Festivals and Events



KOLKATA, 16 MAY 2024:

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is delighted to introduce the speaker line-up featuring globally revered leaders in the tourism industry, unveil new segments to the PATA Annual Summit 2024 programme, and showcase PATA’s latest initiatives in development. Set against the vibrant backdrop of Macao, China, the summit will take place from May 15-17, 2024.

Hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and co-hosted by SJM Resorts, S.A., the three-day event with theme ‘Reimagining Tourism’ underscores the potential to usher in an unprecedented era of transformation within the Asia Pacific tourism industry that will shape travel and tourism to be more resilient and sustainable in the coming years.

“While sustainability remains a focal point, this year’s summit will certainly delve into broader discussions, thought provoking conversation, encompassing areas such as travel technology trends, marketing strategies, tourism policy, and cultural advancements. It will catalyse positive change transcending current norms across various dimensions of tourism,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid.

He continued, “PATA extends its sincerest gratitude to the Macao Government Tourism Office and SJM Resorts for their invaluable support in bringing this event to fruition. With the collective effort of all parties involved, coupled with Macao’s captivating destination, I am happy to inform you that we have achieved the highest number of delegate registrations for the PATA Annual Summit since the end of the pandemic. I am thrilled to see that when PATA members come together in full force at such a flagship event like the PATA Annual Summit, it will present an opportunity for the Association to come into full form that can recalibrate the strength of what PATA is all about. We can only get stronger when we are together. Hence, it is our hope that members from across the world will seize this opportunity to find touch-points to collaborate with each other as the travel and tourism industry is recovering to its fullest potential.”

Macao Government Tourism Office Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said, “We are looking forward to welcoming the PATA Annual Summit 2024 and extending the best of Macao hospitality to ensure a successful event. It has been several years since our destination last staged a PATA flagship event, and it will be a great opportunity to provide delegates from across the Asia Pacific region with a first-hand experience about the new dynamic development of Macao as a world center of tourism and leisure.”

Esteemed speakers for the main conference in attendance include Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office; Daisy Ho, Managing Director, SJM Resorts, S.A.; Dane Cheng, Executive Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board; Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board; Fathmath Thaufeeq, CEO & Managing Director, Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (Visit Maldives); Manisha Saxena, Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, India; Pansy Ho, Group Executive Chairman & Managing Director, Shun Tak Holdings Limited; David Fowler, Vice President and Head, Cross-Border & Sales Excellence- Asia Pacific, Visa; Mich Goh, Head of Public Policy, Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong & Taiwan, Airbnb.

Other confirmed speakers include:

Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)

Gerry Perez, Vice President, Guam Visitors Bureau

YB Dato Dennis Ngau, Chairman, Sarawak Tourism Board

Peter Semone, Chair, PATA

Andrew Staples, Editorial Director, Impact Initiatives & Alliances and Head of Policy & Insights (Asia), Economist Impact

Chris Cocker, CEO, Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)

Noor Ahmad Hamid, CEO, PATA

Sarah Wang, Regional Director Asia, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

Steve Lai, Chief Presenter, BBC News

Xin Mok, Director, Public Sector, Mastercard Asia-Pacific

Fabrizio Orlando, Global Director, Industry Affairs, Tripadvisor

Mayur (Mac) Patel, Head of Asia, OAG

Yang Li, Head of Public Affairs, Asia Pacific, Booking.com

Olivier Ponti, Director – Intelligence & Marketing, Forwardkeys

Liu Shijun, Vice Chairman, World Tourism Alliance (WTA)

Alan Elliott Merschen, Executive Director of Specialist Publications, The SIGMUND Project

Caroline Bremner, Senior Head of Travel Research, Euromonitor International

Henry Oh, Jr., Chairman, Korea Association of Travel Agents

Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director – Asia Pacific, STR

Professor Haiyan Song, Associate Dean and Chair Professor, Mr and Mrs Chan Chak Fu Professor in International Tourism, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Simon Lloyd, Dean – Hospitality Management and Business Administration, Dusit Thani College

Dr. Diamantina Coimbra, Vice-Rector, Macao University of Tourism (UTM)

Lee Williamson, Executive Director, Specialist Publications, South China Morning Post

Jonathan Song, Global Director of Business Development, Plaza Premium Group

Catarina Lio, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, MGM Macau

Barry Ip, Vice President – Learning & Advancement, Wynn Macau, Limited

Steve Chan, Senior Manager – Training & Development – Human Resources, Sands China Limited

Hannah Pearson, Founding Partner, Pear Anderson

Ian Stazicker, Partner, Churchill & Partners; Founder and Managing Director, Nelian Pty Ltd

Brendan Sobie, Independent Analyst and Consultant, Sobie Aviation

Adam Platt-Hepworth, Director of Emerging Ventures, Discova

Dr Dori Davari, Assistant Professor, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Maria Paz Alberto, Chairperson, PATA Philippine Chapter; President, Ark Travel Express, Inc.

Boris Miketic, President, Croatia Travel/ Boris World of Travel

Jonathan Low, CEO, Global Success Learning Academy

Min Ye Swan, Student – International Tourism and Hospitality Management, Bangkok University International

The PATA Annual Summit 2024 programme in brief

The summit will commence on May 15 with PATA internal meetings and the PATA Life Members Get-Together (by invitation only), alongside the PATA Power of Networking session and the inaugural Education Roundtable session.

Day two begins with the PATA Youth Symposium which will be held off-site at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), followed by the Government and Industry Roundtables, Government Bilateral Meetings and PATA Chapter Congress.

Meanwhile, a new initiative includes the inaugural PATA-WTCF China Dialogue, supported by the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and sponsored by Dragon Trail International. This special session will explore the dynamic landscape of China Inbound Tourism, delving into the various challenges and opportunities.

Speakers include:

George Cao, Co-founder & CEO, Dragon Trail International

Chen Bo, Executive Director, World Tourism Cities Federation

Zhang Jing, II Level Consultant of Large Events Division of Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau

Xia Jun, Vice Director General of Nanjing Culture and Tourism Bureau

Fan Hui, Vice Director General of Qingdao Culture and Tourism Bureau

Albert Yip, Director General of Sanya Tourism Board

Ning Guo Xing, Chief Government Officer, Utour

Soon Hwa Wong, PATA Ambassador for Greater China

Leo Liu, Vice President, MasterCard

Yan Lanru, General Manager of Smart Tourism, Qunar.com

Qin Qin, Deputy General Manager, Shenzhen Century Holiday Travel Group

Sunny Li, Vice President of Artyzen Hospitality Group

Lylia Shen, GM, Government Relations, Funyard Hotels & Resorts

Professor. Dr. Jingjing Guan, Associate Dean at the school of tourism & urban – rural planning, Zhejiang Gongshang University

Associate Professor, Dr. Jun Wu, Director of International Affairs at the school of tourism & urban – rural planning, Zhejiang Gongshang University

The day will conclude with a Hosted Dinner and the PATA Awards Presentation at the Grand Lisboa Palace Resort which will see delegates celebrating the evening in their best national costume for the Cultural Attire Competition @ PAS2024.

The main conference, beginning on the afternoon of May 16th and concluding at the end of May 17th, features the official opening ceremony followed by sessions covering various topics, including the ‘State of the World Economy’; ‘Marketing and Branding in Asia Pacific Tourism’; ‘Reimagining Your Business Model; Future-Proofing Travel and Tourism Policies’; ‘In Conversation with Pansy Ho’; ‘Key Travel and Tourism Trends to Watch’; ‘Where Are We Heading?’; ‘Hotel Industry Trends’; ‘Air Travel Trends & Outlook in APAC’; ‘Navigating the Skyline: Aviation’s Evolution in Asia Pacific’; ‘Launch of Brand New PATA Report on Human Capital Development’; ‘Deep Dive into the Future of the Tourism Workforce’; ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Balancing Innovation with Local Preservation’; ‘Tourism Synergies to Diversify Economy’; ‘The Future of Travel and Tourism’; and breakout sessions focusing on Travel Technology, Educational Tourism, Night-time Economy and The Future of Travel Agents in the Age of AI. These topics will provide an opportunity for vigorous discussion and conversation that matters to the captains of the travel and tourism industry which is in line with the theme Reimagining Tourism.

Other highlights include two Memorandums of Understandings between PATA and the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and between PATA and the East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Federation (EATOF), set to be signed during the ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’ session.

Furthermore, PATA will launch the PATA Kind Hearts initiative to underscore the Association’s commitment to positively impacting local communities in the destinations where PATA events are hosted. This involves a donation of approximately 100 children’s books to Instituto Cultural de Macau (Macao Cultural Institute) to nurture a love of reading in the younger generation.

As part of the Summit’s comprehensive programme, MGTO will host the Offsite Educational Experience. This includes workshops on traditional dessert making and Portuguese Blue Tile “Azulejo” Painting. Attendees will also have the opportunity to take tours organised by MGTO, with one of the highlights being the ‘Cruising through Macao’s Night Skyline’ tour, along with tours of Macao and Hengqin, China. Additionally, a tour of Hong Kong SAR will be provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

The PATA Annual Summit is dedicated to sustainability and aims to be a carbon-neutral event. Through a nominal contribution of USD10 from attendees, PATA hopes to ensure that the event remains environmentally sustainable and contributes positively to the preservation of the planet.



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