PATA plans summit replacement

The Pacific Asia Travel Association will design a
new-style, industry-focused annual ‘summit’ to replace the 55-year old PATA Annual
Conference.The first summit will take place in 2008. Destinations that had been
appointed to organise the 2007 and 2008 Conferences - Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka
respectively - have been advised to cease preparations. New bid books for the
inaugural 2008 summit will be circulated to all PATA member destinations later this
year.

The decision, passed by the PATA Board of Directors on April 23 and ratified by the
PATA Annual General Meeting on April 24, included a mandate for PATA to create a new
format for Committee, Board and Annual General Meetings. The internally-focused
agendas of the Board and AGM sessions can now, if necessary, be de-linked from the
summit, which, PATA officers said, should be outward looking, intellectually
compelling and able to attract iconic speakers.

PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong said: “The PATA Board has taken the wise,
long-term view to vote for a more tightly focused summit-style event. The summit
would demonstrate PATA’s growing role as the convener of high-level discussions on
the major global issues and opportunities that shape the travel industry.”

He added: “Our Board of Directors understood and acknowledged the disappointment
expressed by Chinese Taipei and Sri Lanka. It was heart-warming to note, however,
that both destinations appreciated the greater good for the Association and accepted
the Board?s sovereign and democratic decision-making process.”

While the format and scope of the summit is yet to be confirmed, Mr de Jong said
that the new event would enhance the PATA brand, be affordable for destinations to
host, be time and cost-efficient for busy executives, be content focused, be in tune
with PATA’s advocacy agenda, be a platform to convert non-members to members, and
deliver a better return on investment for host destinations and PATA.

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During 2007, PATA will hold two Board meetings and a ‘new-style’ AGM. It will also
consider convening smaller summit-like events in different parts of Asia Pacific.
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