Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

RAK to host annual Pata Summit

More than 250 international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers engaged in driving tourism to and from the Asia Pacific region will gather together in Ras Al Khaimah this year for the annual Pata Summit 2020.

Taking place from March 31 to April 3 at the Al Hamra International Exhibition and Conference Centre, the three-day event hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) will embrace a global forum for enhancing the sustainable growth, value and quality of tourism.

In line with the Pata 2020 vision, the extensive programme will explore the theme ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’ and provide a platform for Pata’s public and private sector members and partners to discuss the challenges and issues facing the industry.

Explaining the theme, Dr Mario Hardy, CEO of Pata, said: “We’re faced with a future that will be full of enormous challenges but, with meaningful partnerships, synergies and solidarity, there are also enormous opportunities to be had and we’re looking to exploring these with our members over the course of the annual summit.”

The summit commences with a one-day conference, a keynote speech focused on the important role that partnerships play in 'Changing the Narrative of tourism' to transform the future of a destination. Other highlights include a series of in-depth panel sessions that shine a light on the nature of partnerships, game-changing trends and communities that will shape the future of tourism. These include:

Leveraging our cultural heritage for tourism growth: Senior representatives from major tourism destinations around the world will look at leveraging cultural heritage to create holistic destinations that drive tourism growth.
Understanding Generation Z: A research specialist from the European Travel Commission will lead a conversation among a panel of experts to look at how marketers are focusing their attention on how to reach the next major travel segment.
Cross-cultural communities of the future: a case study presented by Nicole Smith, founder and CEO of Flytographer, on how she has successfully built a productive global community of travel photographers around the globe.
New tricks changing the old game: Established business leaders including Olof Atladottir, head of Destination Development at The Red Sea Development Company and Chris Seek, CEO of Solimar International, US, will share how they are adapting their model for the future.

There will also be a session led by Graham Harper, Pata’s director of sustainability and social responsibility, exploring the challenges and opportunities of sustainable technology innovation in Asia Pacific tourism and hospitality; a special appearance by Saudi mountaineer Mona Shahab who will share her inspiring story on overcoming long standing perceptions to reach her goal of climbing Everest; and a look at why the industry needs to be asking more of tourists, with an opportunity to learn about the success of the innovative Palau Pledge, which requires visitors to sign a passport pledge to act in an ecologically responsible way for the sake of future generations.

In addition to the conference, the event also encompasses a Leaders Debate during which the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Pata will address the industry’s collective responsibility towards protecting the environment and local communities.

In line with the United Nations General Assembly’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, leaders from each organisation will be asked to respond to the question: “What is the biggest obstacle for the travel and tourism industry to overcome in achieving sustainability?”, with the aim of finding common ground between the public and private sectors on the best course of action to tackle climate change, as well as the various economic and social inequalities existing around the world.

Other features of the Summit include the Pata Annual General Meeting and the Pata Youth Symposium which provides students and young tourism professionals the opportunity to engage with senior industry leaders and encourages them to take their future and the future of the travel and tourism industry into their own hands.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “It is an honour to be hosting the Pata Summit 2020 at Ras Al Khaimah, as it presents a wonderful opportunity to acquaint delegates and industry leaders from across the region with the Emirate’s diverse offerings. Over and above pristine Mice facilities, Ras Al Khaimah is in a unique position to complement such events through its world-class resorts, beautiful coastline and abundance of cultural and outdoor adventure experiences."

Registration is complimentary for Pata Members and travel and tourism professionals based in GCC countries. For more information visit - TradeArabia News Service