“Progress with a Purpose”

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Do you wake up in the morning, watch or listen to the news and become overcome with a sense of despair?  Chances are your daily perception of the world is shaped by the global challenges and issues promoted by mainstream mass media. But that is not the full story.

In the grander context of human evolution, every year has been getting progressively better. Today, we are living longer and healthier lives, living conditions are generally improving, and the world is more peaceful than centuries ago. However, both our main news sources and the audience it serves have been disproportionately fixated on the negative stories.

“This emphasis on bad news is detrimental to our sense of empowerment as a species.”

– Raya Bidshahri, Founder & CEO – Awecademy.

Fortunately, there are people in the world like me who prefer to be architects of the future and have a strong desire to find a sense of purpose. It is well known that I am passionate about technology and, while some people want you to believe that technology is the downfall of human civilisation, I believe that it is and can be used for the betterment of humanity. As a matter of fact, there are technological solutions currently in existence helping to solve each one of the UN SDGs, unfortunately they are simply not yet accessible to all or evenly distributed.

Some of you may know me as a successful investor in the field of FinTech, GreenTech, A.I., and the FMCG sector, with a vast number of businesses under my portfolio. Nevertheless, I have found a sense of purpose while leading the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). For 68 years the Association has been helping destinations and tourism organisations responsibly develop in the fastest-growing tourism region in the world, helping to create jobs and generate income for those in need.

PATA is non-profit trade association comprising members from both the public and private sectors. As you may have noticed I highlighted the word “trade”, as PATA was founded by private sector individuals who saw the opportunity and need to build and grow their business. Today, the organisation still serves that purpose for those who are willing to engage with our members and the industry at large.

Some media organisations want you to believe that PATA has lost its sense of identity and purpose or that we are continuing the same mistakes as in the past. To those naysayers, I say look closer and focus on the positive outcomes that the organisation has achieved over the years and is still doing today. For the past decade, I have witnessed PATA grow in importance, influence, and presence on the global tourism scene. The organisation is as purposeful as it was 68 years ago and possibly more in this time of uncertainty and volatility.

To progress, you need purpose and I have found mine. I remain fully committed to the long-term financial sustainability of the organisation and its continued relevance in the responsible and sustainable development of the travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. 

Now I ask you, have you found your sense of purpose yet? Do you have a strong desire to find yours? Are you looking to be inspired?

If the answer is yes, then I invite you to join us at the PATA Annual Summit 2019, with the theme “Progress with a Purpose”, in Cebu, Philippines from May 9-12. Be part of the discussion and engage with our members as well as other industry colleagues. Furthermore, if you are not yet a member, come and find out what PATA is all about and help us bring about actionable change for the better.

Till next time;

Dr. Mario Hardy
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)