WTM Connect Asia had opened last week with its inaugural conference being held in Penang. The event lasted for two days from 18-20 May 2016. It hosted buyers from China, SouthEast Asia, and the rest of the world while they met, networked, and had meetings with various exhibitors.
The WTM Portfolio launched a 1-2-1 ratio pod format to facilitate business in South-east Asian leisure travel market. The event was proved to be different from traditional format, proved to be successful amongst attendees with a very sober and effective set up for quality appointment schedules.
More than 1800 meetings took place in the course of two days, and potential buyers and suppliers met for 20-minute meetings and networked during breaks and evening dinners.
Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa was a stunning location for a beach gala dinner on Thursday 19 May. Exhibitors included: Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, Philippines Tourism Promotions Board, Penang Global Tourism, Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau, Visit Berlin, Jac Travel, Inner Maldives, Eskimos Iceland, Cox & Kings (India), Westfield, Travellanda, C Hotels, Discovery Overland Holidays Sdn Bhd, Marriot Vacation Club International, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and many more.
The pod concept was very much appreciated as it helped people to focus on their own meetings with the exhibitors. There were buyers from 25 countries that attended the show. They included: Antavaya, Beijing Luxtrip Holding Ltd, Caissa, Cathay Pacific Holidays, Gate 1 Travel, Interpark, Mayflower Holidays Sdn Bhd, Novatours Group and Uthing Travel.
The event generated a huge ROI as WTM Connect Asia brought buyers and exhibitors from leisure travel space in an exclusive setting. WTM Connect Asia procured a huge round of applause from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Tourism Malaysia and Penang Global Tourism both pre-show and onsite with over 20 VIPs in attendance.
Speaking on behalf of Penang Global Tourism, Ooi Chok Yan, CEO commented:
“Congratulations to Reed Exhibitions for successfully organising the first WTM Connect Asia here in Penang, Malaysia which is off to a good start and we’re very much looking forward to its continuity. The WTM branding has enhanced Penang’s status as a destination and this undeniably supports Penang to host more extensive and complex events”.
The inaugural WTM Asia had successfully concluded as it has contributed greatly in propelling the Asian travel market. Throughout these three days, the event 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.