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May 19, 2024

PATA Announces PAS 2024 Official Theme, Speaker Line-Up, Exciting Developments, and New Initiatives

Pacific Asia Travel Association

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is delighted to introduce the speaker line-up featuring globally revered leaders in the tourism industry, unveil new segments to the PATA Annual Summit 2024 programme, and showcase PATA’s latest initiatives in development. Set against the vibrant backdrop of Macao, China, the summit will take place from May 15-17, 2024.

Hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and co-hosted by SJM Resorts, S.A., the three-day event with theme ‘Reimagining Tourism’ underscores the potential to usher in an unprecedented era of transformation within the Asia Pacific tourism industry that will shape travel and tourism to be more resilient and sustainable in the coming years.

“While sustainability remains a focal point, this year’s summit will certainly delve into broader discussions, thought provoking conversation, encompassing areas such as travel technology trends, marketing strategies, tourism policy, and cultural advancements. It will catalyse positive change transcending current norms across various dimensions of tourism,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid.

He continued, “PATA extends its sincerest gratitude to the Macao Government Tourism Office and SJM Resorts for their invaluable support in bringing this event to fruition. With the collective effort of all parties involved, coupled with Macao’s captivating destination, I am happy to inform you that we have achieved the highest number of delegate registrations for the PATA Annual Summit since the end of the pandemic. I am thrilled to see that when PATA members come together in full force at such a flagship event like the PATA Annual Summit, it will present an opportunity for the Association to come into full form that can recalibrate the strength of what PATA is all about. We can only get stronger when we are together. Hence, it is our hope that members from across the world will seize this opportunity to find touch-points to collaborate with each other as the travel and tourism industry is recovering to its fullest potential.”

Macao Government Tourism Office Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said, “We are looking forward to welcoming the PATA Annual Summit 2024 and extending the best of Macao hospitality to ensure a successful event. It has been several years since our destination last staged a PATA flagship event, and it will be a great opportunity to provide delegates from across the Asia Pacific region with a first-hand experience about the new dynamic development of Macao as a world center of tourism and leisure.”

Esteemed speakers for the main conference in attendance include Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office; Daisy Ho, Managing Director, SJM Resorts, S.A.; Dane Cheng, Executive Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board; Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board; Fathmath Thaufeeq, CEO & Managing Director, Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (Visit Maldives); Manisha Saxena, Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, India; Pansy Ho, Group Executive Chairman & Managing Director, Shun Tak Holdings Limited; David Fowler, Vice President and Head, Cross-Border & Sales Excellence- Asia Pacific, Visa; Mich Goh, Head of Public Policy, Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong & Taiwan, Airbnb.

Other confirmed speakers include:
Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)
Gerry Perez, Vice President, Guam Visitors Bureau
YB Dato Dennis Ngau, Chairman, Sarawak Tourism Board
Peter Semone, Chair, PATA
Andrew Staples, Editorial Director, Impact Initiatives & Alliances and Head of Policy & Insights (Asia), Economist Impact
Chris Cocker, CEO, Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
Noor Ahmad Hamid, CEO, PATA
Sarah Wang, Regional Director Asia, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
Steve Lai, Chief Presenter, BBC News
Xin Mok, Director, Public Sector, Mastercard Asia-Pacific
Fabrizio Orlando, Global Director, Industry Affairs, Tripadvisor
Mayur (Mac) Patel, Head of Asia, OAG
Yang Li, Head of Public Affairs, Asia Pacific, Booking.com
Olivier Ponti, Director – Intelligence & Marketing, Forwardkeys
Liu Shijun, Vice Chairman, World Tourism Alliance (WTA)
Alan Elliott Merschen, Executive Director of Specialist Publications, The SIGMUND Project
Caroline Bremner, Senior Head of Travel Research, Euromonitor International
Henry Oh, Jr., Chairman, Korea Association of Travel Agents
Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director – Asia Pacific, STR
Professor Haiyan Song, Associate Dean and Chair Professor, Mr and Mrs Chan Chak Fu Professor in International Tourism, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Simon Lloyd, Dean – Hospitality Management and Business Administration, Dusit Thani College
Dr. Diamantina Coimbra, Vice-Rector, Macao University of Tourism (UTM)
Lee Williamson, Executive Director, Specialist Publications, South China Morning Post
Jonathan Song, Global Director of Business Development, Plaza Premium Group
Catarina Lio, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, MGM Macau
Barry Ip, Vice President – Learning & Advancement, Wynn Macau, Limited
Steve Chan, Senior Manager – Training & Development – Human Resources, Sands China Limited
Hannah Pearson, Founding Partner, Pear Anderson
Ian Stazicker, Partner, Churchill & Partners; Founder and Managing Director, Nelian Pty Ltd
Brendan Sobie, Independent Analyst and Consultant, Sobie Aviation
Adam Platt-Hepworth, Director of Emerging Ventures, Discova
Dr Dori Davari, Assistant Professor, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Maria Paz Alberto, Chairperson, PATA Philippine Chapter; President, Ark Travel Express, Inc.
Boris Miketic, President, Croatia Travel/ Boris World of Travel
Jonathan Low, CEO, Global Success Learning Academy
Min Ye Swan, Student – International Tourism and Hospitality Management, Bangkok University International
The PATA Annual Summit 2024 programme in brief

The summit will commence on May 15 with PATA internal meetings and the PATA Life Members Get-Together (by invitation only), alongside the PATA Power of Networking session and the inaugural Education Roundtable session.

Day two begins with the PATA Youth Symposium which will be held off-site at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), followed by the Government and Industry Roundtables, Government Bilateral Meetings and PATA Chapter Congress.

Meanwhile, a new initiative includes the inaugural PATA-WTCF China Dialogue, supported by the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and sponsored by Dragon Trail International. This special session will explore the dynamic landscape of China Inbound Tourism, delving into the various challenges and opportunities.

Speakers include:
George Cao, Co-founder & CEO, Dragon Trail International
Chen Bo, Executive Director, World Tourism Cities Federation
Zhang Jing, II Level Consultant of Large Events Division of Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau
Xia Jun, Vice Director General of Nanjing Culture and Tourism Bureau
Fan Hui, Vice Director General of Qingdao Culture and Tourism Bureau
Albert Yip, Director General of Sanya Tourism Board
Ning Guo Xing, Chief Government Officer, Utour
Soon Hwa Wong, PATA Ambassador for Greater China
Leo Liu, Vice President, MasterCard
Yan Lanru, General Manager of Smart Tourism, Qunar.com
Qin Qin, Deputy General Manager, Shenzhen Century Holiday Travel Group
Sunny Li, Vice President of Artyzen Hospitality Group
Lylia Shen, GM, Government Relations, Funyard Hotels & Resorts
Professor. Dr. Jingjing Guan, Associate Dean at the school of tourism & urban – rural planning, Zhejiang Gongshang University
Associate Professor, Dr. Jun Wu, Director of International Affairs at the school of tourism & urban – rural planning, Zhejiang Gongshang University
The day will conclude with a Hosted Dinner and the PATA Awards Presentation at the Grand Lisboa Palace Resort which will see delegates celebrating the evening in their best national costume for the Cultural Attire Competition @ PAS2024.

The main conference, beginning on the afternoon of May 16th and concluding at the end of May 17th, features the official opening ceremony followed by sessions covering various topics, including the ‘State of the World Economy’; ‘Marketing and Branding in Asia Pacific Tourism’; ‘Reimagining Your Business Model; Future-Proofing Travel and Tourism Policies’; ‘In Conversation with Pansy Ho’; ‘Key Travel and Tourism Trends to Watch’; ‘Where Are We Heading?’; ‘Hotel Industry Trends’; ‘Air Travel Trends & Outlook in APAC’; ‘Navigating the Skyline: Aviation’s Evolution in Asia Pacific’; ‘Launch of Brand New PATA Report on Human Capital Development’; ‘Deep Dive into the Future of the Tourism Workforce’; ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Balancing Innovation with Local Preservation’; ‘Tourism Synergies to Diversify Economy’; ‘The Future of Travel and Tourism’; and breakout sessions focusing on Travel Technology, Educational Tourism, Night-time Economy and The Future of Travel Agents in the Age of AI. These topics will provide an opportunity for vigorous discussion and conversation that matters to the captains of the travel and tourism industry which is in line with the theme Reimagining Tourism.

Other highlights include two Memorandums of Understandings between PATA and the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and between PATA and the East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Federation (EATOF), set to be signed during the ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’ session.

Furthermore, PATA will launch the PATA Kind Hearts initiative to underscore the Association’s commitment to positively impacting local communities in the destinations where PATA events are hosted. This involves a donation of approximately 100 children’s books to Instituto Cultural de Macau (Macao Cultural Institute) to nurture a love of reading in the younger generation.

As part of the Summit’s comprehensive programme, MGTO will host the Offsite Educational Experience. This includes workshops on traditional dessert making and Portuguese Blue Tile “Azulejo” Painting. Attendees will also have the opportunity to take tours organised by MGTO, with one of the highlights being the ‘Cruising through Macao’s Night Skyline’ tour, along with tours of Macao and Hengqin, China. Additionally, a tour of Hong Kong SAR will be provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

The PATA Annual Summit is dedicated to sustainability and aims to be a carbon-neutral event. Through a nominal contribution of USD10 from attendees, PATA hopes to ensure that the event remains environmentally sustainable and contributes positively to the preservation of the planet.

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