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Collaborative Opportunities Emerge From PATA CEO Challenge

Collaborative Opportunities Emerge From PATA CEO Challenge ( Delegates at the inaugural Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Challenge 2008: Confronting Climate Change agreed to collaborate on a range of initiatives to confront climate change, such as Banyan Tree's green audit program, Intrepid Travel's project management plan, and Expedia's World Heritage Alliance.

“The CEO Challenge successfully facilitated the sharing of these valuable, practical initiatives," the Association's President and CEO Peter de Jong told the 236 industry leaders during the closing session this afternoon.

Mr de Jong said he was delighted that so many industry leaders — from all sectors of travel and tourism — accepted the challenge to share their thoughts, ideas and actions on climate change.

“It has really delivered on our goals, with so many good ideas, innovative programs and practical solutions, and, most importantly, opportunities for collaborative action."

More than 350 people, including officials of the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports, registered media and accompanying persons, engaged in the day-and-a-half program, including a welcome reception and dinner hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand last night.

While summarizing the outcomes of the PATA CEO Challenge, event facilitator Rohit Talwar of Fast Future suggested there was a simple action plan for any leader of a travel and tourism organization:-

1) Start a discussion with your management team and Board to agree on principles and priorities for a climate change strategy
2) Create a compelling vision to ensure internal and external stakeholder support
3) Conduct an environmental audit; set targets; measure, verify and record results (There are specialized service providers, such as Green Globe, that can assist)
4) Communicate your environmental action plan with internal and external stakeholders
5) Where emission reductions are impractical, offer optional offset charges to your customers and provide adequate incentives for their take-up

More sector-specific recommendations for action came out the six Boardroom Challenge breakout sessions yesterday afternoon, which focused on airlines, airports/aviation, destinations, distribution, global hotels and resorts, and regional hotels and resorts.

While each sector had its unique opportunities for collaboration, a common theme running through all of them was the need for industry associations such as PATA to advocate, educate and facilitate.

“As the President and CEO of PATA, I now give you our commitment that we will carry forward the momentum generated by this event," said Mr de Jong.

“We will develop our website to create an information portal for continuing the dialogue on best practice and collaborative action and we will upload all the presentations and outcomes from the CEO Challenge, with edited video clips of key sessions."

“We also plan to produce a highlights package — including edited film clips — which can be used by PATA members, PATA Chapters and other partner organizations to share CEO Challenge outcomes with new audiences."

Mr de Jong also announced that PATA would formally endorse the declaration from last week's aviation and environment summit in Geneva, signed by global aviation leaders including the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“We also commit to working closely with the UNWTO, and other associations, on climate change and the broader issues of sustainability." UNWTO Assistant Secretary-General Geoffrey Lipman gave a keynote address to delegates this morning.

In closing, Mr de Jong thanked CEO Challenge hosts the Tourism Authority of Thailand, partners Burba Hotel Network (BHN) and the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), and all of the sponsors, supporters, advocates, moderators, panelists and delegates for their commitment to action and willingness to be part of the solution.

Mr de Jong confirmed PATA would organize another CEO Challenge. “All the positive energy and discussion generated suggests we have struck on a winning formula," he said.

Editor's Note: Please find the full PATA CEO Challenge program, including profiles of many of the speakers and panelists, at

View Dr Pachauri's keynote video message at

See the Challenge webcast at

Tips from the T-List is blogging about the event at

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Marketing Communications
David Gillbanks
Tel: + 662 658 2000

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
North America Regional Directors
Barbara Bryant
Tel: + 1707 232 2102
Kathleen Tripptree
Tel: + 1 646 205 6918
Email: href="">

Mission statement: “The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA's private and public sector members, we enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region."

Founded in 1951, PATA is the recognized authority on Asia Pacific travel and tourism. PATA provides leadership and advocacy to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 airlines and cruise lines, and hundreds of travel industry companies. In addition, thousands of travel professionals belong to dozens of PATA chapters worldwide. PATA is a not-for-profit organization.

Find out more at

The Leader of Asia Pacific Travel and Tourism |

Please click here for more details about: PATA CEO Challenge 2008: Confronting Climate Change

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Barbara Bryant | Regional Director – North America | Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) | 164 Loop Place, Trinidad, CA, 95570 USA | Tel: +1 (707) 232-2102 | Fax: +1 (707) 540-6259 |

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