PATA 60th Anniversary & Annual Conference in Beijing ended with a booklet gift

Posted: Tue 26 Apr, 2011 12:00 AM
By: MICE-Contact

Imagine you attend a good wedding party and then go back to your resort for a nightcap with a couple of friends just to witness a small explosion and next morning find out that there were bombs, which took more than 100 lives in two nearby nightclubs

Exactly that happened to PATA Award of Merit recipient 2011 Elly Hutabarat on 12 October 2002, when she just got back from Peter and Ari Semone’s wedding party at the Bali Beach Hotel at Sanur. In March 2003, Indonesia was the host of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Conference, where PATA members showed their solidarity as usual to support a country when it’s in trouble.


All this and more, you can read in the booklet “my PATA, my story: Sixty years of memories, anecdotes and reflections” that was handed out at this year’s PATA 60th Anniversary & Annual Conference in Beijing - just before closing on April 12 in the late afternoon. The two-day conference was successfully hosted by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality at the centrally located China World Hotel, Beijing.


Actually, China has become one of the most dynamic countries in the world and rapidly grows into an emerging tourism destination. In the same time, Chinese people start to travel abroad. By choosing Beijing as the host city of this year’s annual conference, PATA demonstrated the importance it places on this city in particular – as the capital of China and its phenomenal development.


Mr. Yu Debin, Deputy Director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism, explained at the press conference on 9 April 2011 at the Beijing International Hotel that the PATA event will be of great significance for improving the international influence of Beijing in the global tourism industry and promoting the construction of Beijing into a global city - next to New York and Paris.


Delegates had the opportunity to join a post-conference tour to the Summer Palace in the morning of April 13 to grasp the huge tourism potential of Beijing. Known as the grandest imperial garden in China, the Summer Palace was an imperial retreat with its pavilions, temples and bridges over a man-made lake, which was connected with the former Forbidden City, the largest ancient palace complex in the world. The famous Tian’an Men Square serves as the main entrance to the Forbidden City built during the period of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.


Also, Tian’an Men is the location of Chairman Mao’s Memorial Hall, National Museum and China Railway Museum. With its history of more than 3,000 years as a city and more than 800 years as a capital, Beijing has actually more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other city in the world.


Mr. Hiran Coorey from Sri Lanka, PATA Chairman 2010-2012, was upbeat to highlight PATA as a dynamic force in the development of “good tourism” across the Asia Pacific region. As mass tourism destroys the local culture, I wonder if sustainable tourism is possible at all. In reality, tourism is highly complex and difficult to capture. In a way, tourism seems to become the key driver of economies and should be treated accordingly.


Mentioning the move of PATA headquarters from San Francisco to Bangkok in 1998, it becomes obvious that without a real CEO - to be looking for in the next future - PATA is a little bit more than rudderless and must be steered into clear water pretty soon. Would a PATA move to Beijing in a time of crisis be a solution to deal with?


Coming back to the booklet, Mr. Luzi A. Matzig, PATA Executive Board Member and Chaiman’s Award recipient 2010, brings it on the point in his unbeatable and unique way: “From Edmonton in Canada to Bahrain and from the Khyber Pass in Pakistan to the Australian outback, I had the chance to discover lots of unusual places in the company of good friends.” That is what PATA is all about!   

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