The official theme for the event will be High Value Tourism – Low Impact Footprints. The gathering has the honor of being the first B2B travel trade event ever in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Bhutan is a land-locked state at the eastern end of the Himalayas, ranging from sub-tropical plains in the south to Himalayan peaks over 7,000 meters in the north. The country has a population of 700,000 and is bordered by India to the west, south, and east, and by China to the north.
“We are honored to host the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart in Bhutan for the first time,” said Mr. Kesang Wangdi, Director General of the Tourism Council of Bhutan, “I am confident that such an international conference will help broaden the understanding of tourism and stress its positive impact on societies.”
At the event, international, regional, and local speakers will share experiences and provide insights into existing and future travel trends in the responsible and adventure tourism sectors. A buyer-seller mart component will target a limited number of relevant high-quality buyers primarily from Japan, Chinese Taipei, Western Europe, Australia, USA, Canada, and the Asian cities of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
Bhutan’s successful and highly-acclaimed tourism policy is, “High Value – Low Impact.” It is not interested in mass tourism.
“We welcome all PATA conference delegates to visit Bhutan, where happiness is the ultimate development goal complimented with a strong commitment to environmental and cultural preservation,” said Mr. Karma Lotey, Chairman of the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators. “We look forward to fruitful interactions that will create meaningful business associations, many friendships, and lots of happy memories,” he said.
The new event in Bhutan builds on the two successful adventure conferences and marts staged by PATA in 2010 and 2011 in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal. The Bhutan event will also feature a series of pre-conference webinars, activities and interactions with speakers and participants.
“Due to the unique nature of this destination, participation is limited to a select number of delegates,” said Mr. Bill Calderwood, PATA’s Interim CEO, “It is, therefore, advisable to register as soon as possible to secure your place at what promises to be a unique event in an exceptional destination.”