Diverse and dynamic range of speakers confirmed for PATA Annual Summit 2017

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Picture: Top Row: L/R: Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General – World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Andrew Chan, Founder and CEO of ACI HR Solutions; Andrew Jones, Chairman – PATA; Greg Klassen, Partner at Twenty31 Consulting Inc.; and Ha Lam, Co-founder and COO – Triip.me. Second Row: L/R: Hiran Cooray, Chairman – Jetwing Hotels; Jeremy Jauncey, Founder/CEO – Beautiful Destinations; Lawrence Leong, Former Assistant Chief Executive (International Group) – Singapore Tourism Board; Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO – PATA; and Muna Haddad, Managing Director – Baraka. Third Row: L/R: Oliver Martin, Partner at Twenty31 Consulting Inc.; Rafat Ali, Founder/CEO – Skift; Ryan Bonnici, Marketing Director – HubSpot; Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing APAC – TripAdvisor; and Wong Soon-Hwa, Regional Director APAC – Blacklane. Bottom Row: L/R: Thao Nguyen, Head of Strategic Partnerships, APAC – Airbnb and Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President, International Affairs, Office of the President & CEO, Etihad Airways.

BANGKOK, March 14, 2017 — Influential tourism experts, innovators and international thought leaders are set to explore future travel and tourism trends at the PATA Annual Summit 2017 in Negombo, Sri Lanka.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has gathered a diverse and dynamic line up of speakers and panellists to share their insights and knowledge at the one-day conference that forms an integral element at this year’s Summit (PAS 2017), hosted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and taking place on May 18 – 21 at the Jetwing Blue Hotel.

Under the theme ‘Disruption. Innovation. Transformation: The Future of Tourism’, the event also features a half-day UNWTO/PATA Ministerial Debate where industry leaders and government representatives discuss ’The Shift to Recognised Sustainability Leadership’ and ‘The Sharing Economy in Travel and Tourism’.

“We are excited to assemble such an impressive line-up of speakers for the PATA Annual Summit. These speakers represent companies that have been in the forefront of disrupting, innovating and transforming the global travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “This is the perfect opportunity for all industry stakeholders to stay abreast of the rapid changes that are taking place in today’s ever evolving landscape.”

Confirmed speakers for the event include Andrew Chan, Founder and CEO of ACI HR Solutions; Dr. Daiana Beitler, Asia Regional Director of Microsoft Philanthropies; Erick Stephens, Chief Technology Officer-APAC, Microsoft; Greg Klassen, Partner at Twenty31 Consulting Inc.; Ha Lam, Co-founder and COO – Triip.me;  Hiran Cooray, Chairman – Jetwing Hotels; Jeremy Jauncey, Founder/CEO – Beautiful Destinations; Lawrence Leong, Former Assistant Chief Executive (International Group) – Singapore Tourism Board; Muna Haddad, Managing Director -Baraka; Oliver Martin, Partner at Twenty31 Consulting Inc.; Rafat Ali, Founder/CEO – Skift; Ryan Bonnici, Marketing Director – HubSpot; Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing APAC – TripAdvisor; Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General – World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Thao Nguyen, Head of Strategic Partnerships, APAC – Airbnb; Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President, International Affairs, Office of the President & CEO, Etihad Airways; and Wong Soon-Hwa, Regional Director APAC – Blacklane.

The event explores various topics including ‘Managing Disruption through Innovation’, ‘The Transformation of Marketing’, ‘Research Innovation’, ‘Disrupting the Travel Industry’, ‘The Real Future of Tourism: Young Tourism Professionals’, and ‘Embracing Disruption: A Blueprint for the Future of Tourism’.

Undeveloped beach paradises, a startlingly rich cultural heritage, a wide variety of wildlife and adventure experiences, as well as warmly welcoming people and irresistible cuisine – but minus the tourist hordes – makes Sri Lanka a tropical utopia for the discerning traveller. Located close to the Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo is a seafood lover’s realm with fresh catches available at a diverse selection of restaurant and bars. Alternatively, take a boat ride along the Dutch canals or into the ocean to catch a glimpse of the fishing boats. Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and European influences still remain.

Registered delegates for the conference also receive complimentary access to the PATA/UNWTO Ministerial Debate on Saturday, May 20.

The official airline for PAS 2017, SriLankan Airlines, is pleased to offer special air discounts to registered delegates travelling from SriLankan Airlines online ports. Discounts are also available for delegates staying at official PAS 2017 hotels.

For more information or to register for the event visit www.PATA.org/PAS-2017 or email events@PATA.org.

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About PATA

Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 101 government, state and city tourism bodies, 26 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 70 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 40 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACICLIAIATA, ICAOWEFUNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.