MARKHAM, Ontario — “Spread the word. PATA Canada is here.” That was the message delivered at a recent Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) trade event in Markham, which extolled the many benefits of membership.
“We are focused on helping you get to know Asia Pacific better and helping you find the tour operator, airline, cruise line, hotel, consolidator, even travel support companies that have the expertise and the answers to help you sell this important and fantastic part of the world,” said Barbara Dirnberger, Executive Director of PATA Canada.
Dirnberger said the local chapter is part of something bigger – and that is PATA global, headquartered in Bangkok. She said the benefits of membership are “network connectivity, knowledge management and aligned advocacy.”
“We believe that as a group representing this dynamic region, you now have immense shopping power to discover, plan and build exceptional travel experiences for Canadians,” she said.
“We are here for you with one key promise: to be the resource for Asia Pacific for the Canadian travel trade.” Travel agents seeking information can now check the newly launched website at patacanada.com, which contains a directory of Asia Pacific companies selling land, air, cruise, even travel clothes and travel lounges.
There’s also a new leisure publication and an events calendar being developed that will include workshops and events in Canada and overseas hosted by Asia Pacific suppliers.
Among the upcoming PATA events, Tourism India Canada will be hosting a roadshow organized by the PATA India chapter. A number of operators from India will be in Montreal on June 10 and Toronto on June 11. Anyone selling groups or package tours to India or thinking about adding India to their product lineup, should contact Tourism India at email@example.com or call the India Tourist office in Toronto.
PATA Travel Mart is taking place in Bangalore, India Sept. 5 – 9 with over 300 exhibitors from the region in attendance including Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Of note for PATA Canada members only, new buyers who register by May 15 get a 50% rebate on the US$650 registration fee. Air from Canada will also be hosted. To take advantage of the offer and for more information send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PATA says it wants to be available across the country, engaging, enlightening and entertaining its membership with experiences like tasting the wines of Australia, savouring the noodles of Singapore, or bending to the massages of Thailand.
Attendees were told the Asia Pacific region will welcome 33 million more foreign arrivals in 2015 compared to 2014, increasing the expected total inbound number to around 547 million by the end of the year, an average 6% growth rate. Some countries such as Myanmar, Palau, and Papua New Guinea expect even higher growth numbers.
PATA, founded in 1951, is a not-for profit association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. Among the newest members are Tai Pan Tours, Alio Tours and Emirates Airlines.