Delegates of the PATA Chapter Colloquium enjoyed a rare night access to Beijing’s famous ‘Temple of Heaven’ for a special cocktail reception that marked the opening of 2011 International Tourism Festival of Imperial Palace.
The event recognised the splendour of this architectural masterpiece, rarely used for public functions. Hosted by Dongcheng District People’s Government, the event featured performances from renowned Qin Zither musician Chen Leiji and female soloist Sa Dingdin, winner of the 2008 BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for the Asia-Pacific region. Also performing was Yugang Li, a popular actor of Chinese Opera Theatre and Can Tang, a famous singer.
The evening event is to be followed by meetings, during which approximately 150-delegates will come together to discuss ways to reinvigorate the PATA Chapter network and find new opportunities for its members. On the agenda are brainstorming sessions on how to enhance the relationship between PATA and Chapter members, as well as ways to maximise the benefits brought about by technology and social media.
The Colloquium is a key element of the Association’s commitment to increasing the cooperation and partnership between the global Chapter network and PATA head office, as well as reinforcing the importance of the Chapters in PATA’s future plans.
Said Calderwood: “The Chapter network plays an integral role at the grassroots level in the delivery of PATA membership services. Formed within local travel industry communities, Chapter members work together to support each other’s business objectives, while also offering local relevance for the aims and objectives of PATA as a whole.”
First established in 1961, the Chapter network quickly grew into a powerful global grassroots distribution vehicle; by 1997 there were 100 Chapters on five continents. In recent years, however, the network has declined, having been usurped by a more powerful and direct distribution channel – the internet.
Since 2008, PATA has turned its focus back to the Chapters. It is committed to expanding the network across the globe, resurrecting Chapters that were once viable and functional, as well as working with existing Chapters to strengthen their membership base and improve communications with PATA head office. Preliminary discussions have already taken place to form a Beijing Chapter, while June will see the launch of a Cambodia Chapter.