By Muhammad Rafiq
DUBAI: The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the not-for-profit travel trade association serving government, tourism offices, hotels, airlines and other travel-related companies within the Asia Pacific region, has announced the programme for its 2022 Annual Summit set to take place from 25-27 October 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
Exploring the theme ‘Reconnecting the World Sustainably’, the programme covers critical industry topics such as destination resilience, sustainable travel recovery strategies, supporting women in micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), global hotel industry trends, sustainable gastronomic tourism, the voice of the next generation, and the decarbonization of transport. This is the first time PATA’s Annual Summit takes places in the Middle East.
Hosted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) at the Al Hamra International Conference Center, the three-day event brings together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are invested in driving tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific. The PATA association network consists of both public and private entities representing every facet of the travel ecosystem – government, tourism offices, hotels, airlines, MNCs, SMEs, universities, and other travel-related companies with interests in the Asia Pacific region.
Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) commented: “We are delighted to host the Pacific Asia Travel Association for the first time in the Middle East. As a dynamic and forward-looking Emirate, we are placing all aspects of sustainability (environment, culture, conservation and livability) at the centre of our investment and development strategy. We look forward to driving the sustainability agenda with key opinion leaders from around the world to build a stronger and resilient tourism economy for the future.”
Among the distinguished speakers from around the world are Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister, Ministry of Tourism Maldives; Shri Arvind Singh, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Florian Sengstschmid, Chief Executive Officer, Azerbaijan Tourism Board; Mitsuaki Hoshino, Vice Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency; Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General UNWTO; Pansy Ho, Group Executive Chairman and Managing Director of Shun Tak Holdings Limited; Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission (ETC); Anita Mendiratta, Founder & President of Anita Mendiratta and Associates; Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA); Jessie F. McComb, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist Tourism at The World Bank; Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President Advocacy & Communications at the World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC); Stefano Baronci, Director General at Airports Council International Asia-Pacific; Fabrizio Orlando, Global Director Industry Affairs at Tripadvisor; Audra Morrice, Masterchef Asia and Singapore Host & Judge, Cook, Author, as well as leaders from numerous international Tourism Boards.
In addition to the rich agenda of keynote presentations, workshops, panel discussions and networking sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to explore the stunning surroundings of Ras Al Khaimah through a range of organised destination tours and activities such as a mobile photography workshop.
“After nearly three long years, I am truly excited for this year’s Annual Summit as we have brought together a diverse range of industry thought leaders, senior representations from the public sector and other non-governmental organisations to address the challenges and solutions to our complex and stage-wise recovery,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “It is inspiring to see government representatives from Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Catalonia, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Guam, India, Japan, Korea (ROK), Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, joining us to be part of this discussion as we work to restart a stronger, more responsible and more sustainable industry. Therefore, I invite all industry stakeholders to join us as we look towards recovery and continue to build a future where tourism remains a positive tool in fuelling sustainable development and economic growth.”
The PATA Annual Summit 2022 programme in brief
Day one on 25 October comprises the PATA Board and internal meetings (members only), a mobile photography workshop by award winning Nikon Professional Photographer and a frequent Apple collaborator and iPhone content creator Scott Woodward, a half-day destination tour and the welcome reception at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Day two will kick off with the Destination Sustainability Forum (invite only) as well as a range of concurrent breakout sessions on the topics of destination resilience, destination marketing and the immediate needs for MSME recovery. Following the luncheon hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the PATA Annual Summit will have its official opening ceremony which is followed by an afternoon of keynote speeches, presentations, fireside chats and panel discussions. The second day of the summit will conclude with a dinner reception and the PATA Awards Presentation at the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert.
The final day of the PATA Annual Summit will feature panel discussions on developing responsible destinations, future leaders and the investment in human capital, supporting women in MSMEs, a keynote on global hotel industry trends and an aviation session on the route to recovery, which is followed by a series of breakout sessions on a range of different topics.