ATF 2016 To Open In Manila

Manila, the venue for ATF 2016
Manila, the venue for ATF 2016

Manila, the venue for ATF 2016

Buyers, sellers and media get ready for ASEAN’s major tourism event. Words by Mark Bibby Jackson.

The 35th instalment of the ASEAN Travel Forum (ATF) kicks off in the Philippines later this month. Attractions from over 40 destinations around the 10 ASEAN member states will be showcased at 450 exhibition booths on the show floor, as Manila becomes home to key ATF activities including the three-day TRAVEX travel trade mart from January 20 to 22, held at the SMX Convention Centre Manila.

“ATF has been a key trade event for the Philippines that has proven to produce good results for our travel suppliers over the years. This showing at ATF 2016 will be one of Philippines’ best with over 150 exhibiting booths from across the country,” says Susan del Mundo, Chairperson of ATF 2016 TRAVEX Sub-Committee.

Major hotel chains including InterContinental, Starwood Asia Pacific, Best Western, Hyatt, Movenpick, Accor, Pan Pacific, Premier Inn and Wyndham have confirmed their attendance, according to del Mundo.

“In addition to regional inbound sales, our presence at ATF also increases market awareness for our brand across ASEAN and beyond,” says Lindawati Muhlis, Head of Sales & Marketing Indonesia of Premier Inn South East Asia.

The international event will feature the largest collection of ASEAN tourism products and services, as well as attracting 400 buyers from 65 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore, the UK and the US.

“I can’t think of any trade event that presents Asia in a better format than ATF which brings together 10 ASEAN countries all under one roof,” says Christopher D’Souza, Global MICE Consultant of Liberty Travel. “Attending ATF allows me to source for my clients with ease.”

Some 100 hosted media from around the world will join 75 local media from the Philippines to cover the latest travel developments the region has to offer. These media include editors, journalists and publishers from travel publications, travel bloggers and TV producers. Official media sessions include the tourism ministers’ press conference and media briefings by all 10 ASEAN countries.

“I find that ATF is an important platform for all ASEAN countries to meet, compare notes, update on each other’s progress and push for a more integrated ASEAN,” says Juhan Kamaruddin, editor of Gaya Travel, Malaysia. “The region offers so much exoticism, diversity and getaway opportunities not just for those outside of ASEAN, but also for those based in ASEAN. From a media standpoint, ATF allows me to obtain updates directly from the ASEAN members about their latest tourism offerings.”

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