The PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 began on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India with 300 delegates from 28 countries in attendance for the three-day niche event, comprising a one-day-travel mart and one-day conference.
The event, which was organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry from both the private and public sectors to discuss the issues and opportunities in travel and tourism.
On Thursday, February 14, delegates heard from a diverse line-up of speakers at the one-day conference under the theme ‘‘Rejuvenate Your Soul Through Travel’. The thought leaders, innovators and pioneers, who are shaping the emerging landscape of the adventure travel and responsible tourism industry, examined various conference topics that covered ‘Rejuvenating Your Soul Through Travel’; ‘Storytelling to Sell Travel on Instagram’; ‘Using Sustainability to Future-Proof Our Destination’; ‘Trends to India’; ‘Creating Experiences that are Regenerative’; ‘Marketing to the New Adventure Travellers’; ‘Tourism as a Tool for Rejuvenation’; ‘A Special Story of Indian Rejuvenation’, and ‘Sustaining our Souls: Vision-Driven Leadership in Adventure Tourism’.
The conference was opened by Shri Dilip Jawalkar, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand; Shri Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Shri Yogendra Tripathi, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and Shri Satpal Maharaj, Honourable Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand.
Speakers included Ajay Jain, Speaker, Writer and Owner – Kunzum Travel Cafe; Apoorva Prasad, Editor-in-Chief and Founder – The Outdoor Journal; Choy Teh, Account Manager, Media Relations – Bannikin Asia; Mandip Singh Soin, Founder & Managing Director – Ibex Expeditions; Mariellen Ward, Digital Storyteller, Content Marketer and Traveller – Breathedreamgo; Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO – PATA; Melissa Burckhardt, Director – Membership Relations, PATA; Daw Moe Moe Lwin, Director and Vice Chairperson – Yangon Heritage Trust; Mohan Narayanaswamy, Managing Director – Travel Scope; Paul Brady, Editorial Strategist – Skift; Rajeev Tewari, CEO – Garhwal Himalayan Explorations Pvt. Ltd.; Robin Weber Pollak, President – Journeys International; Rohan Prakash, CEO – Trip 360; Shradha Shrestha, Manager – Brand Promotion and Corporate Marketing, Nepal Tourism Board; Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President – Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI); Trevor Jonas Benson, Director of Food Tourism Innovation – Culinary Tourism Alliance; Vivienne Tang, Founder – Destination Deluxe, and Yosha Gupta, Founder – Meraki.
During the media briefing conference on the morning of Friday, February 15, PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy noted that, “The event aims to be a catalyst for generating new ideas and improving collaboration between public and private sector organisations”.
“By bringing together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers, we hoped to highlight the need to discuss, analyse and share various ideas with both the public and private sector in planning, building and promoting a responsible travel and tourism industry,” he added.
Today’s B2B mart welcomed 47 seller organisations from 10 destinations (Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand) and 44 buyer organisations from 18 source markets (Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the USA).