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High profile speakers confirmed for PATA Annual Summit 2015

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has gathered together key industry thought leaders from around the world to share their insights and knowledge during the PATA Annual Summit 2015, hosted by the Leshan Municipal People’s Government. The conference will explore the challenge between increasing tourism growth and the appropriate management of heritage and cultural sites and attractions.

PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “Leshan, with its rich culture and beautiful natural landscape, is the perfect setting to bring together such a diverse and exciting group of speakers who will share their thoughts on the responsible development of travel and tourism within the region. This is a great opportunity for members, non-members, media and partners to network, learn and discuss the challenges the industry will face with the rapid and vast growth of the tourism sector, especially in the Asia Pacific region.”

Xu Jing, Executive Secretary of the General Assembly and the Executive Council, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, will deliver the keynote address at the conference, where he will provide his views on the theme of this year’s conference, New Dimensions of Heritage and Culture Tourism.

Furthermore, David Chai, Deputy General Manager, Alitrip, will deliver the closing address. As deputy manager of the recently launched independent travel brand of Alibaba Group, China biggest online commerce company, David will discuss’s aim to gain market share within the booming Chinese travel market, where 57% of Chinese travel bookings are currently made.

Other confirmed speakers at the conference include George Cao, Co-founder & CEO, Dragontrail; Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director Asia Pacific, STR Global; Dr. Mathew McDougall, CEO, Digital Jungle; Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau; Sok Sangvar, Head, Angkor Tourism Management Plan, APSARA National Authority, Cambodia; Mallika Naguran, Sustainable Development & Communications, Accor Asia Pacific; and Professor Tongqian (Tony) Zou, Assistant to the President, Beijing International Studies University (BISU), China. In addition, Sharanjit Leyl, Presenter, BBC World News, will moderate a Q&A session during the keynote address and a session on “Marketing the Competitive Destination of the Future.”

Other topics to be examined include Case Studies on Successful Management of Heritage Sites, The Dynamic of Today’s Global Traveller presented by Visa, Social Media in China, Travel Trends in Asia, and Innovation and Technology in the Travel Industry.

Leshan is a prefecture-level city located at the confluence of the Dadu and Min rivers in the Sichuan Province of China The city is located on the south-western fringe of the Red Basin in southern Sichuan, about 120 km (75 miles) from Chengdu. It is one of the most mature tourist destinations in Sichuan and even China, and annually receives over 25 million visitors.

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