First-time buyers at ATF defend their hosted status

FRESH faces at this year’s ATF argue that they, of all buyers, should be hosted.

Australia-based Oasis Travel managing director Nick Page said: “If the big, international tour operators rate the show highly enough, they should have a budget to send their staff to attend. It is the smaller and more boutique operators with no budgets that will benefit more from being hosted buyers.”

Page added that the smaller buyers were the ones who needed to broaden their product knowledge by attending such shows.

Thomas Ng, managing director of Paveway Explorer Holidays in Singapore, explained that shows like ATF were the best avenues for new buyers to be introduced to vendors and subsequent business opportunities. “Without these contacts, new operators will find it extremely difficult to lay the groundwork necessary to start a travel programme,” said Ng.

Greece-based IGI-Mice executive director Chow Laiwah added that with a growing number of enquiries for ASEAN destinations such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, trade shows were an important tool for the company. Said Chow: “Through them, we are able to meet new suppliers, discover new markets and new products.”

– Full story in TTG Asia, January 28

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