PATA Annual Summit Opening Ceremony | Maldives | China | Australia | Climate Adaptation | Member News | UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism |

PATA Annual Summit brought together global experts from diverse spheres in travel and tourism – including public sector, international organizations, digital solutions, destination marketing, data insights, human capital development, aviation, hospitality, and more – to bring global insights that are crucial to expediting the Asia Pacific’s travel recovery.


World’s Leading Destination 2021

In April 2021, Dr. Mausoom was elected as a member of PATA Executive Board. Dr. Abdulla Mausoom is the Minister of Tourism, Republic of Maldives since 6th August 2020. While many other destinations slammed their borders closed, the Maldives chose to fully reopen to travelers from any country, regardless of the status of the virus there, in July 2020. The country’s geography lends itself well to coronavirus protocols.Many hotels and resorts are on their own private islands which makes isolating and social distancing exceptionally easy. Countries around Asia and the Pacific have been more cautious about reopening than those in Europe and

North America, meaning that tourists in the region had few options for places to go.“Despite all the challenges, 2021 has been a great year for the Maldivian tourism sector, achieving many milestones and receiving many accolades and awards, one of which was the prestigious World Travel Awards leading destination 2021 title. Reaching 1.3 million visitors is not a small achievement considering how volatile the global tourism situation has been throughout the year. 


Business Travel #1 in the World 2021

There are signs of relaxation in the China travel policy. For example, Hong Kong is now open without quarantine. According to a Citi Bank Report, one in seven in Hong Kong is a millionaire, and considered as a luxury market. Testing the market, beginning in November, there are tourist groups outbound to Macao.

China is the largest source market for many Asian countries. There were 21,000,000 business essential travelers last year. According to GBTA, China had the highest number of business travelers, and number one in the world last year. China is a top spender on business travel. The study reveals that China’s annual spending on business travel is expected to surpass $400 billion by 2025.The study goes on to highlight booming trade as a catalyst for the growing business travel market in the region and forecasts a shift from spending in traditional markets like Australia and Japan to emerging markets that include the world’s two most populous countries in China and India, as well as a handful of Southeast Asian countries. 

Largest Single Duty Free Shop
in the World

Haikou International Duty Free City Shopping Complex, the world’s largest stand-alone duty-free store opened in South China’s Hainan Province on Friday, October 28, 2022.It is located on the west coast of Haikou next to Xinhai port, a key transportation hub,

The scale of the project from China Duty Free Group (CDF) is impressive. At just over three million square feet (280,000 square meters), the shopping center is bigger than Florida’s largest mall, Aventura, and close to the size of American Dream in New Jersey.

The difference is that cdf Haikou International is fully dedicated to duty-free shopping and has been designed to be a luxury mecca.

CDF describes it as “the largest single duty-free shop in the world” and a driver of internal tourism to Hainan. The government of China has continued to keep its citizens behind its borders thanks to its zero-Covid policy—whose staying power may be longer than some had first thought—so Hainan has become the alternative to traveling abroad in order to shop duty-free. More than 800 well-known international and domestic brands are showcased with around 25 claimed to be firsts for the island, and some tagged as exclusive to CDF.


“Ticket to Paradise” filmed in Queensland

Queensland is an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. 

Glen Davis – Tourism Australia and Laura Jones – Tourism and Events Queensland, hosted a private screening of “Ticket to Paradise” starting Julia Roberts & George Clooney. See the trailer here!  

Tourism and Events Queensland acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.


Building Strategies

The urgency of responding to climate change cannot be understated, especially for the tourism industry, which is built on precious yet vulnerable natural resources, heritage, and community. 

In Mexico, environmental changes are endangering coral reefs and the scuba diving tourism that they attract. The project to enable the tourism industry to adapt to climate change consists of information events, promoting dialogue between the public and private sectors, and technical training in assessing climate risks from an economic perspective (GIZ, n.d.).

Building strategies to adapt to climate change (Climate Adaptation) might sound challenging, but the resiliency and adaptability that destinations and travel businesses have cultivated in the past 2 years have shown that this is possible and cannot be put off any longer.

The Centre for Responsible Tourism Singapore (CRTS) is offering valuable insights on the link between tourism and climate adaptation. These are illustrated with clear points of action backed up by case studies in pioneer destinations.

Some food for thought:


Alan Elliott Merschen

Founder, The SIGMUND Project

Partner, International Insights, MMGY Global

In 2016 Myriad became part of the MMGY Global portfolio of companies. As a partner at MMGY, his focus is on the development of International Insights. He also serves as Chairperson of Travel Consul international marketing agency consortium.

With the COVID crisis as a catalyst, Alan Elliott created The Sigmund Project to foster innovation and collaboration in the tourism industry. A way to give back by looking forward. He also serves on several global non-profit and start-up advisory boards.

Always the educator, he still conducts marketing presentations throughout the world. At the PATA Annual Summit 2022, Alan was the keynote speaker on Destination Marketing Strategies and followed with a talk on The SIGMUND Project. 

Aki Hirai


Michael Zufolo

10/28/2022 The Madeira and SATA Azores Airlines Exclusive Event took place at a cocktail reception with live music at the Lemon Tree of the Equinox Hotel. Every attendee received a bottle of Madeira wine, and was entered into a raffle for a trip to Madeira for two which was won by NY PATA member, Michael Zufolo.

Eric McFerran

10/31/2022 Excited to be flying off today to Thailand as the sole selected representative from Vermont with a Travel Advisor from all 50 States to tour Thailand as VIP guests of Thai Government and tourism officials. I fly from Burlington-VT LaGuardia-NY Atlanta Seoul to Bangkok. Thailand is now fully open to inbound tourists.

Rowena Rasay Lipa

A Journey to the Holyland (09/29-02OCT)

The Bible stories I had heard came to life as I stood in the very spots they took place. Something moved me deeply when I visited many holy sites there, such as the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. Israel wasn’t only a spiritual trip for me, it was one filled with adventure and laughter. It would be impossible to measure the experiences, memories and bonds that me Lerie Rina and Joebert were created on this journey.

Thank you Gadi Hadani for arranging this private tour for us.

Membership Renewal is Coming up Soon

January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023

7th UNWTO World Forum on
Gastronomy Tourism

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), the Japan Tourism Agency and the Nara Prefectural Government have the pleasure to announce that the 7th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism will take place on 12-15 December 2022, in Nara, Japan.

Under the theme ‘Gastronomy Tourism for People and Planet: Innovate, Empower and Preserve’, the Forum will focus on the role of gastronomy tourism in promoting women empowerment and young talents, advancing cultural exchange and authenticity, enhancing the value for destinations and food producers, as well as showcasing best practices in destination branding through gastronomy tourism and supporting a Global Roadmap on Food Waste Reduction in Tourism.


The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is now open with its holiday festivities, shopping and food. Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink that’s free to use (if you bring your own skates) is the highlight, while more than 60 shopping and food kiosks are there to peruse

In addition to the holiday shops at Bryant Park, which features over 160 merchants, including 18 new vendors, there are several other markets around town.

    Here are the dates for all of Urbanspace’s markets:

    Veterans Day recognizes the service of all America’s veterans.

    New York PATA

    Pacific Asia Travel Association

    Technology | Relevance | Innovation | Resilience

    Elizabeth Chin, Executive Director, PATA New York Chapter  

    Email: | 

    2022-11-08 CC154

    PATA New York Chapter is dedicated to facilitate meaningful partnerships to enhance the value, quality and sustainable growth of travel and tourism to and from countries in APAC, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

    The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) founded in 1951 is the recognized authority on Asia Pacific travel and tourism. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organizations, which including government, state and city tourism bodies; international airlines and airports; hospitality organizations, and educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world.