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PATA launches

Consumers to receive a more balanced coverage of Asia Pacific travel issues

The Pacific Asia Travel Association launched a one-stop consumer Web site offering travellers credible…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association launched a one-stop consumer Web site offering travellers credible region-wide information on travel in Asia Pacific.

The site features travel news, explanations and samples of travel advisories, airline and hotel offers, weather information, maps and currency exchange guides. Detailed country guide information supplied by Lonely Planet will be added before the end of August.

Global media campaigns will drive thousands of visitors to the site over the next few months, said PATA President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong. Consumers will come back to TravelWithPATA because we will be the only site providing a balanced region-wide perspective. We aim for TravelWithPATA to become the first place travellers will go to when they need authoritative and insightful information about travel in Asia Pacific, he said.

This site, an important element of PATA`s Project Phoenix, a global communications campaign, is designed to help revive travel to and within Asia Pacific following the downturn caused by September 11, the Bali bombings, the war in Iraq, and SARS.

The site is part of PATA`s recently adopted strategic agenda to `position, promote and protect` the PATA region and to directly address the consumer in support of PATA members` products and services.

A business-to-consumer communication platform is now vitally important to PATA, said Mr. de Jong. In times of crisis, market volatility and rapid public perception shifts, PATA must address consumers directly to give them a better picture of realities on the ground. He added: We must never again let crises such as SARS create rampant misconceptions about our region. will therefore give a fuller and more balanced and forthright picture to help consumers make more highly informed decisions about Asia Pacific destinations.

An integral part of the Project Phoenix campaign, TravelWithPATA will initially be promoted on CNN International, BBC World and National Geographic channels, and in consumer print titles such as TIME, Fortune and Newsweek.

The US$1 million CNN/TIME/Fortune campaign, the first one to go public, will be broadcast into viewers` homes in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East this month. The other Phoenix-brokered campaigns will follow between September and November. contains regional news, a section for airline and hotel offers from Project Phoenix contributors, extensive country information and maps, and a section on where to find — and how to interpret — travel advisories. The site contains constantly updated exchange rates and weather information for many countries in the region.

Mr. de Jong said: We`ve included offers from key Phoenix airline and hotel contributors as a way of driving leads to our supporters and encouraging consumers to return to the site.

Mr. de Jong said that PATA`s existing Web site will continue to provide an important source of industry-based information to PATA members.

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