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PATA's 60-year celebration in Beijing,China

Keynote address by PATA chairman Hiran Cooray in Beijing

Juergen T. Steinmetz, eTN  Apr 12, 2011

Hiran Cooray, PATA Chairman, presented his keynote address at the 60-year Pacific Asia Conference in Beijing, China, at the China World Hotel on April 11.

A large audience of delegates, diplomates, journalists, and tourism professionals listened to the keynote addresses given at the anniversary opening session on Monday.

In addition to the PATA chairman, speakers were Mr. Wang Qishan, Vice Premier of China; Bill Calderwood, Interim CEO of PATA; Mr. Shao Quwai, Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration; and Mr. Guo Jinlong, Mayor of Beijing.

ETN video captured the presentation given by Hiran Cooray.


Mr. Cooray made history for his company, Jetwing, Sri Lanka, as Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the first Sri Lankan to be appointed to this position.

PATA, the region's most representative tourism body has 900 direct members from the international and regional tourism industry, plus other tourist organizations, as well as nearly 8,000 local members from 40 worldwide PATA country chapters. This includes the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

Founded in 1951, PATA's mission is to be a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry, in partnership with PATA’s private and public sector members. They enhance the sustainable growth, value, and quality of travel and tourism to, from, and within the region.

Under the new by-laws of PATA, Hiran will also be the first chairman to serve a two-year term. Being in the industry for a period of nearly twenty years, at 46, Hiran becomes the youngest person to ever hold this prestigious position.

Hiran joined the officialdom of PATA in 1996, when he was elected to the Industry Council, followed by a presence on the Executive Board in 1998 with positions of Secretary/Treasurer and Vice Chairman, prior to Chairmanship. Previously he served as PATA Sri Lankan Chapter's Chairman as well.

Hiran said the leadership role in PATA reflects the fact that Sri Lankan could be a force to reckon with in the global tourism arena. "On behalf of Sri Lanka, I am proud, privileged, and honored by the responsibility bestowed on me," he said.

Keynote address by PATA chairman Hiran Cooray in Beijing
Hiran Cooray

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