PATA Annual Summit 2017

Jetwing Blue, Negombo, Sri Lanka
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Event Overview

Join us at the PATA Annual Summit 2017, a 4-day event that brings together thought leaders and industry professionals from around the world under the theme ‘Disruption. Innovation. Transformation: The Future of Tourism’. The Annual Summit includes a one-day conference and embraces the PATA Annual General Meeting and the PATA Youth Symposium that allows students and young professionals to engage with industry leaders.

As part of the PAS2017 programme in partnership with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will also host the UNWTO/PATA Ministerial Debate which brings together Tourism Ministers and leading industry experts to address thought-provoking issues.

Generously hosted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, PAS 2017 takes place on the tropical island of Sri Lanka in the charming fishing village of Negombo.


Conference Overview

The travel industry is constantly evolving. The marketing and media channels required to reach travellers – formerly the purview of the big and well funded – have disrupted, levelling the playing field for even the smallest of operators and destinations. This provides the opportunity for every operator or destination to engage their communities and stakeholders, understand their unique strengths and apply them to attract a specific target audience. Those who embrace technology and content alongside a profound understanding of the new traveller will be rewarded with a disproportionate share of tourism revenue growth.

It is in this spirit that the PAS 2017 Conference and UNWTO/PATA Ministerial Debate together bring travel’s most innovative thinkers and leaders to connect, share and move travel forward. Hear fresh ideas, discover market-changing innovations and learn from industry luminaries on the sharing economy, digital marketing, the future traveller and more. The interactive conference session is powered by Slido.


Destination Overview

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.

Jetwing Blue Hotel is a stylish beach hotel which redefines the ultimate beach holiday experience. Warm Sri Lankan hospitality combined with contemporary comforts and excellent service is yours to enjoy as you enter this world of secluded bliss.

This trendy coastal getaway with its vibrant new look, embodies a contemporary taste of luxury living. Modern elegance combined with simplicity is the key feature of the beautifully designed rooms and suites. Dining options at Jetwing Blue are many and varied, with each meal a gastronomical delight which will tantalize your taste buds. The 800 seat ballroom (theatre-style) provides the ideal venue for conferences and events while the smaller venues are popular for weddings.


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Although recent peace has opened up the entire ‘island of serendipity’ to visitors, tourism here remains under-subscribed, leaving you to enjoy your Sri Lanka holiday in blissful serenity. Undeveloped beach paradises, a startlingly rich cultural heritage, a wide variety of tropical wildlife and adventure experiences… as well as warmly welcoming people and irresistible cuisine – but without any teaming hordes? Now is definitely the time to go.

With the whole of Sri Lanka now open to exploration, year-round sunshine is a reality, while beach lovers and adventurers alike will appreciate the combination of relaxing coastline and thrilling jungle interior. Any package tourists – a dirty phrase, in our book! – that do turn up head straight for the famed beaches on the south coast, and flop out for two weeks. Meanwhile, those in the know insist on a number of choice stops in their itinerary. Beautiful Galle, the fortified Colonial capital of the Southern Province, should be on any first time visitor’s list. Six other World Heritage sites include some of the most remarkable ancient engineering you’ll ever see, and some of the largest Buddhist temples ever built.

Wildlife enthusiasts revel in the 14 National Parks, with their populations of leopards, Asian elephants, langurs and lorises, amongst a huge list of species. There’s even a small rainforest biosphere, now protected by UNESCO. Wander up into the green hills to explore picturesque tea estates, mountain ranges, Buddhist pilgrim sites, and the jungle-clad city of Kandy, where you can enjoy the old antique shops and a great selection of restaurants.


Dress Code: Business attire is the official dress code during business sessions. Dress code for evening social functions, unless otherwise specified within the program, is smart casual attire or national costume.

Official Language: Sinhalese and Tamil are the two official languages of Sri Lanka. English is widely used for education, scientific and commercial purposes. Members of the Burgher community speak variant forms of Portuguese Creole and Dutch with varying proficiency, while members of the Malay community speak a form of Creole Malay that is unique to the island.

Time: The time zone for Sri Lanka. It is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of GMT/UTC (GMT +05:30)

Religion: Sri Lanka is a multi-religious society. Though Buddhism is the major religion, other religions such as Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

Weather: In Sri Lanka is dictated by two monsoon seasons which bring rain to the west and south-west coasts from May to September; and the east coast and northern region between October and February. The rest of the year is sunny and dry. Temperatures are fairly constant year round, with coastal regions enjoying average temperatures of 25-30°C and the highlands 15-18°C on average.

Currency: The rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka, divided into 100 cents. It is issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The abbreviation is generally Rs., but SLRs. is occasionally used to distinguish it from other currencies also called rupee.

Telephone: The Sri Lanka country code 94 will allow you to call Sri Lanka from another country. Sri Lanka telephone code 94 is dial after the IDD. Sri Lanka international dial 94 is followed by an area code.

Electricity: The Sri Lankan electric transmission network consists principally of 132kV facilities, with a 220kV backbone connecting major inland hydroelectric generation to the capital region.

Visa Information: For a Short Visit to Sri Lanka, travellers should obtain an ETA with effect from 1st of January 2012. On the basis of reciprocity, citizens of The Republic of Singapore, The Republic of Maldives and The Republic of Seychelles are exempt from the requirement of obtaining ETA to visit Sri Lanka.
The issuing authority of the ETA is the Department of Immigration & Emigration, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Persons intending to visit Sri Lanka can apply for ETA online. In addition to this option, an applicant may also go for one of the alternative options.

Diplomatic and Official passport holders are exempt from ETA processing fee, only when their applications are submitted through the state agencies such as Ministries, Statutory Bodies, Sri Lanka Overseas Missions etc.

The ETA is initially limited to 30 days validity from the date of arrival although it may be extended for up to 90 days. For more information, visit

( *The information above was retrieved from the website. Please visit, for more useful tips and information.*)

The official airline for the PATA Annual Summit 2017 (PAS2017), SriLankan Airlines, is pleased to offer special air discounts to registered PAS2017 delegates travelling from SriLankan Airlines online ports.  Please contact Neluka ( or Tamara ( for flight reservation and prices by presenting your PATA Annual Summit 2017 delegate confirmation received from PATA.

Book tours

Book now for the pre-post tours at PAS 2017(Tour booking deadline is on May 15, 2017)

Please submit booking form directly to our local agent and find more details of the tour packages below:


Half day Tour

Half Day Colombo City & Shopping Tour on May 18, 2017


Self-paying Tour

Colombo by Jeep

Full Day Galle Excursion

Full Day Kandy Excursion

Cultural Tour – 02 Days / 01 Night

Hill Country Tour – 02 Days / 01 Night

Andrew Jones

PATA/Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong SAR
Opening Address

Taleb Rifai
Secretary General

UNWTO, Spain
Opening Address

Rafat Ali

Rafat Ali
CEO / Founder

Skift, USA
Opening Keynote Speaker

Jeremy Jauncey
Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Beautiful Destinations, New York
Session One: The Transformation of Marketing

Ryan Bonnici
Marketing Director

HubSpot, Australia
Session One: The Transformation of Marketing

Sarah Mathews
Head of Destination Marketing APAC

TripAdvisor, Hong Kong
Session One: The Transformation of Marketing

Thao Nguyen
Head of Strategic Partnerships, APAC

Airbnb, Singapore
Session Three: Disrupting the Travel Industry

Wong Soon-Hwa
Regional Director – Asia Pacific

Blacklane Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Session Three: Disrupting the Travel Industry

Ha Lam
Co-founder and COO, Vietnam
Session Four: The real future of tourism: Young Tourism Professionals

Greg Klassen

Twenty31 Consulting, Canada
Closing Keynote Speaker

Rob Holmes
Founder & CEO

GLP Films, USA
Special unveiling PATA advocacy video

Vijay Poonoosamy
Vice President, International Affairs, Office of the President & CEO

Etihad Airways, UAE
Session One: The Transformation of Marketing

Oliver Martin

Twenty31 Consulting, Canada
Session Two: Research Innovation

Muna Haddad
Managing Director

Baraka, Jordan
Session Three: Disrupting the Travel Industry

Andrew Chan
Founder and CEO

ACI HR Solutions, Singapore
Session Four: The real future of tourism: Young Tourism Professionals




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