.
The ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) – the educational component of ATF – featured sessions by industry veterans, which engaged the audience through presentations and panel discussions on the major trends, and issues affecting ASEAN tourism today.
The social and networking events at ATF continued to offer delegates the opportunity to create new contacts within the industry in relaxed and unique settings such as the popular golf game, late night functions or the hosted luncheons and dinners. Pre-show city tours and post-show tours to popular destinations in and around Manado also highlighted for hosted buyer and media delegates.
ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination. ATF TRAVEX is the longest-running annual ASEAN leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN sellers. This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 ASEAN member nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Each year the hosting of ATF is rotated among the member countries. Indonesia will host ATF 2012 and is all geared up to welcome over 1,600 delegates which includes more than 450 international buyers and 150 international media. ATF 2012 marks the 31st anniversary of this event since its inauguration in Malaysia in 1981.