Branson adds voice to PATA climate challenge

Sir Richard Branson is the latest influential
personality to endorse the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s “CEO Challenge
2008: Confronting Climate Change”.
The Chairman of the Virgin Group welcomes PATA’s initiative to address the issue of
global warming from the perspectives of both aviation and tourism.

“Global warming is the biggest challenge facing mankind today and we must all do
everything possible to reach a consensus on how to meet it,” said Sir Branson.
“PATA’s CEO Challenge comes at a very timely moment.”

Hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and organised in partnership with the
Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) and the Burba Hotel Network (BHN), PATA’s
“CEO Challenge 2008: Confronting Climate Change” will take place in Bangkok on April
29-30, 2008.

At the event, PATA will challenge influential travel and tourism industry leaders
from all sectors to agree to and sign a defining industry response to climate
change, one of the greatest global threats to travel and tourism.

“There is no doubt that global warming is one of the most important issues of our
time,” said Cathay Pacific Airways Chief Executive Mr Tony Tyler.

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“There is equally little doubt that the aviation industry must take a lead in
confronting the challenges of climate change,” he added.  “Sadly, extreme and
completely misleading views about aviation’s impact on global warming have taken
root, especially in Europe.

“PATA’s initiative provides an opportunity for the Asian region to make a more
constructive and pragmatic contribution to the debate.  And we as an airline are
willing to take part in the debate by committing to actions that seriously address
climate change.”

American Hotel & Lodging Association President and CEO Mr Joseph McInerney said that
it is vital that all sectors join forces to share ideas to address the crucial
challenge that climate change presents to the planet.

“I applaud PATA for facing this challenge head on, and welcome the opportunity to
work with hospitality leaders to seek answers to these critical questions,” he said.
“As one of the largest service industries in the world, and one of the largest
employers, we owe it to our customers and to future generations to come together and
look for solutions to mitigate some of the damage that has already been done to the
environment.”

Jones Lang LaSalle Asia Pacific CEO and JLL Hotels Chairman Mr Peter A Barge said
that leaders would need to have very good reasons not to attend.

“Our staff, our clients the communities we operate in and more recently shareholder
groups, all are demanding action on climate change,” he said.  “When all your
stakeholders are sending clear messages, we as CEOs had better be on board.”

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