The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the biggest travel organization in the world, has always been the leading voice and authority on Travel and Tourism in the Asia Pacific region since 1951 when it was established.
In line with the mother organization’s direction, the PATA Philippines Chapter has set itself up as a trailblazer in the local Travel and Hospitality Industry. It hosts a yearly Tourism Forum patterned after the very popular Ted Talks Lecture Series in the USA. Dubbed as “Pinoy Chikka,” the local version features popular and distinguished personalities from various sectors of society that are also important factors in the dynamics of the Tourism Industry.
The first edition of this Travel Forum was presented two years ago and was attended by approximately 800 travel professionals and members of the academe. Last year’s second edition had approximately 1200 in the audience. The third edition, with the theme bannered in this column, was held a couple of weeks ago and it attracted approximately 2300 eager individuals who wanted to know more about the latest developments in this continuously evolving industry, including the challenging obstacles that might pop up along the way.
After a short Welcome Remarks by Tourism Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez, the exciting lineup of guest speakers started their respective presentations. Renowned motivational speaker and Singapore-based Tim Wade, who has had 19 years of experience in operational management and leadership, tackled the topics: The Mindset of Victory-Leading Change, Business Growth and Customer Excellence and A Changing World and the Coming Wave of Opportunity. He focused on how a “Yes, I Can” attitude leads to one’s success in all his endeavors.
Eduardo Mapa, Jr., CEO of Digital Arts Network (DAN) has had 25 years of experience in the field of advertising and marketing, having worked with Havas Worldwide, Procter & Gamble, and Media Contacts which launched the “Awesome Philippines” campaign for our Department of Tourism. He talked about The Digitalization of the Travel Industry and I learned that “selfies” in some countries, like New Zealand, have leveled up. They’re now “dronies” because the person uses a drone with a camera, which is set up in sync with his smartphone. The view from the drone gives a more breathtaking panoramic background for the person or group.
The third speaker was Communications Guru and Singapore-based Leslie Choudhury who moved the audience with his captivating storytelling—Innovative Storytelling, A Major Component in Destination Marketing. He used to be with the Sales team of Sheraton, and later, with Jetset Australia and Tour East Singapore, as general manager. What I found interesting in his talk was how the “Singapore Girl” in the Singapore Airlines television commercial not only increased the airline’s revenues by leaps and bounds but also made tourist arrivals in Singapore shot up beyond expectations.
It was a very informative and fulfilling half-day with these interesting personalities, as they regaled the highly interested crowd of Tourism Industry practitioners, Tourism students and their faculty members, with their expertise on those highly specialized topics.
The event was another resounding success. Kudos to the PATA Philippines Chapter for its efforts to become the leading Tourism organization in the country, supportive of the demands of the Philippine tourism development and the needs of its members. Events like this are aligned with its mission to enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism, not only in the country but also to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.
This early, the Chapter is now laying down their plans for next year’s fourth edition of Pinoy Chikka. With their creativity, spunk and pizzazz, I am sure the members of the Chapter’s Board of Trustees will, once again, come up with an even bigger, better event.
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ANSWER: No, but April May.
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