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 April 10, 2011
1000 Delegates Expected At PATA 60th Anniversary & Annual Conference

 Up to 1,000 delegates will gather in Beijing, China, next week, for the PATA 60th anniversary celebrations and Annual Conference. The focal point of PATA's year-long celebrations, it will take place at the China World Hotel from April 9-12, 2011.

Of the 1,000 registered to attend, there are 460 international delegates, 540 local delegates, seven ministers, 35-diplomats and 180 media persons. Together they represent 66-countries and regions, along with more than 400-organisations.

With the theme 'Building Tourism: Past. Present. Progressive', the event will recall the contribution PATA has made to Asia Pacific tourism over the past six decades, discuss its role today, and consider how PATA can remain a relevant, member-driven association in the future.

As well as discussing the future direction of PATA, the two-day conference programme will also focus on some of the key challenges facing tourism professionals today. Renowned experts in their field will discuss topics including space tourism, changing demographics, new technology, distribution, responsible tourism and aviation.

Said Hiran Cooray, chairman of PATA: "We are honoured and delighted to be in China again after some 14 years. We note that during that period, China has made an indelible mark on global travel and tourism rising to No 4 in the world in terms of international receipts and it looks likely to elevate to No. 3 in tourism spending."

Hosted by the China National Tourism Administration and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, the event also offers the chance for delegates to enjoy the unique hospitality of the Chinese, as well as explore the phenomenal development that has taken place within the country's travel and tourism industry.

PATA is very grateful to the incredible generosity of the Chinese hosts, as well as the many partners and sponsors from around the world that have come on board to support this milestone event. This includes international broadcaster CNN, who is providing anchor Richard Quest as a moderator at the event.

Said William Hsu, vice president, advertising sales, Asia Pacific: "CNN is proud to have a longstanding partnership with PATA, and in supporting PATA and the region's travel and tourism industry in the acceleration of efforts to advance the awareness, development and impact of the tourism sector."

Another long-term partner of PATA, Visa, congratulated the Association on reaching its 60th anniversary, commenting on PATA's key role in developing the region's tourism industry. "PATA has made a significant contribution to the travel industry over the past 60-years and its insights on the travel trends of today and tomorrow are greatly valued, not only by the travel industry but by everyone involved in the region's economy," said Ross Jackson, head, Cross Border - International, Visa.

He added that Visa and PATA have enjoyed a long-standing relationship based on their mutual view that Asia Pacific's tourism sector is critical to the success of the region, and he looked forward to working on many more collaborative projects.