The inaugural Pacific Tourism Insights Conference (PTIC), successfully brought together over 180 delegates to explore the key influences that will drive and shape future thinking in terms of tourism marketing, destination development and the challenges of crisis and recovery in the South Pacific region.
Planned and implemented by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in partnership with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), the event took place in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Wednesday, October 25.
PATA’s Regional Director – Pacific Chris Flynn said, “The event yielded a new era in the Pacific tourism conversation by exploring regional opportunities and challenges in line with global trends and influences. It became obvious throughout the proceedings that a new way of thinking is required if we are to plan for a better future. A future that embraces change and understanding that each of us have a duty to leave our industry in better shape for those who will follow in our footsteps. This can only be achieved by working together to build strong foundations. Foundations that become a legacy that protects our unique culture and heritage and not squanders this opportunity through short term vision.”
Key topics analysed and discussed during the insightful event contributed towards achieving the objectives of the Pacific Tourism Strategy 2015-2019 which provides the strategic framework to support the development of tourism in the Pacific.
The conference opened with a keynote address on ‘Cathedral Thinking’ from Rick Antonson, Author and former CEO of Tourism Vancouver and featured presentations from international tourism experts and thought leaders including Dr Mathew McDougal (CEO – Digital Jungle); Sarah Mathews (PATA chairperson and Head of Destination Marketing APAC at TripAdvisor); Stewart Moore (CEO – EarthCheck); and Carolyn Childs (Director – MyTravelResearch.com) who made her presentation via video. The conference was supported by BBC World News with both panel discussions being moderated by international news correspondent Phil Mercer.
Delegates also heard welcome remarks from the Honourable Joe Yhakowaie Natuman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Trade, Industries, Commerce, Cooperatives and Ni-Vanuatu Business; SPTO Chairwoman Sonja Hunter, and PATA Chairperson Sarah Matthews, with closing remarks made by Dr. Mario Hardy, PATA CEO. The closing address was given by Christopher Cocker, CEO of SPTO.