Growing the Meeting, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (Mice) travel market will be top priority at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart in Langkawi, Kedah.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the worldwide travel trade exhibition is a good platform for the country to solidify its reputation as a premiere holiday destination in the region.

“The event would showcase our country’s uniqueness as a multicultural destination. More than just providing business ventures, Malaysia also has many adventures to offer visitors,” he said.

Taking place from Sept 12 to 14 at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, the event is held in collaboration with the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA). This is the third time Malaysia is hosting the exhibition.

LADA chief executive officer Datuk Azizan Noordin said the exhibition also seeks to introduce Langkawi as a top-of-mind destination.

“We want to develop Langkawi as a gateway to the northern states such as Kedah and Perlis,” he said. Azizan added that complimentary tours around the island will be conducted for participants during the exhibition.

This year, the event gathers sellers from 198 organisations from 35 destinations while the number of buyers are 274 from 55 markets. Malaysia will be represented by 67 sellers including the Kedah, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Johor and Penang state governments.

Some main highlights include the business-to-business session, PATA Gold Awards, a youth symposium and the Travolution Asia Forum.

This is the first time the forum is included as part of the exhibition programme. It will look at key trends in the industry and how emerging technology, customised travel options and value-added services can enable tourism businesses.

PATA is a not-for profit association that works towards responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.