The 38th ATF officially kick-starts yesterday in Ha Long, Viet Nam, with official meetings by NTO and ministerial delegates in full swing. 1,500 delegates are expected to participate in over 100 meetings, business, education and social functions during the week-long event that also comprise of the 3-day TRAVEX, the trade mart component of ATF.
Meanwhile, registration formally begins for pre-registered TRAVEX delegates at Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Center (QNEPEC), where the world’s only annual leisure travel trade mart offering the largest showcase of ASEAN destination products and services, will take place from 16 to 18 January 2019.
This year is no exception with top travel and tourism suppliers represented across all 10 member states of ASEAN – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. Host destination Viet Nam is proud to spotlight more than 70 of its best travel industry players at this year’s exhibition.
The appeal of ASEAN destinations is stronger than it has ever been, drawing the interest of global buyers from 53 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, China PR, France, Germany, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Poland and Russia. More than 140 international and local media representatives are also in attendance to uncover the latest regional travel developments taking place on the show floor and through the NTO media briefings by all 10 member states. A total of 400 delegates are being hosted to this year’s event.
Close to 10,000 one-to-one appointments will take place between exhibiting companies and buyers, ensuring that ATF TRAVEX continues to place priority on business generation. All exhibitors and buyers have had up to 100% of their appointments scheduled prior to arriving in Ha Long.
Headlining ATF’s educational front is the ASEAN Tourism Conference centred on Connecting Heritages for ASEAN Tourism Development in the Digital Age, and features subject experts Mr. Peter Debrine of World Heritage Nature, Sustainable Tourism and Outreach Unit, Dr. Seul Ki Lee of Tourism Industry Data Analytics Lab (TIDAL), Korea and Mr. Con Apostolopoulos from National Geographic Partners.
The full-fledged ATF TRAVEX programme comprises of 75 official sessions with complimentary pre-show tours generously catered for all delegates commencing today. A total of 15 pre- and post-ATF tours will be held over 4 days. Itineraries include cruises of Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay-Hai Phong City, as well as trips to Yen Tu Mountain and Ninh Binh.
In addition to the tours, the Host Committee Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and its destination provinces are hosting numerous functions to give delegates a well-rounded ATF 2019 TRAVEX experience. These include a Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City Night on board the Ha Long Princess Cruise for international media, the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception & Dinner by VNAT for all delegates, TRAVEX Lunch by Quang Ninh for buyers & media, Dinner by Quang Ninh, as well as the Closing Ceremony of Visit Viet Nam Year 2018 & Gala Celebrating the Success of ATF 2019 for all delegates.
Viet Nam’s private sector and other ASEAN destinations have also contributed immensely towards the event with programme highlights such as the Friendly Golf Game for all delegates, TRAVEX Lunch hosted by FLC, Brunei Night Reception and Philippines Night Late Night Function for buyers and media.
ATF 2019’s panel of partners and sponsors include Official Air Carrier – Vietnam Airlines, Official Meetings Venue – FLC Group, Official Communications Partner – SCTV, Official Tour Operator – Saigontourist, Official Show Daily – TTG Show Daily, and Official Sponsors – BBC, Bia Ha Noi, Bien Hoa Beverages, CNN, Hanoitourist, Heritage Line, Ho Chi Minh City, Muong Thanh Group, Nguyen Le, Quang Ninh, Sun World, Thai Tuan, Thien Minh and VNPT.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Viet Nam, H.E. Nguyen Ngoc Thien, expressed, “The people of Quang Ninh province are honoured to host ATF and invite all delegates to experience the natural beauty, warm people and endless adventures here in Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ATF is a platform for all ASEAN Member States to build a stronger and more powerful position on the world stage with meaningful initiatives that boost tourism growth while preserving our unique and collective heritage, identity and culture for the next generation to experience. We wish all delegates a fruitful experience with us.”