Australia returns to PATA Mart(2)

2 April 2003

KUALA LUMPUR -The Australian Tourist Commission's (ATC) decision to renew its participation at the PATA Travel Mart after several years of absence was prompted by the new approach being taken by the trade event.

Maggie White, ATC general manager, South and South-east Asia, said the new approach was appealing as the "proposed special interest focus does not presently exist with other trade events".

The ATC has booked 36sqm of space and may expand the area further, according to PATA.

The ATC's absence has long been a sore point with PATA management who has been keen to bring the NTO back into the mart's fold.

White said it was "too long to remember" exactly how long the ATC had been away from the mart. It "stayed away as industry partners saw little value in event as most believed it was duplicating existing ATC events", she said.

She added, "As a destination member, we believe we should support this new PATA initiative and give it an opportunity to develop. It's not something the ATC does presently."

PATA's managing director-events, Sheila Leong, said, "We hope ATC's participation acts as a catalyst for other Pacific destinations to join PATA Travel Mart 2003."

More than 1,600 sqm have been booked to date. It is currently negotiating with Tourism New Zealand and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand.

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