Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) attended the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Summit 2021 from 27 to 29 April, held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital conference discussed the future of the travel and tourism industry, and assessed the latest insights and trends of the sector.
This year’s Summit convened under the theme “Reflect, Reconnect, Revive”. The three-day event featured a series of panel sessions, the PATA Annual Summit 2021 Forum, the PATA Leaders Debate, and the PATA Youth Symposium, to discuss key issues facing the travel and tourism industry as it looks towards recovery.
This year, the programme again included a platform for tourism students and young professionals to exchange views, with MGTO Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, acting as one of this year’s PATA Youth Mentors.
New models to revitalise the industry
The PATA Annual Summit 2021 Forum and the PATA Leaders Debate were the main highlights of the virtual PATA Annual Summit (PAS) 2021, featuring top industry leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as industry shapers and decision-makers from a wide range of sectors.
The PAS 2021 Forum featured a number of sessions, focused on respectively: “New Models of Tourism”, as the industry is called to adapt and ensure a sustainable revival of tourism; “Reconnecting Tourism”, to examine the role online solutions will play in the road to recovery; “Revitalising the Industry”, which looked at what it will take to revitalise the aviation and hospitality sectors; and “What’s Next?”, which evaluated consumer trends and how destinations can launch a new era of sustainable, high-value tourism.
The PATA Leaders Debate discussed whether economic benefits or environmental sustainability should be the focus as stakeholders plan to restart travel globally.
Ras Al Khaimah was the featured destination of PATA Annual Summit 2021. Among the activities at this year’s Summit, a session was held to discuss the tourism development of Ras Al Khaimah.
In addition, the Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF), hosted by the Macao SAR Government since 2012, was one of the partners for this year’s Summit, with GTEF’s Vice Chairman and Secretary General, Pansy Ho, speaking at the Summit.
MGTO Director exchange with PATA Youth
The PATA Youth Symposium was another relevant part of this year’s programme. As part of the symposium, a mentorship session was organised with the aim of allowing students and young tourism professionals to engage with today’s industry leaders. It featured a number of mentors, including: MGTO Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; PATA Chair, Wong Soon-Hwa; and PATA Chief Executive Officer, Mario Hardy.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes shared insights about the current tourism situation in Macao and the work under way to revive the industry, answering questions and giving advice on how to direct marketing efforts and design tourism products to suit the new types of demand, as well as the relevance of e-commerce platforms as a way to engage travellers amid the pandemic.
The MGTO Director also joined the PATA Board Meeting, and the PATA Annual General Meeting, as a member of the Executive Board of the association.
PATA is a significant platform for Macao to connect with the global travel trade and raise its destination profile throughout the world. MGTO actively engages in PATA affairs, expressing continuous support, and contributing to a safe and sustainable return of travel.
Virtual PAS 2021 sessions can be viewed at PATA TV YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_Aeqc6EnFBsfvNKcyPjhEg.
|PATA Gold Awards 2021 now calling for entries|
Tourism industry organisations and individuals that make exceptional contributions to the successful promotion of the travel sector throughout the Asia-Pacific region are encouraged to submit applications for the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Awards 2021. The deadline for submissions is 28 May.
The winners of the PATA Golds Awards 2021 will be announced live at the virtual PATA Gold Awards Ceremony on 8 September. The ceremony will be broadcast worldwide on the PATA YouTube channel.
The PATA Gold Awards are sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) for the 26th consecutive year. The Awards set the standards for excellence and innovation in the sector.
“Each year the PATA Gold Awards provides an opportunity to feel the pulse of the tourism industry,” said MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. “In these challenging times, we are looking forward to learning how government and private tourism stakeholders have continued to reimagine the industry in its multiple areas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She added: “As a tourism city, Macao’s priority remains to keep the destination safe, and we are honoured to continue our long-standing support to this initiative, as we work to rebuild a sustainable return of travel.”
PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy said his organisation was “very grateful to MGTO for sponsoring the PATA Gold Awards yet again.”
He added: “We look forward to receiving entries from both organisations and individuals worldwide that demonstrate excellence in conception, creativity and fulfilment.”
The Gold Awards are decided by a judging panel of international experts. PATA will present two “Grand Title Winners” for “best of show” entries and 23 Gold Awards in two broad categories – “Marketing”, and “Sustainability and Social Responsibility”. Of the broad categories, “Marketing” provides the opportunity for 14 Gold Awards and one Grand Title Winner; “Sustainability and Social Responsibility” offers nine Gold Awards and one Grand Title Winner.
Macao received a record-breaking tally of four PATA Grand and Gold Awards for its exceptional achievements in the tourism industry, at last year’s PATA Gold Awards presentation. In past years, MGTO and Macao travel trade entities have collectively received a number of PATA Gold Awards. The subject topics have included marketing, heritage matters, corporate social responsibility, and human capital development.
Both PATA members and non-members are invited to submit an application. For more information, please visit www.PATA.org/pata-gold-awards.