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Pattaya to host PATA annual conference 2006

One of the Asia Pacific region’s most prestigious meetings, the annual conference of the…

One of the Asia Pacific region’s most prestigious meetings, the annual conference of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), is to return to Thailand in 2006 with an inspiring conference programme reflecting the deep changes taking place within the industry.

The 55th PATA Annual Conference will take place during April 23-27, 2006 in Pattaya, Thailand, the same venue at which it was last held in Thailand exactly 10 years ago in 1996.

Mrs. Juthamas Siriwan, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “It is very heartening to know that the leaders of the Asia-Pacific travel and tourism industry will be joining us in commemorating the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s accession to the throne.”

Inviting other conferences to also hold their events in Thailand in 2006, Mrs. Juthamas said the TAT is preparing a warm welcome for the more than 1,500 PATA delegates expected. “We will ensure that they see and experience the best of Thailand,” she said.

The conference theme is “Changing Lifestyles – New Opportunities,” and the programme is packed with informative and educational sessions that will identify and explain the existence of social mega-trends and how fast-changing lifestyles and values can create new opportunities for travel and tourism businesses.

These include changing demographics, health and wellness, travel trends among the young, old and women travellers. There will be presentations on technological issues, the low-cost airline phenomenon and growth in short city-break holidays and gay holidays. The increasing competition among destinations as venues for making films, advertising spots and documentaries will also be discussed.

One of the conference highlights will be a dialogue amongst ministers of the six Greater Mekong Subregion countries, including Thailand, China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia at which they will discuss the latest challenges and opportunities facing sub-region tourism.

The Royal Cliff Beach Resort, the host venue of the conference, will be laying on a range of complimentary lifestyle activities for delegates, including Spa and Thai Massage; Arts and Crafts; Thai Floral Arrangements; Banana Leaf Decorations; Vegetable, Fruit and Soap Carving; Thai Cooking Class; Thai Kite Making; Bamboo Basketry; Palm Leaf Weaving and Fortune Telling sessions.

Mrs. Juthamas said, “Although foreign delegates arriving by air will not be able to experience the new Bangkok airport Suvarnabhumi which is due to open later in 2006, we expect they will get a good impression of the entire Eastern Seaboard area and the many development projects emerging there.”

Pattaya has changed considerably over the past 10 years, and is now gearing up to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Suvarnabhumi Airport. The new airport is located between Pattaya and Bangkok, making Pattaya that much more accessible to Thailand’s international visitors.

PATA President and CEO Peter de Jong said, “Thailand has hosted a number of PATA annual conferences and travel marts, plus many other events, over the years. Each one has been a great success and we are sure this one will be the same.”

“We are happy to be doing our share to make this very important year marking His Majesty the King’s 60th year on the throne a great success.”

The 2006 annual conference is expected to be attended by around 1,500 senior executives from Asia-Pacific national tourism organisations, airlines, hotels, tour companies, researchers, consultants and other travel related organisations.

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