The much anticipated annual general meeting of the Pacific Travel Asia Association (PATA) will be held at the Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau from 18th – 21st May. This year’s theme will be based on ‘Disruption, Innovation, Transformation: The future of tourism’ and will include a wide number of speakers and panelists to discuss upon the subject. A half day UNWTO/PATA Ministerial Debate will also take place parallel to the event, where industry leaders and government representatives will discuss on ‘The shift to recognized sustainability leadership’ and ‘The sharing economy in travel and tourism’, which will be a highlighted part of the event in order to benefit the economic and tourist sector. This high profile event, eventually one of the major events which take place annually in the tourism calendar, will be a great opportunity to Sri Lanka especially as Sri Lanka is expecting to bring home 2.5 million tourist arrivals this year and to boost up the tourist sector. At the moment Sri Lanka is going through a rapid growth of tourist arrivals especially during the peak seasons, thereby bringing increased tourist expenditure. The event focuses on a wide variety of subject matters which are related to tourism, providing strategic solutions for the industry’s betterment. PATA 2017 also showcases additional sessions such as PATA market place and PATA youth symposium.
The event will showcase a distinguished line up of speakers /panelists such as Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Andrew Chan Founder and CEO of ACI HR Solutions, Andrew Jones, Chairman, PATA, Greg Klassen , Partner at Twenty 31 Consulting Inc, and Ha Lam, Co- Founder and COO –Triip .me, Dr. Mario Hardy , CEO, PATA, and Hiran Cooray, Chairman , Jetwing Hotels. These veterans of travel and tourism trade will be ready to share their knowledge and analytical skills to make them applicable for the country’s tourism growth. According to the organization, international travel will double from one billion to two billion travelers, and that growth at the same time will not be equally distributed around the world. Therefore, travel and tourism industry stake holders, tour operators and even media personnel should contribute from their end to make each destination around the world have a similar share of increasing tourist arrivals and provide better infrastructure facilities. This year’s event will also provide a media centre for both international and local media to get support from the media field to showcase PATA’s effort to uplift the tourism sector. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) established in 1951, is an international body to safe guard responsible development of travel and tourism from and within the Asia pacific region. It consists of 95 government state and city tourism bodies, 29 international airlines, whereas Sri Lankan Airlines recently joined as its newest aviation member. PATA also has Airports and cruise lines added to the list, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies within the Asia Pacific and other regions.
Source : DM