The PATA Rapid Recovery Task Force


The PATA 2011 “Beijing Declaration” proclaims that the impact of natural, economic, and political upheaval can adversely impact tourism flows and with it the sustainability of economic growth and employment creation, in both the affected destination and related economies. 



Therefore the vision for the PATA Rapid Recovery Taskforce, as per the “Beijing Declaration” was defined as:

a)   The need for industry to cooperate across all sectors, and together with  international tourism bodies, ensure the speedy dissemination of   accurate information on the status of an event.


b)   The outcome all must seek is through the rapid implementation of communication strategies followed by effective promotional strategies, to stimulate the speedy recovery of tourism flows between nations.


c)   PATA will establish a Rapid Recovery Taskforce (PRRT) to assist, upon the destinations or organizations request, help to implement fast revival strategies which will provide distressed tourism stakeholders with a plan, and possible resources, to speed their post-crisis recovery.

d)  PATA will unite with UNWTO and WTTC in a global alliance to: combine our efforts in time of crisis to exchange information and  ensure a consistency of message across all our constituencies.Cooperate in constructive debates with the government bodies issuing travel advisories and lobbying the use of geo-references.


Summary of (some of) the two-fold objectives already achieved between May 2011 until now by the taskforce follows:


Pro-active training efforts achieved

  •  “Bounce Back”practical tips booklet distributed in Japanese and English, Chinese version pending
  • 6 webinars on being prepared, highlighting the Bounce Back contents
  • Discussions are under way with UNWTO, WTTC  through David Beirman  and Bert van Walbeek
  • PR efforts in the form of speaking assignments at relevant academic and private industry conferences


Re-active communication efforts achieved

  • Activation system and guidelines
  • Spokes person priority 

                   --    CEO

                   --     Rapid Response Taskforce Chair

 All persons need to directly communicate and consult with the PATA Chairman


  • ‘Back-door’ Travel Advisory strategy
Presently David Beirman and Chris Flynn are part of the Smart Traveler Advisory Group of the Australian Foreign Ministry and Emma Cashmore is a member of the UK FCO Consular Stakeholder Panel.

  • Created an emergency database of over 1,000 Media, PR and Communication professionals who agreed to help PRRT in a crisis
  • Obtained sponsorship by  Travel Guard - Chatris
  • Although, at that time, not fully formed, the PRRTF was proactive and has responded to three crises in 2011:

    §  Delhi bomb during PATA Travel Mart,                         September 7, 2011
    §  Thailand floods,                                                              Sept-December, 2011
    §  Sendong Philippines typhoon & floods,                     December 18-20 ,2011
    §  Fiji Floods                                                                         April 2 -3 , 2012

The PATA Rapid Recovery Task Force is comprised of PATA members who are regularly working on these issues and consequently devise rapid response strategies that provide the industry with a pro-active action plan, and resources to speed its recovery post crisis.


Bert van Walbeek, a veteran of many crisis management programs and also the chairman of the PATA Thailand Chapter, will chair the Task Force. Other members will include David Beirman in Sydney, Emma Cashmore in London, Walt Judas in Vancouver, Alexander Kesper in Bali , Ken Scott in Bangkok, and Rick Vogel in Tokyo.


Please note that all above mentioned efforts of the PRRT were achieved by volunteers and with communication through Skype only !


With the exception of the printing expenses (partly covered by sponsorship) no financial resources were needed and very limited administrative support of HQ staff has been utilized.

For 2013 and 2014 the following objectives are set: 


Objective 1: Develop informal (but efficient and fast) communication networks between PATA members

Networks proposed are in 2013

Ø  Members of Government / Destination Committee

Ø  Members of Industrial Council in 2014

Ø  Risk mitigation experts

Ø  Crisis management experts

Ø  Miscellaneous contacts, like insurance

Ø  Civil authorities


The need for informal contact between the most senior executives of the NTO’s in the Asia Pacific regions was expressed during the latest meeting of the PATA Government  / Destination Committee.


It is suggested that the PRRT initiates such a network and prepare a network with a potential /similar structure and a confidential listing of all contact details to be controlled by PATA HQ and/or the PRRT Chairs.


Objective 2: Offer value adding support for members and potential members

By creating an new quick link to “PATA Rapid Recovery Taskforce“, numerous possibilities to create awareness can be created and with the upcoming cooperation with UNWTO and WTTC on this subject, it might also enhance all your successful efforts to raise PATA’s profile in the Tourism Association field.


This value added feature has been received very positively in my, by chance, encounters with leaders of private and public organizations and, as you will see in the next point raised, this could be another source for creating new membership.


Objective 3: Offer assistance through Crisis Recovery Taskforces

Upon request of a PATA member, a taskforce team can be assembled to offer proactive support in planning crisis prevention and recovery management or reactive assistance in developing actual recovery plans for the tourism stakeholders after a crisis takes place


Depending on the size of the taskforce and the urgency of the crisis, an investment of between US$10,000 and US$25,000 will be needed. This amount excludes the air fares,  accommodation and reasonable meals allowance for all taskforce members.


Each member will write individual reports which then will then be compiled and formatted in a full report by the team leader.

The timeline, after the actual on-site activities, would be (depending on the crisis circumstances):

Week 1           Individual reports completed

Week 2           Task force leader consolidates and writes executive overview and concluding recommendation 

Week 3           Draft goes to taskforce originator for comments

Week 4           Taskforce leaders considers comments with taskforce members and adapts draft into final report

Week 5           Final report is discussed /approved by PATA CEO

Week 6           Report is presented by taskforce leader to local authorities


Objective 4: Crisis Management Advocacy

It is clear that efforts to influence the governmental departments which issue travel advisories have to be ‘soft sell’ as direct confrontation will be seen as biased and self-serving.


It has proven impossible to stop the issuing of such advisories, which for legal reasons, err to the side of (extreme) caution.


But experiences by some of our members, Chapter members and executives have shown that we can influence the person issuing the advisories in being more specific, less general in crisis location identification as well as enhancing considerations for a more speedy withdrawal of such advisories.


Presently PATA has 2 representatives on the Smarttraveller Advisory group in Australia (PRRT member Dr. David Beirman and Chris Flynn) and one observer at the UK FCO Stakeholder Panel (PRRT member Emma Cashmore).


The PPRT, the Government/Destination Category members, the Industry Council and the Chapters will all work together to find ways and means to have representatives on the major travel advisory boards / committees.


Objective 5:  Capacity building efforts 


Monthly webinars sessions : free for PATA members,  US$25 for Chapter members, US$50 for non members.


Training modules

Crisis Prevention and Recovery Management Toolkits at US$500 for PATA members, US$1000 for Chapter members and US$2500 for non members.


Training Activities 

PRRT members as trainers using the modules for 1- & 2-day curriculums at US$  2,500 per trainer per day (+ travel expenses)



Bounce Back booklet sales through publication pages in 3 languages   PDF-versions, English, Japanese, Chinese at US$9.50 for members, US$14.50, for  Chapter members and US$24.50 for non members.



Cyclone Evan in Samoa

PATA is trying to make contact with tourism authorities in Samoa following the passage of hurricane Evan. Our sympathies and support go to the people of Samoa. Here is footage of some of the damage. Radio Australia has online radio reports here. Fiji is currently bracing itself for possible impact anytime from Sunday onwards.