The PATA Youth Symposium, hosted by Gangneung-Wonju National University, took place on May 17, 2018 on the first day of the PATA Annual Summit 2018 with the theme ‘Go Large: Exponential Thinking for Your Career in Tourism’.
Organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Human Capital Development Committee and supported by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), the highly successful event welcomed 150 local and international students and delegates from Canada; China; Chinese Taipei; Japan; Hong Kong SAR; Korea (ROK); Maldives; Macao, China; Philippines; Thailand and USA.
In his opening remarks, PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “The PATA Youth Symposium gives us the perfect opportunity, not only for you to listen to today’s leaders but, more importantly, for us to listen to you – the future of the industry. In this day and age, technology has created many opportunities for all of us, however, I think we need to remind ourselves that we, as a service industry, need to talk face to face with each other in order to better understand one another.”
The programme was developed with guidance from Dr. Markus Schuckert, Chairman of the PATA Human Capital Development Committee and Assistant Professor at the School of Hotel & Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
In his address to the students and delegates, Dr. Schuckert said, “When you are here, take the opportunity to ask questions. Engage with everyone here – engage with your classmates, engage with your professors, and engage with all the speakers. Drive your future career forward through questions and remember the lessons you learn from one another here today.”
Prof. Sukjong Ham, Chief Professor of Tourism Management Department at Gangneung-Wonju National University added, “Since 1951 PATA has lead as the voice and authority on travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region, and the PATA Youth Symposium is a great experience for student participants in helping them to better understand world tourism affairs.”
The keynote address on ‘Exponential and Innovative Thinking for Generation Z’ was delivered by Ms. Raya Bidshahri, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Awecademy, Canada.
“Education should be a life-long journey of exploration and of transcendence, and that is the only way we can keep up with an ever-changing world,” said Ms. Bidshahri. “An idea proposed by Google called “Moonshot thinking” is a beautiful mindset. Essentially, instead of looking for a 10 percent improvement, we should be focusing on make things 10 times better. The beauty of moonshot thinking is that it falls within the intersection of the huge challenge, the radical solution and exponential technology.”
During the ‘Under 30 Panel Discussion on Looking Forward: How to Develop Your Career Agenda in Tourism”, the participants heard from Mr. Abdulla Ghiyas, PATA Face of the Future 2018 and President of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO); Mr. Youlrim Moon, Digital and Distribution Manager, Finnair Korea; Mr. JuneGi Jimmy Lim, Assistant Programme Officer, ICHCAP, and Ms. Eunhye Kim, Student at the University of Seoul and Former Assistant Manager, INTERCOM Convention Services. The speakers all provided some advice from their own experiences to the delegates during the panel discussions.
During the event, Mr. Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor of Travel Impact Newswire, Thailand announced that the next round of the Olive Tree Awards Essay Competition would be launched at the end of May. He also provided some background and information on the previous competition, “the first of its kind for young millennials to let their passion be their guide in supporting the SDG cause”. For more information on the Olive Tree Awards Essay Competition, please visit www.travel-impact-newswire.com.
The symposium also featured two interactive roundtable discussions on ‘How can you access career opportunities within the tourism industry?’ and ‘How can you prepare yourself for the international tourism industry?’
In addition, PATA Young Tourism Professional Ambassador, Ms. JC Wong, provided participants information on how they could get more involved with the industry through PATA during a session entitled “Steps 1 2 3 – On the way to ‘Going Large’”.
In recent years the PATA Human Capital Development Committee has organised successful educational events at various institutions including UCSI University Sarawak Campus (April 2010), Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) (September 2010), Beijing International Studies University (April 2011), Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur (April 2012), Lyceum of the Philippines University, Manila (September 2012), Thammasat University, Bangkok (April 2013), Chengdu Polytechnic, Huayuan Campus, China (September 2013), Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai Campus, China, (May 2014), Royal University of Phnom Penh (September 2014), Sichuan Tourism School, Chengdu (April 2015), Christ University, Bangalore (September 2015), University of Guam, USA (May 2016), President University, BSD-Serpong (September 2016), Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (May 2017) and Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) (September 2017).