More than 200 delegates from around the world came together in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE to build a stronger and more resilient tourism economy for the future.
The PATA Annual Summit 2022 (PAS 2022), under the theme ‘Reconnecting the World Sustainably’, opened in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE on Tuesday, October 25 with 237 delegates from 128 organisations and 36 destinations attending the three-day event.
Generously hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the event featured 16 main stage sessions, four breakout workshops, various destination tours, two mobile photography workshops, and a sustainability leadership forum that united 21 senior government and travel industry leaders from the public and private sector in Asia and beyond for dialogues on unique approaches towards overcoming challenges and unlocking new opportunities as the world works towards rebuilding a stronger tourism future.
“By bringing together such a diverse group of thought leaders, senior representatives from the public sector and other non-governmental organisations, we addressed the challenges and solutions to our complex and stage-wise recovery,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “Travel and tourism will continue to be a critical contributor to the economic well-being of the Asia Pacific region and PATA remains committed to facilitating discussions and catalysing actions.”
On Tuesday, October 25, the PATA Board, PATA Chapter Congress and related internal meetings took place, while other delegates at the opportunity to choose from three different a half-day destination tours, as well a mobile photography workshop by award-winning Nikon Professional Photographer and a frequent Apple collaborator and iPhone content creator Scott Woodward. The day ended with a welcome reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
The following day began with PATA’s inaugural Travel Sustainability Leadership Forum, a closed door, invitation only session that brought together travel leaders focused on holistic sustainable tourism development. The half-day forum established a travel leaders community that will ongoingly do best practice exchange, dialogue, and collaboration, with participants bringing to the roundtable dialogue their unique approaches towards overcoming challenges and unlocking new opportunities as the world rebuilds a stronger tourism future. At the same time as the forum, a range of concurrent breakout sessions on the topics of destination resilience, destination marketing and the immediate needs for MSME recovery took place.
The official opening ceremony was followed by keynote speeches, a fireside chat with Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and a series of panel discussions, including the “Ministerial/Government Session - Reinspiring, Reimagining and Rebuilding: Strategies for Sustainable Travel Recovery”, which included Raki Phillips; Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister, Ministry of Tourism Maldives; Florian Sengstschmid, Chief Executive Officer, Azerbaijan Tourism Board; Liz Ortiguera, CEO, PATA; Shri Arvind Singh, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India; Mitsuaki Hoshino, Vice Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency, and Sandiaga Uno, Minister, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia (virtual), moderated by Anita Mendiratta, Founder & President, Anita Mendiratta and Associates. The day concluded with a dinner reception and the PATA Awards Presentation at the Sonara Al Wadi Camp, The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert.
The final day of the PATA Annual Summit opened with a virtual keynote presentation on “Empowering A Sustainable Future through Public Private Partnerships” from Pansy Ho, Group Executive Chairman and Managing Director, Shun Tak Holdings Limited. This was followed by a panel discussion on developing responsible destinations which included Steven Schipani, Principal Tourism Industry Specialist, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB); Damià Serrano Miracle, Experience Marketing & Research Director, Catalan Tourist Board; Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, CEO, Sarawak Tourism Board; Dhananjay Regmi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board, and Sione Moala-Mafi, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Tourism – Tonga, moderated by Archana Shukla, India Business Correspondent, BBC News. Other topics discussed on the final day included future leaders and the investment in human capital, supporting women in MSMEs, a keynote on global hotel industry trends by Chip Rogers, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and an aviation session on the route to recovery.
That afternoon, under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the main stage conference kicked off.