Up to 1,000 delegates, representing 66 countries are expected to descend upon the China World Hotel in Beijing, for the PATA 60th anniversary celebrations and Annual Conference to discuss some of the key challenges facing the travel and tourism industry.
With the theme ‘Building Tourism: Past. Present. Progressive’, the event will recall the contribution PATA has made to Asia Pacific tourism over the past six decades, discuss its role today, and consider how PATA can remain a relevant, member-driven association in the future.
The two-day conference programme will also focus on some of the key challenges facing tourism professionals today. Experts in their field will discuss topics including space tourism, changing demographics, new technology, distribution, responsible tourism and aviation.
The event comes on the back of record breaking visitor figures for Asia and the Pacific, revealing a seven per cent year-on-year expansion for January 2011. The strongest arrivals growth were recorded in South Asia, with Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India, each set impressive new records. International visitors to Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmoar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam saw a double-digit growth. Meanwhile Malaysia remained sluggish. China also reported a ‘subdued’ growth.
As the host to this year’s PATA, China should see an additional boost with an opportunity to showcase Chinese hospitality.
Hiran Cooray, chairman of PATA commented: “We are honoured and delighted to be in China again after some 14 years. We note that during that period, China has made an indelible mark on global travel and tourism rising to No 4 in the world in terms of international receipts and it looks likely to elevate to No. 3 in tourism spending.”
Sponsors and partners include broadcaster CNN, who is providing anchor Richard Quest as a moderator at the event.
Congratulating PATA on reaching its 60th anniversary milestone, Ross Jackson, head, Cross Border - International, Visa, revealed: “PATA has made a significant contribution to the travel industry over the past 60-years and its insights on the travel trends of today and tomorrow are greatly valued, not only by the travel industry but by everyone involved in the region’s economy”.
Of the 1,000 registered to attend, there are 460 international delegates, 540 local delegates, seven ministers, 35-diplomats and 180 media persons. Together they represent 66-countries and regions, along with more than 400-organisations.
Later this year, Thailand will enter the spotlight as this year’s World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia ceremony is set to take place at the luxurious Dusit Thani Bangkok, Thailand on 28th September. Sporting enthusiasts will then be able to make the most of their trip with WSDE Sport Tourism Expo taking place in Bangkok from 27 – 30th September. This business forum is dedicated to showcasing the full spectrum of Sport Tourism related products and services. Sports tourism is expected to buck all trends with an exponential growth over the next decade.