Travel industry professionals in Nepal are now better placed to effectively promote this idyllic destination, thanks to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the generous support of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
The PATA Human Capacity Building Programme, jointly organised by PATA and NTB, was held from August 13-14 at Hotel Himalaya in Kathmandu, Nepal. The event, with theme ‘Exploring the Art of Storytelling’, attracted 65 participants. Representing PATA were CEO Dr. Mario Hardy and Director – Human Capital Development Mrs. Parita Niemwongse.
The workshop provided participants with an intensive and interactive training programme that incorporated a series of classroom sessions conducted by leading travel industry experts coupled with practical activities, group assignments, and networking opportunities. The programme content was based upon successful PATAcademy-HCD and PATA Human Capacity Building Programmes.
“Storytelling is also one of the most universal ways of communication, bringing life to data and facts. With new avenues and methods available to share our stories, whether through text, images or video, we must learn how to best personalise our stories to match the correct medium.” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to stage the PATA Human Capacity Building Programme in Kathmandu on the popular theme of ‘Exploring the Art of Storytelling’. The programme teaches participants how to increase their share of the market, by creating and refining stories which can influence, inspire, educate and, most importantly, emotionally connect with a global audience and perfectly with Nepal where there are so many fantastic stories to be told.”
In his opening remarks to the participants Mr Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board, said, “Experiences are best served and committed through stories, so we believe that stories are the most powerful tools for tourism businesses and our destination. We all are here to unleash the possibilities that we have in our tourism industry and to get the growth that this destination deserves Thank you PATA for organisng this PATA Human Capacity Building Programme in Nepal.”
Speakers at the two-day programme included Ms Choy Teh, Account Manager, Media Relations – Bannikin (Asia); Mr David Fiedler, Partner and Creative Director – Singular Foundry, Canada, and Mr Stu Lloyd, Chief Hothead – Hotheads Innovation, Hong Kong SAR. In addition, Dr Mario Hardy also presented on ‘Exponential Innovations for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs’.
When asked how participants benefitted from her session on ‘Storytelling in Travel and Tourism through Media and Influencers’, Ms. Teh noted that, “PR in the Nepal landscape within the travel industry is still at a beginner’s stage, so I hope the information I imparted on the participants will prove beneficial for their travel brands. Nepal has so much potential to attract travellers beyond just the ‘mountain’ experience, and especially with Visit Nepal 2020 coming up, it’s an opportune time to generate a lot of media and influencer interest for the country.’
Mr Fiedler, who presented on ‘Building Empathy Into Great Storytelling’ and on ‘Singular Purpose’, said, “It is truly an honour to come to Nepal to speak about Empathy and Purpose. As Nepal prepares for its ambitious Visit 2020 challenge, the local travel industry has to stay prevalent with brand messaging, and that includes modernising their marketing materials, working closely with international media, and staying up to date on communication trends. The tried and tested method of using landscape imagery isn’t enough these days to lure visitors to this truly beautiful nation. Nepal has a complex weave of local culture and geography that goes beyond their mountain range, and the people are truly the greatest feature of this country. These key elements should be weaved into a phenomenal story and imprinted into the minds of the modern traveller, who want to see more, feel more and learn more when they travel. Nepal has this great potential, and I feel the best is yet to come.”
During Mr Lloyd’s interactive and immersive session on ‘The Secret Ingredients of a Great Story’, he discussed why stories worked so effectively in modern business and provided some examples of great stories in the new economy. Highlighting how to leverage emotion and personalisation in storytelling, he stated, “What are your national cultural beliefs and values, reflect those in your storytelling. If you are a tour company exactly what do you believe in, what are your company’s individual values, what do you stand for, where did you draw that line in the sand and reflect those, and lives those and breathe those accurately. If you’re a hotel, it’s the same. It doesn’t matter what line of business you are in, you need to live and breathe your story. If you are not living and breathing it, there is no way that story will take on a life on its own. And that, at the end of the day, is the point of storytelling.”
The PATA Human Capacity Building Programme is the Association’s in-house/outreach initiative for Human Capital Development (HCD) across the broad spectrum of travel and tourism. Leveraging PATA’s network of talented industry leaders worldwide, the Programme designs and implements customised training workshops for government agencies, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and private sector businesses.
The training is delivered through innovative adult education learning techniques including case studies, group exercises, group discussions, instructor presentations and site visits. The facilitators bring knowledge, experience and expertise from a wide range of business sectors and drawn from PATA’s extensive and established network in the tourism industry and beyond.
PATA designs and coordinates the workshop, providing experts who lead and moderate exchanges among participants and offer their own perspectives and experiences. The workshop content and agenda, including the ideal profile and number of participants, are developed by PATA in close collaboration with the lead institution or organisation.
The workshop duration may vary in length from two hours to two days, depending upon the learning objectives, and may be staged at any location worldwide.