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PATA seeks to bolster Middle East ties

The Pacific Asia Travel Association, PATA has extended a special invitation to senior travel and tourism executives in the Middle East region to attend the 51st PATA Annual Conference in New Delhi, April 14-18, 2002, to explore ways to capitalise on the growing travel flows between the two regions…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association, PATA<.> has extended a special invitation to senior travel and tourism executives in the Middle East region to attend the 51st PATA Annual Conference in New Delhi, April 14-18, 2002, to explore ways to capitalise on the growing travel flows between the two regions.

PATA President and CEO Mr. Peter de Jong last week sent out personal letters to nearly 200 senior executives of travel and tourism companies, hotels, airlines and national tourism organisations in the Middle East inviting them to the April conference and build upon this very promising trend.

As our Annual Conference is always attended by top executives from the Pacific Asia region, it will be a great opportunity for their counterparts in their Middle East to network, develop contacts and explore future business opportunities, Mr. de Jong said. PATA research shows a growing interest in travel between the Middle East and the Pacific Asia region. Both have long held relatively small market shares in the total arrivals of countries in both regions and it is now clearly time to build this up.

Mr. de Jong noted that many Middle East airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Gulf Air are growing their networks in the Pacific Asia region.

There is increased interest in travel from the Arab Gulf region to Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. At the same time, there is considerable potential for outbound travel from the Pacific Asia region to the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries, Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

The two regions enjoy extensive cultural and historic links, Mr. de Jong said. It is long overdue for us to capitalise on them.

He said PATA is planning to invest strongly in promoting more outbound travel from the Middle East to the Pacific Asia region in future by producing more research, attending Middle East travel trade shows and organising seminars and workshops.

We would like to work with our Arab counterparts to see what further opportunities exist for more two-way travel between the two regions. I think having a strong Middle East presence at the Conference will send a strong indication to PATA members of the future potential of this new opportunity.

As a further incentive to the Middle East executives, PATA is offering a special one-time participation package to introduce them to the networking benefits of the Association.

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