NUR-SULTAN – Approximately 220 tour operators and 250 travel content providers from 60 countries gathered Sept. 18-20 in Nur-Sultan’s Korme Exhibition Centre for the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart.
“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 PATA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mario Hardy.
The international travel trade exhibition offers networking opportunities as well as the latest trends and offerings from travel and tourism organisations. Among this year’s exhibitors was SkyWay, a company that offers tourism services in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, such as historical tours, eco-tours, gastronomic tours, adventure tours and city tours of Nur-Sultan and Almaty.
“For me, the PATA Travel Mart is a new tool for the development of inbound tourism in Kazakhstan. In today’s rapidly changing world, it is very important for businesses from other countries to meet face-to-face with businesses in Kazakhstan because tourism is a business about people, so communication is very important here,” said Kazunion Founder Laura Galiyeva.
The Travolution Forum Asia kicked off the first day of the PATA Travel Mart, where participants explored topics, such as Corporate Innovation for Triple-Bottom Line Impact in the Asia Pacific Travel Industry, Facing the Outside World, Digital Solutions to Overtourism and Practical Data Shaped by Consumer Behaviour and 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.
“The PATA Travel Mart Forums provide the perfect opportunity for participants to keep abreast of the latest trends and insights into the travel and tourism industry,” said Hardy.
The event is hosted by the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sport and Kazakh Tourism, which seek to position Nur-Sultan “as a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) hub for Central Asia,” the then Kazakh Vice Minister of Culture and Sport Yerlan Kozhagapanov told Strategy2050.kz.
“We are creating a foundation for the tourism industry in the country,” said Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sport Aktoty Raimkulova. “For example, we introduced a 72-hour visa-free regime and will continue to improve the conditions of stay for tourists.”