Kazakhstan to host the first in the CIS Pata Travel Mart 2019
PATA Travel Mart 2019, Asia Pacific’s International Travel Trade Exhibition held in Nur-Sultan on September 18-20.
More than 1200 representatives of tourism industry from 63 countries of the world will take part in the exhibition. The event combines an exhibition, networking platform for business meetings and two business forums. PATA Travel Mart acts as a communication, business and networking platform for local and international tourism market players. The exhibition is a unique opportunity for Kazakhstani tour operators and the business community to strengthen international ties in order to promote domestic and foreign tourist products. To date, the event has attracted more than 250 sellers from 32 countries to showcase best-in-class products and services, from gourmet meals and “photo holidays” in Japan to heritage tours in China. Each pavilion demonstrates new products, services, offers and tools which help attract tourists and reveal new opportunities for tourism development across the present nations.
PTM 2019 is hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC.
«We are very pleased that Kazakhstan won the right to host PATA for the first time in the CIS and the European part of Eurasia. In turn, the state is doing a lot to develop tourism in Kazakhstan; we are creating a platform for the tourism business in the country. For example, we have introduced a 72-hour visa-free regime, and we continue to improve conditions for tourists», said Minister of Culture And Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan Aktoty Raimkulova.
«We are excited to hold the first-ever PATA event in Central Asia in Kazakhstan. As the destination stands at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, it is the perfect venue to organise the association’s signature travel trade exhibition in a uniquely transformational city that blends various cultures and heritages of both the East and West” said The President of PATA, Dr. Mario Hardy. He highlighted the need for Kazakhstan to develop such activities, as the tourism future is in Asia. Dr. Mario Hardy said that our country is on the right path in developing its tourism potential.
It is his third visit to Kazakhstan. He told those gathered today what measures should be taken to attract tourists. «The first is to expand the list of visa-free travel countries. The second is marketing. There are lots of great places in Kazakhstan worth of visiting, in particular, ski resorts, unique culture, and great cuisine. It is crucial to let tourists know more about Kazakhstan,» Mario Hardy told the press conference held as part of the PATA Travel Mart 2019 underway in Nur-Sultan. He also added that one of the Vietnamese tour operators expressed interest in Kazakhstan, arrived ahead of the exhibition, travelled across the country and found partners. As a result, it is expected to perform four charter flights to Kazakhstan in November.
At first day 2019 PATA Youth Symposium “From the beginning to the end: how histories connect us” was held, it brought together participants who share a common goal – to contribute to the development of key advantages and opportunities of the tourism industry. Travolution Forum Asia, organized in partnership with the Travel Weekly Group, gathered to discuss such topics as: “Corporate Innovations for Triple-Bottom Line Impact in the Asia Pacific Tourism Industry”, “Face the World”, “Digital Solutions for Overtourism” and “Practical Consumer Behavioural Data. It engaged with speakers from ADARA, ADB Ventures, Aviata, iFree Group, Plug and Play, Sojern, Tiqets and Transperfect.com.
During the second half of the day at the exhibition’s Content Marketing Forum, participants heard from experts and content creators on transforming today’s trends in the industry into opportunities tomorrow. The session included presentations from Air Astana CEO Peter Foster, The Steppe CEO Zaure Rozmat, UpThink CEO Matt Gibson and Professional Travel Bloggers Association President Janicke Hansen. On the same day, the second forum on content marketing, held in partnership with UpThink, will take place. A group of experts and content creators will discuss the development of current trends.
Chairman of the Association PATA Mr. Chris Bottrill thanked participants and noticed the followings: “We hope that in the framework of this event will take place more than 10 thousand business appointments among different people the world. This place is an excellent area for advancing a business”. As it was said on behalf of leadership of the JSC “National Company Kazakh Tourism”, cooperation between Kazakhstan and PATA started from 2013 and signing the Memorandum on membership of Kazakhstan to the Association can considered as successful product of conclusion the huge efforts on establishing cooperation and finding consensuses. We can surely say, that this Memorandum will became the beginning for the closed cooperation and stimulates development of touristic structure of Kazakhstan.
By the way, it should be mentioned, that in April 2019 in Lisbon former Mayor of the Kazakh capital Mr. Bakhit Sultanov presented in the Forum of Mayors of cities and Ministers of tourisms of the UNWTO member states the city Nur-Sultan as the place for providing 8th UNWTO Global Summit: Smart Cities, smart ideas 7-11 October 2019.
Global Summit must attract well-known experts and representatives of the state and private structures in the field of tourism in order to work out the general strategy in completion of a new paradigms of development for city tourism, where tourism becomes a locomotive of economy, and also as an instrument of social cooperation and preserving own culture. At the same time, the upcoming Summit must be remarkable not only for the international society and but for the countries in the region. Due to this, it would be good to discuss the idea of opening regional organization for tourism, which could bring together countries of Eurasian, Central Asian and Western Asian regions. Besides PATA there are some regional organizations or association in the South Asia, South-East Asia but there is organizations of those scale in our region at all.
An establishment of such regional tourism organization of Eurasian, Central and Western Asia under patronage of UNWTO, which will unite countries of the Eurasia, Central and Western Asia regions, demanded by increasing interest to the field of tourism to this region. Experience of the UNWTO Organization can facilitating development of the sustainable tourism in the region. Experts of the Central Asia and Eurasian regions, who knows well local specialties, legislations of states and who possesses touristic potentials are ready to give all necessary supports in this issue. It may became an important historical event not only for the regions of Central and Western Asia, but also for UNWTO as to the flagman of the world tourism.
Coming back to PATA Mart program it should be noted that Content Marketing Forum attracted much attention, participants heard from experts and content creators on transforming today’s trends in the industry into opportunities tomorrow. The session included presentations from Air Astana CEO Peter Foster, The Steppe CEO Zaure Rozmat, UpThink CEO Matt Gibson and Professional Travel Bloggers Association President Janicke Hansen. On the same day, the second forum on content marketing, held in partnership with UpThink, will take place. A group of experts and content creators will discuss the development of current trends.
Among speakers were Russell Young Managing Director – APAC, Sojern. He worked in the online travel and tourism industry for over fourteen years. Jason Lin, Chief of Talent, Talent Basket, Xiamen (China) and San Francisco (USA) In 2010, Jason moved to Silicon Valley and started Talent Basket. As the Chief Talent, Jason spearheads a curated roster of talents across 25 cities, speaking 11 languages and providing 61 types of analytics, marketing, creative, and engineering skills. Also among the speakers of PTM 2019 were John Williams, Vice President of Advertising Sales at BBC Global News (Singapore, South and Southeast Asia), Tony Smith, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Communications at iFree Group, aPeter Foster, President of Air Astana. Peter Foster OBE, served as Chief Executive Officer of Royal Brunei Airlines from 2002 to 2005 prior to his appointment as President of Air Astana. In the 2015 UK New Year’s Honours List Peter Foster was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to British aviation in Kazakhstan. The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has awarded Air Astana a 5 star rating in the Major Airlines category for the second year in a row at an award ceremony in Los Angeles on 9th September 2019. The APEX Award is the European rating agency, which evaluates the level of passenger service worldwide, the rating is considered one of the most prestigious and reputable in the airline industry.
Our country has an ambitious goal to increase GDP share from tourism industry sector from 2 to 8 %. Evidently, the fact that Kazakhstan now is a full fledged member of Pacific Area Travel Association - PATA, as well as is expecting to host 8th Summit of the UNWTO can greatly contribute to achieving this goal.
Special Representative of the Secretary General of the EECO
for international development and promotion