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Pacific Asia Watch
Pata's New Adventure Wins Widespread Industry Praise
Industry leaders and government ministers are praising the success of the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart (ATRTCM) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The conference addressed key issues facing the industry as PATA seeks to improve awareness and generate increased commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism practices in line with the Association’s new Charter published last September.

PATA has confirmed plans for a similar event in 2011 with potential hosts, including Nepal, now being considered in detail. “Initial reaction from delegates and speakers has been very positive. We’re now assessing feedback and this will play a vital role in the shape, structure and content of our event in 2011,” says PATA’s deputy CEO, Sheila Leong. Conference moderator Andrew Jones, guardian of Hong Kong-based Sanctuary Resorts, said, “Feedback received so far has been extremely positive. The event has created an outstanding platform. We’ve covered a broad range of issues pertinent to our shared objectives. The challenge now for us all is to maintain this momentum.”

Nepal’s Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal, led his country’s support for the ATRTCM by praising PATA’s efforts and commitment. At an eve-of-conference reception and dinner he spoke at length with PATA CEO Greg Duffell about the many challenges facing Nepal’s tourism industry. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, to mark the opening of the Adventure Travel Mart, was performed by the Nepal minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Hon Sharat Singh Bhandari.

The event, staged at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel in Kathmandu, attracted 174 delegates representing 104 companies in 25 destinations. Journalists from Asia, Western Europe and Australia also attended the event. Keynote speakers included Peter Burrell, MD of UK-based Exodus Travel (‘Responsible Tourism: The Driving Force’); Darrell Wade, CEO of Intrepid Travel in Australia (Adventure Sports Tourism: Risks and Responsibilities’), and Anthony Wong, Group MD of Asia Overland Services, Malaysia (Zero Waste Challenges: Goals, Strategies & Actions’). All presentations made at the conference are available for download on the PATA website: www.pata.org
The event was hosted by Nepal Tourism Board in conjunction with the PATA Nepal Chapter. Chapter chairman Pawan Tuladhar reaffirmed his confidence that the PATA event in Kathmandu, coupled with the Association’s commitment to sustainable tourism, will benefit Nepal.
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