At the opening of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Conference in Kuala Lumpur, PATA CEO Martin J Craigs committed the association to a four-year phase of “Next Generation” action to underpin the 61-year old travel body’s relevance in the digital age.
The CEO said aligned advocacy, mobile technology, business building events, and crisis management readiness would define the association’s new operational mindset, which will be formally called PATA Next Gen.
Over 600 tourism professionals from many travel industry sectors and locations listened to details of Next Gen as the two-day PATA gathering officially commenced at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Craigs told the delegates: “PATA Next Gen is ageless, neither old nor young. It is a state of mind, a commitment to speed, relevance, informality and getting things done on behalf of our members who want to build and defend their business in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
The CEO cited PATAmPOWER, the association’s new mobile platform for integrated travel intelligence, as a major proof point in PATA Next Gen delivery. PATAmPower, which formally launches today, presents the latest travel industry insights and statistics in a user-friendly visual format that PATA members can access on their mobile devices 24/7, as long as they have an internet connection.
The Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia, are hosting the conference. During the opening session, Honourable Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, told the audience: “With the focus of PATA on embracing the New Generation into its current and future agenda, I’m happy to note that the young has a voice on PATA’s platform through its Next Gen initiatives. I believe the tourism industry needs this breath of fresh and young air among us. After all, they are the ones harnessing the technologies of the day and driving the future of tourism.”
The PATA Annual Conference has attracted a total number of 618 delegates including PATA members and tourism professionals from across the Asia Pacific travel industry. Of the 618 registered to attend, there were 330 international delegates, 288 local delegates and 107 journalists. Together they represented 38 countries and regions, along with more than 188 organisations.
Under the theme “Building the Business Beyond Profits”, the Conference programme addressed a number of big issues. These included the need for sustainable tourism practices, socially responsible new business models, emerging markets, crisis management, new technology and the impact of ASEAN Economic Cooperation (due in 2015) on the tourism economy.
PATA also held the PATA Annual General Meeting, the PATA Chapter Colloquium, the PATA Board & Category Committee meetings, the 2012 PATA Gold Awards, and PATA Foundation fund raising activities, all at the same venue. PATA Youth Tourism Forum took place on April 18 at Taylor’s University, Lakeside Campus in Kuala Lumpur.