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Pacific Asia Travel Association

53rd PATA annual conference opens on Jeju Island

The 53rd Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Conference officially opened…

The 53rd Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Conference officially opened with Mr. Goh Kun, Acting President of the Republic of Korea, welcoming 2,145 delegates from 41 countries to Korea (ROK).

Mr. Goh`s speech was followed by a colourful Korean cultural performance and speeches from 2003/2004 PATA Chairman, Mr. Richard Gordon and PATA President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong.

Mr. Gordon praised Korea`s determination to overcome obstacles and turn itself into an economic and tourism success story. He also said it was vital for PATA to continue to promote tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation and to take a firm stand against unjust travel advisories.

During the President`s Address, Mr. de Jong said: We have learnt the hard way that, when a crisis afflicts a few countries, the region as a whole suffers. PATA cannot allow the well-being of our entire industry to be hijacked again amidst a climate of misinformation and fear.

DestiCorp Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Anna Pollock, delivered the opening keynote address on the Conference theme, Tourism is Everybody`s Business. Tourism has finally come of age, she said. Tourism can be the ultimate healing force on this planet. At its essence it enables the most powerful form of human communication – the interaction between host and guest; the communion and celebration of strangers.

PATA also recognised leading travel industry individuals and organisations with assorted awards, including Mr. Rabendra Raj Pandey (from Nepal), who received a PATA Life Membership, and three 2004 PATA Grand Award winners: Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts (from Singapore), Tourism New Zealand and Trisakti Institute of Tourism (from Indonesia).

The Korea National Tourism Organization and the Jeju Provincial Government hosted a spectacular reception at the Jeju World Cup Stadium. Thousands of Jeju islanders joined PATA delegates, despite the rain, to enjoy the best of Korean pop music entertainment, which was televised for future transmission on a major Korean TV network.

For the next three days, Conference delegates will hear from experts on important travel industry topics, such as the changes in the aviation sector`s competitive environment and reputation management.

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