They are numerous Travel Marts and/or Travel Shows around the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). Thailand organises every year the Thailand Travel Mart Plus which also covers countries from the GMS; Vietnam has two travel shows, one in Hanoi (VITM), one in Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC). And now Cambodia is stepping into the market with its Cambodia Travel Mart.
The Mart was originally set to be hosted for the first time in 2016 in Phnom Penh. It will finally be hosted at Sokha Siem Reap Resort and Convention Center in the small town, gateway to the fabled temples of Angkor Wat.
Dates for the show have been set for November 17-19, 2017. “We opted finally for Siem Reap as we want to demonstrate the ability of the destination to welcome important conventions and shows. Siem Reap is one of the most appropriate location for MICE events”, says Om Pharin, Chairman and CEO of SlickBoot, the organiser of the show.
Would it not be difficult to host such an event at the start of the tourism peak season? “There is no contradiction. Actually, we find that it provides an opportunity for the trade to see how Siem Reap copes with a sustained tourism activity”, explains Om Pharin.
CTM was attributed to TTG Events in partnership with SlickBoot and Cambodia Ministry of Tourism. They will be some 150 international buyers as well as 20 to 30 media invited for the first edition of CTM. “We will also have some 220 exhibitors, mostly from Cambodia and the Mekong region. Hosting such an event is an opportunity for local tourism SME to be able to meet international buyers as they generally cannot go to large international shows”, adds Om Pharin.
Siem Reap is ready to embrace more MICE events, a way to diversify tourism activities in the town. “We get full support from the hotels in Siem Reap as well as the Apsara Authority, which manages the temples. We plan to organise our gala dinner at the Bayon temple”, explains Prak Vuthy, Deputy Director at the Ministry.
The CTM could change venue every year. “We could also host the show in 2018 in Phnom Penh or also in Sihanoukville”, tells Prak Vuthy.