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Unveiling Travel Trends: Insights from PATA’s CEO, Noor Ahmad Hamid

Explore pivotal insights from an illuminating discussion with PATA’s CEO, Noor Ahmad Hamid, as he delves into travel trends, challenges, and the association’s visionary role in shaping Asia-Pacific tourism.

In this latest instalment of Trends, filmed back in February 2024, our inquisitive host David Barrett sat down for an enlightening discussion with travel trendsetter, Mr. Noor Ahmad Hamid, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Discussing travel trends and the pivotal role of PATA in shaping the industry landscape, the conversation unveiled invaluable insights poised to resonate with tourism professionals and travel enthusiasts.

Noor, a luminary in the realm of tourism with an illustrious career spanning notable stints at Tourism Malaysia and ICCA, now steers the helm at PATA, orchestrating its journey towards pioneering excellence in the region’s tourism industry. Addressing the nuances of the post-pandemic era, Noor recognises the formidable challenges that face PATA, and the tourism industry worldwide. Leveraging PATA’s rich legacy, he envisions PATA’s leadership role shaped by attentive listening, proactive engagement, and the delivery of tangible benefits to industry stakeholders.

At the nucleus of PATA’s mission lies an unwavering commitment to fostering connections, conducting illuminating research, and pioneering innovative strategies. Noor underscored the imperative of evolving the association’s value propositions, advocating for inclusive engagement spanning corporate juggernauts to budding enterprises and aspiring youths. Rooted in sustainability, PATA’s ethos reverberates through initiatives such as comprehensive training programmes, the pioneering Tourism Development Resilient Programme, and the advocacy for sustainable practices across the Asia Pacific region. Central to this ethos is the ‘Travel of Life’ paradigm, a call to instill sustainable practices amongst travellers, ensuring the preservation of Asia-Pacific pristine travel allure.

Delving into statistical insights, PATA’s meticulous data monitoring unveils a cautiously optimistic trajectory for the Asia Pacific region, albeit at a measured pace in comparison to its European and North American counterparts. Noor sees 2024 as a year of stability, with a promising resurgence slated for 2025, anticipating a staggering 620 million visitor arrivals – an encouraging 90% of pre-COVID figures. However, he underscored the imperative of transitioning from destination marketing to destination management, effectively mitigating the scourge of over-tourism and fostering equitable distribution of tourism dividends. Learning from the follies of yesteryears, Noor implores industry stakeholders to forge a path towards a more resilient and responsible tourism landscape, where growth is built upon sustainable management practices.

Asked about the impact of A.I. and digitalization within the travel industry, Noor debunked prevailing notions of sluggish adaptation, heralding the proactive embrace of digitalization and AI by segments of the travel industry. PATA, mirroring this ethos, stands resolute in its commitment to harnessing technology to manage of Big Data to provide statistical analysis that benefits its members.

Asked what are the hot trending destinations to travel to in 2024, Noor said he’ll be spending most of his time in the PATA office. However, he unveiled an exciting year of travel for PATA’s flagship events, including the much-anticipated PATA Annual Summit in Macau (2024) and the forthcoming PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2024 in Cha-Am, Thailand. These events promise to provide platforms for industry thought leadership, featuring a stellar cast of industry speakers and influencers, steering the narrative towards quality-centric tourism growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Noor exudes an infectious enthusiasm, articulating his steadfast commitment towards steering PATA through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. His vision of industry innovation, engagement, and sustainable growth, stands as a beacon guiding the travel and tourism industry towards a brighter tomorrow within the Asia Pacific region.

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David Barrett is a MICE Consultant, Marketing Strategist and digital video advocate. Founder of DBC Group, Member of Institute of Place Management (MIMP) his motto is “Everybody has a story to tell. Let me tell yours.”

David is a long-term resident of Bangkok having lived and worked in the Thai capital for more than 32 years. He is recognised in the Thai tourism and hospitality industry for his passion for promoting Thailand, his love of Thai food, and his creative approach to marketing.

64 years young, David is a Brit in Bangkok. Born in St Helier, UK, he returned to the UK and set up home in Cornwall during the COVID pandemic. With business back as usual, David has returned to Thailand. He’s a man on a mission to interview leaders and trend-setters in business, sustainability, the arts and entertainment. You can watch his weekly conversations on Trends YouTube channel.