Friday, January 21, 2011

Closing down

Student volunteers Sophen and Sophea collecting materials for their tourism studies at ATF
As I type, the Asean Tourism Forum 2011 is winding down. There's a closing ceremony at NagaWorld tonight and that is effectively it, aside from some post-ATF tours that some buyers and media are taking to Siem Reap and the coast. For the sellers, they will have to dismantle their booths after 6pm and zip off to the final party and the curtain will close on the biggest tourism gathering in Cambodia for years. There will be mixed feelings for many, some will have done some great business, others not, new networks formed and existing relationships strengthened, lots of wining and dining and I'm sure many hangovers for the late-night partygoers. They turned the aircon off in the exhibition hall this afternoon so everyone was left to sweat it out after a lunch hosted by the Ministry of Tourism. The Laos media briefing this morning focused on the Mekong Tourism Forum which will be held in Pakse in late May and will highlight the wonders to be found in southern Laos and then Laos will host the ATF in 2013, with 2012 being coined as Visit Laos Year. Many of the volunteer tourism students who've been helping out during ATF spent today visiting every booth to grab all the free literature and CDs they could get their hands on, as there will be some great promotional materials that will benefit their studies. So the black-shirted youngsters could be seen carrying armfuls of brochures, booklets, leaflets, etc all day long. An extra benefit from ATF. I'm off to the closing ceremony soon and here's some photos from today to keep you in the picture.
Burd, the assistant director of Sales from Raffles in Siem Reap
One of my very favourite hoteliers, Thanet from Tara Angkor in Siem Reap
Sinat from CCBEN was on the Mekong Tourism booth for ATF
More ladies from the hotel booths at ATF
Linda from Khiri Travel and Lina from Apsara Tours
Members of the Hanuman team popped into ATF for a quick looksee and team photo

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