PATA to outsource its most important core function


Last week the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced that its most vital function of providing members with industry data, intelligence and research would be outsourced.

According to the Bangkok Post the negotiations are under way to finalize the terms of the contract under which Mr. John Koldowski, currently the head of the Office of Strategy Management (OSM), will leave PATA in a few months to set up his company and provide the same services to PATA under an external arrangement.

A new “strategic focus” document released at the annual PATA conference in Beijing last April notes that statistics and trends/analysis of issues, the core services provided by the OSM, were cited as the most important benefit sought by members. The document states that the urgent need to cut down on the “current rigid fixed overheads” and replace them with variable costs calls for outsourcing, although without specifically mentioning outsourcing the research and statistics.

Mr. Koldowski stated that even though PATA plans to redeploy “resources to those areas where the organization will increasingly concentrate its efforts,” the raw data will remain in PATA’s hands and be passed on to him for detailed analysis. Therefore PATA members will see no change in the flow of services and the output of reports and forecasts. He also said that as an outside contractor, he would have more time on hand and should be able to supply the analysis “in three hours, instead of three days” with its interpretation quality substantially improved.

The Bangkok Post reports that, since Strategic Focus document clearly notes PATA’s right to “award contracts to members as a right of first refusal,” Mr. Koldowski acknowledged that any snag in supply of services to PATA, for any reason, would give other outside consultancies a chance to edge him out and get their hands on the data.

“Competition is always good and healthy. It makes you faster, cleaner, more efficient. Of course other companies will be able to pitch for the business. If they can find someone to match my experience, they are welcome to try,” said Mr. Koldowski.