PTIC 2018 challenges the traditional views of the travel and tourism industry in the Pacific

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Apia, SAMOA, October 10, 2018 — The second Pacific Tourism Insights Conference (PTIC), successfully brought together 157 delegates from 95 organisations and 16 destinations to influence change and share their thoughts and ideas on the future of tourism in the Pacific.

Organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in collaboration with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and hosted by Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), the event took place at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows in Apia, Samoa on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “This year’s event continues our commitment in providing greater depth into the challenges and issues for the responsible development of the travel and tourism in the Pacific region. The discussions arising from the conference highlighted the need for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors in preserving the unique culture and heritage of the local communities and protecting the environment. In addition, organisations need to better leverage these assets in promoting the beauty of the Pacific.”

The discussions from the event focus on the four key topics of insights, development, expertise and sustainability and their contribution towards achieving the objectives of the Pacific Tourism Strategy 2015-2019, which provides the strategic framework to support the development of tourism in the Pacific.

In her welcome remarks, Papalii Sonja Hunter, Chairwoman of SPTO and CEO of STA, stated, “As you know the Pacific Tourism Insights Conference is a result of the longstanding and valuable partnership between SPTO and PATA. Samoa is inspired to hold this event because we recognise the need to inspire, innovate and empower our Pacific people. Furthermore, we recognise the need for a regional space where Pacific tourism leaders from the public sector and particularly private sector stakeholders could gather, discuss and learn more from the key global issues impacting the future of tourism development for the region.”

The event featured presentations from a dynamic line up of international speakers representing organisations recognised for the success and expertise in innovation and disruptive thinking. Speakers included Andrew Panopoulos, Senior Analyst –  Centre for Aviation (CAPA); Chris Adams, General Manager – Miles Partnership (South Pacific); Gina Paladini, Partner – Binumi and Managing Director – Tomahawk Jelena Li, Head – BBC StoryWorks Australia & New Zealand; Jessica Quinlan, Sales Manager – Destination Marketing for Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands – TripAdvisor; Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO – PATA; Dr. Susanne Becken, Director – Griffith Institute for Tourism, and Thu Nguyen, Co-founder & CEO – Christina’s Company Limited, Vietnam. The conference panel sessions were moderated by Phil Mercer, International Correspondent at BBC World News, Australia.

In his closing, SPTO CEO Chris Cocker said, “As a region, we collectively market our destinations to the rest of the world, and it is practical that we acquire the skills and knowledge that our markets utilise. We are fortunate in the regional tourism industry that at one conference we have speakers and resource people who are outstanding thought leaders in their areas of expertise which has ranged from ‘Artificial Intelligence and Tourism’ to ‘Social Media Implications on Destination Marketing’. This conference has been made possible through the valuable partnership we have with PATA and STA who share our vision for an empowered and knowledgeable Pacific people working together to sustainably develop tourism in the region.”

Photos from the event are now available on the PATA Facebook page and PATA Flickr page.

In addition, presentations from all the speakers are now available to view at https://www.pata.org/PTIC?tab=speakers.

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About PATA

Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts 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 more than 800 member organisations, including 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 20 international airlines and airports, 102 hospitality organisations and 70 educational institutions, as well as over a hundred young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 35 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 21 PATA Student Chapters globally. Their local activities underpins PATA’s membership in Uniting Travel, a coalition of the world’s major Travel & Tourism organisations dedicated to ensuring that the sector speaks with one voice and acts in unison on the major issues and includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO 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 and London. Visit www.PATA.org.