Following its first three memorable and impactful dinners, this year’s invitation-only dinner will be under the theme “The Dispersion of Tourists”, highlighting the current issue of the disproportionate growth of tourism, as well as provide guests the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the need for both the public and private sectors to work together for the responsible development of these emerging destinations. During the event, two PATA CEO Challenge 2015 winners will be presented with the Top Destination Award in the categories of States, Regions and Provinces; and Second-tier/Third-tier Cities.
The PATA CEO Challenge 2015 embraces the uniqueness and diversity of heritages, cultures, customs and natural beauty of the world’s diverse destinations, in line with the theme of this year’s dinner. It aims to promote and enhance the number of visitors to emerging destinations (regions, states, or provinces, and second-tier/third tier cities), and enhances tourism development in the most sustainable manner. The award programme, through an exclusive partnership with TripAdvisor, will allow two winners to get a chance to work with TripAdvisor to develop and create a digital marketing campaign to showcase their destination, valued at US$500,000 each.
“The Dispersion of Tourists is a topic that I have spoken about quite frequently at many conferences and events, and it is something I feel very strongly about. Tourists need to be reminded that a country’s beauty is defined by its people, culture, heritage and diversity, and not by one famous location. The dispersion of tourists allows people to see this beauty and at the same provide an economic boost to these local communities,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “The Aligned Advocacy Dinner and the PATA CEO Challenge 2015 highlight the Association’s commitment to this issue. This is the challenge for all of us in the travel and tourism industry and I encourage all tourist offices around the world to nominate their undiscovered destinations to join the PATA CEO Challenge 2015.”
PATA is delighted to confirm that Philippines Secretary of Tourism, Ramon Jimenez Jr., who helped conceive and deliver one of the world’s most impactful destination marketing campaigns "It's more fun in the Philippines", will share his experiences in a 20-minute multimedia presentation during the dinner. Furthermore the confirmed guest of honour at this year’s dinner will be Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner has been organised annually on the first night of WTM for the past 3 years. PATA started its aligned advocacy dinner series on November 5, 2012 in the UK Parliament, the House of Commons, and included guests of honour Dr Rifai; Mr David Scowsill, CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); and senior representatives from members of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI), the World Economic Forum (WEF) and several tourism ministers.
The aligned advocacy dinner series continued in November 2013, with double the participants and the location moved to Portland Place, alongside BBC Television’s new headquarters. The head of the US Travel Association (USTA), Mr Roger Dow, delivered a speech on how to use aligned advocacy effectively.
In 2014, PATA held the Third Aligned Advocacy dinner in a larger venue, Clothworkers’ Hall, with an attendance of over 150 guests and, once again welcomed Dr Rifai as its guest speaker. It was a unique chance to showcase ASEAN’s fabric and models from Tourism Malaysia, under the theme “ASEAN feel the warmth, strengthen the fabric”.