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UK-Asia links growing

A host of strategic issues that included UK border issues, inward investment for the UK, Heathrow airport, crisis response, the 2012 Olympic impact and the UK’s controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) were on the agent when the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) hosted its PATA Hub City Forum, at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall in London late last week. In welcoming delegates to the event, the UK’s Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green said: “The Asia Pacific region is a vibrant and dynamic one with many burgeoning economies and a vital source of investment, business and trade for the United Kingdom.The growth of travel, tourism, business and investment in and from the Asia Pacific region is extremely welcome and something the British government supports fully.” High profile attendees included the chief executive of the UK Border Agency, Rob Whiteman and the CEO of BAA, Colin Matthews, responsible for Heathrow Airport, Carlos Vogeler, special envoy of UNWTO, director of Turkish tourism Tolga Tuyluoglu, and Helen Marano of WTTC. At the event’s opening, PATA CEO Martin J Craigs underlined PATA’s unique status as a highly influential association of private and public sector members in more than 40 countries and its ability to engage simultaneously with world political leaders and captains of industry. “PATA is a catalyst for increasing cooperation and fostering trade with, and investment from, the dynamic Asia Pacific region, where growth is the greatest globally,” Craigs said. And he added: “PATA’s aligned advocacy program on key issues with organizations such as ATAG, IATA, UNWTO, WTTC, and AAPA means that travel and tourism can speak out on key issues with a united voice.” Go to http://www.pata.org for more.

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