After a seven-year hiatus, PATA is back in Canada.
The new Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Canada Chapter was launched last night (April 23) at a celebratory industry function in Markham, Ont., complete with the 27 Founding Members. The event was streamed live across Canada.
Barbara Dirnberger, executive director of PATA Canada, kicked things off by thanking the Founding Members for believing in and supporting the initiative to bring PATA back to Canada.
“Each of them is highly invested in promoting the Asia Pacific region, an area that is to many Canadians ‘the other side of the world.’ Our collective mission is to show you why the travel is not only worth it, but how to enjoy the journey. We believe that as a group representing this dynamic region, you now have immense shopping power to discover, plan and build exceptional travel experiences for Canadians.”
She added, “We are here for you with one key promise — to be the resource for Asia Pacific for the Canadian travel trade.”
The board of directors was then introduced: Rocky Lo (Air Canada), president; Judi Pym (Centara Hotels), treasurer; Doug Vogl (Centricity Reps), membership; and Sandra Ngoh-Fonseka (Tourism Malaysia), programs.
It was also announced that the burgeoning Asia Pacific region will welcome 33 million more visitors this year over last, bringing the total to around 547 million by the end of the year.
PATA Canada is membership based with retail agencies enjoying complimentary membership and wholesalers paying annual fees of $250.
Pictured is Dirnberger (l) with the board of directors (l-r) Vogl, Ngoh-Fonseka, Lo and Pym.