PATA Annual Summit 2017 successfully concludes in Negombo, Sri Lanka

Top tourism players discuss booming India outbound market

June 9, 2017

/ By / Negombo, Sri Lanka

The PATA Annual Summit 2017 (PAS 2017), under the theme ‘Disruption. Innovation. Transformation: The Future of Tourism’, concluded successfully in Negombo, Sri Lanka with 406 delegates from 191 organisations representing 39 countries attending the four-day event.

PAS 2017, hosted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau along with the Ministry of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs of the Government of Sri Lanka, included the Association’s executive and advisory board meetings, annual general meeting, PATA Youth Symposium, PATA Insights Lounge (formerly the PATA Marketplace), the UNWTO/PATA Ministerial Debate and a one-day conference that addressed the issues, challenges and opportunities arising from the constantly evolving landscape of the travel and tourism industry.

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy told local and international media, “The PATA Annual Summit brings together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are professionally engaged with the Asia Pacific region. At PATA we understand that to overcome the challenges and issues facing our industry, the public and private sectors must work together.”

Opening remarks at the conference were given by John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism, Sri Lanka, and by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.

The conference keynote address on ‘Managing disruption through innovation’ was given by Rafat Ali, CEO & founder of Skift. Other topics discussed during the conference were: ‘The Transformation of Marketing’, ‘Research Innovation’, ‘Disrupting the Travel Industry’, ‘The Real Future of Tourism: Young Tourism Professionals’, and ‘Embracing Disruption: A Blueprint for the Future of Tourism’.

In partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), PATA held a half-day PATA/UNWTO Ministerial Debate when representatives from the public and private sectors discussed the concepts of recognised sustainability leadership and the sharing economy as they pertain to the travel and tourism industry. Panellists included Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General – Tourism Malaysia; Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO – Nepal Tourism Board; Wander Meijer, Director Asia Pacific – GlobeScan; Hiran Cooray, Chairman – Jetwing Hotels; Jon Nathan Pangilinan Denight, President and CEO – Guam Visitors Bureau; Lawrence Leong, Former Assistant Chief Executive (International Group) – Singapore Tourism Board; Thao Nguyen, Head of Strategic Partnerships, APAC – Airbnb, and Erick Stephens, Chief Technology Officer – APAC, Microsoft.

Delegates gained additional insights about the latest travel and tourism industry trends during the PATAInsights Lounge powered by PechaKucha (formerly the PATA Marketplace).

India is one of the most important markets for Sri Lanka Tourism. With a determination to lure a record number of Indian tourists in the year 2017, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board is renewing its marketing strategy for the Indian market with a clear focus on luxury, wedding and MICE.  It is not only Sri Lanka, but all the major tourism players of the Asia Pacific region, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Singapore and others who are eyeing for a pie of the booming Indian outbound industry as their economic boosters. In almost each and every presentation or panel discussion, tapping Indian outbound market came back as an important pointer.

Other highlights of the four-day event included the PATA Awards Presentation, the election of the newPATA Executive Board, the Signing Ceremony of the Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics by and the signing ceremony with the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) for PATAAnnual Summit 2018, Gangneung has been chosen as the venue.

Sri Lankan Airlines was the PAS 2017 Official Airline. The events took place at the Jetwing Blue Hotel. Delegates were also shown a video produced in partnership with GLP Films that highlighted PATA’s advocacy themes focusing sustainable and responsible tourism.



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