The votes are in
Is Asia Pacific ready for global tourism leadership role?
At the Lyceum of the Philippines University yesterday (September 27), around 360 tourism students listened to the travel industry debating the motion: “This house believes that to realize a new world order, now is the time for Asia Pacific to become leaders in world travel and tourism.” Speaking for the motion: Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire. Against: Martin Craigs, PATA CEO. The vote was clear.
Mr. Muqbil argued that the time for Asia is now, based on Asian values embodied by iconic moral leaders such as Gandhi (“Earth provides enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”) and the King of Thailand (sufficiency economy). Asia has had a long history of revolution and changing existing economic and political systems. Its quest for accountability, transparency, and respect showed it had the right stuff to become leaders on the world tourism stage.
A counter argument was made by Mr. Craigs who said that it was right and proper that Asia should take a global leadership role but it was more a question of timing. He told the students that by the time they were leaders, in 2040 or so, would be a more appropriate time. He cited surveys which showed that there was still a shortage of key management skills such as problem solving, team building, strategic thinking, and innovation – the kind of attributes abundant in companies such as Apple.
Tourism student Mary Aubrey Guinto helped the PATA CEO argue the point. On the other side of the debate Danielle Bill Salanio argued with Mr. Muqbil for the motion. Student James Arthur Philip Anton moderated.
After closing arguments the 45-minute amicable debate was concluded with a show of hands. The motion that now is the right time was defeated. Approximately 85% voted against the motion, some 15% for.
PHOTO: Group picture of travel industry debating at LPU – Rick Antonson, Vice Chairman; Martin Craigs, PATA CEO; Peter Semone, PATA Executive Board Chairman; and board members with delegates and students at LPU.