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December 10, 2023

Getting Back to Business Travel, Tourism, and MICE at the PATA & GBTA APAC Travel Summit 2022

Business Travel, Tourism, and MICE at the PATA & GBTA APAC Travel Summit 2022

The PATA & GBTA APAC Travel Summit 2022, under the theme ‘Getting Back to Business Travel, Tourism, and MICE’, opened in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, December 8 with 222 delegates from 85 organisations and 15 destinations attending the two-day event.

Organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the two-day event examined key themes spanning corporate, leisure, and MICE; and identified emerging opportunities and trends in the ever-changing, dynamic recovery of the Asia-Pacific region.

The event, comprising four main stage sessions, six educational breakouts, and four tradeshow sessions, as well numerous network opportunities, featured a diverse line-up of industry leaders and experts and covered such topics as: “Rising Opportunities in Business Travel, Tourism and MICE”, “Duty of Care”, “Recovery with Sustainability”, and “The Future of Travel”.

Liz Ortiguera, CEO, PATA
Liz Ortiguera, CEO, PATA

“The inaugural PATA & GBTA APAC Travel Summit 2022 highlights the Association’s commitment towards identifying emerging trends and sustainable recovery opportunities for the Asia Pacific region,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “The travel landscape here in Asia is very dynamic currently.   Valuable insights from various experts including diplomat/geopolitical advisor Prof. Kishore Mahbubani and Indonesia’s Deputy Minister Rizki Handayani helped shed light on the silver linings emerging during this tumultuous recovery period.  The future of travel is here in Asia-Pacific, and it will once again be the global growth engine for the sector.”

Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA

“It was wonderful for GBTA to be back in Asia-Pacific, in partnership with PATA, and to engage with so many local buyers and suppliers in person from 15 destinations across the region. The content shared with delegates uncovered many of the emerging opportunities for our industry to create a more sustainable way forward in the future of travel, and facilitated strategic discussions to help guide the region through the recovery. We look forward to continuing our relationship with PATA and collaborating further as we launch our next conference together in Singapore in September 2023,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA.

The event was officially opened by PATA Vice Chair and Chairman of Forte Hotel Group Ben Liao followed by presentations from PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera, and GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang, who then sat down with Travalyst Chairman Darrell Wade for an intimate fireside chat. The morning sessions closed with presentations from Xpdite Capital Partners CEO Bart Bellers, Senior Vice President, Sales, Asia Pacific at BCD Travel Ben Wedlock, and President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya.  While two interactive breakout sessions on Travel Management Trends and The Future of Online Booking Tools followed the main stage sessions.

Setting tone for that afternoon’s main stage session Diplomat and Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS), Prof. Kishore Mahbubani provided a comprehensive view of the region’s geopolitical landscape. Siew Kim Beh, CFSO, Lodging, CapitaLand Investment and MD, The Ascott Limited and Eric Ricaurte, CEO, Greenview dived into the subject of sustainability, and joined a panel discussion on Recovery with Sustainability with Sanghamitra Bose, Vice President & General Manager- Singapore, HKSAR, Thailand, AmexGBT, moderated by Andrea Giuricin, CEO, TRA consulting SL. The day’s session closed with a presentation by Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance on “Trends and Insights into Aviation”.

The second day of the conference started off with Duty of Care main stage session, presented by Lee Whiteing, Commercial Director, Global Secure Accreditation, and Dylan Wilkinson, General Manager International & Global Partnerships, nib Travel, and a panel discussion featuring Richard Hancock, APAC Director, Crisis24; Bertrand Saillet, Managing Director, Asia, FCM Travel, and Mr. Whiteing, moderated by  Ortiguera.

The morning concluded with breakout sessions on a broader scope of duty of care, looking into the staffing gap issues and pitfalls of sustainable travel respectively. Focusing on understanding the industry’s landscape and a few opportunities for the future, the last session of the conference featured two key notes, a panel and 2 breakout sessions convening on 2023 Travel Forecasts and Building a Sustainable Travel Programme.

Starting off the main stage session, Ms. Ortiguera provided an overview on the rise of blended travel and its implications to the industry. Following the theme, Deputy Minister of Tourism Product and Event, Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, Rizki Handayani shared how Indonesia is capturing this opportunity and beyond.

The final panel featuring WorldHotels CCO Melissa Gan, Sabre SEA Senior Director Sandeep Shastri, and STR SEA Business Development Manager Fenady Uriarte, moderated by ACI HR Solutions CEO Andrew Chan provided forecast insights on travel, hospitality, and aviation to enable businesses in making smarter and more informed decisions.

During the closing of the event, Neufang and Ortiguera provided a wrap up of the two-day event and announced the plans for the next PATA & GBTA APAC Travel Summit in Singapore in September 2023. If you are interested in attending the event and would like to receive updates, please add your name to this form: PATA-GBTA APAC Travel Summit 2023 Singapore Expression of Interest (jotform.com).

Photos from the event are available to view on PATA’s Flickr page.

On-demand recordings will be available for delegates and PATA members by contacting Events@PATA.org.

The PATA-GBTA APAC Travel Summit 2022 is organized in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization, and proudly supported by Diamond Sponsor, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB); Main Stage Sponsor, FCM Travel; Silver Sponsors, American Airlines and Gangneung City;  Registration Area Sponsor, Cvent, and Featured Sponsors, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Amadeus, BCD, CWT, and Marriott International.

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