New tourism Strategic Partnership between UNWTO and PATA


MADRID, Spain & BANGKOK, Thailand – The lasting support to the development objectives and the positioning of tourism as a central contributor to economic growth and sustainability in Asia are at the center of the Strategic Partnership between the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The partnership was signed April 26 by UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, and PATA CEO, Martin Craigs.

The signing took place on the occasion of the PATA Annual Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. The key objective of this new Strategic Partnership is to advance economic diversification, as well as cultural and environmental preservation through tourism.

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“We are proud to further deepen our relationship with PATA, a leading voice of tourism in Asia Pacific”, said Taleb Rifai, attending the PATA Annual Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. “In providing market intelligence, setting global standards and joining our voices to advocate for the value of tourism, this partnership will help the continued growth of tourism in Asia and the spreading of its socio-economic benefits in one of the most dynamic regions of the world,” he said.

PATA CEO Martin Craigs, said: “On behalf of PATA members, public and private, large and small across the 17 time zones and 104 destinations, I am delighted to initiate this strategic partnership with UNWTO.”

The PATA CEO welcomed Taleb Rifai to the PATA Annual Summit and 62nd AGM in Bangkok. “PATA’s advocacy of balanced business building and our embrace of the Complete Visitor Economy align us closely to the UNWTO’s global mission,” he said.

The Strategic Partnership includes a series of projects, such as a PATA/UNWTO forum on marketing and joint research. The first research initiative will address air connectivity and its impact on tourism in the Asia-Pacific region. The study is expected to be implemented already this year, in collaboration with the Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia-Pacific Cities (TPO). Other topics include visa facilitation, taxation, aviation policies as well as consumer and enterprise protection.

The UNWTO/PATA partnership builds on a track record of successful joint activities, such as the annual UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook, launched in 2007 in collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Municipal Government of Guilin in China.