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( BANGKOK, THAILAND, August 2, 2007 - The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is challenging influential and passionate travel industry leaders to agree and sign on to a truly cross-sectoral industry response to climate change, one of the greatest global threats to travel and tourism.

Hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and organised in partnership with the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) and the Burba Hotel Network (BHN), PATA's “CEO Challenge 2008: Confronting Climate Change" will take place in Bangkok on April 29-30, 2008.

PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong said that the ambitious goal for the CEO Challenge is to create a single platform and action plan, fully engaging tourism ministers and heads of tourist boards, CEOs of airlines and airports, CEOs of leading international hotel groups, major tour operators and other key industry stakeholders.

The agenda will be focused, relevant and actionable. Decision-makers from the public and private sectors of the travel industry will be challenged over a day and a half of interactive discussions to agree and commit to action.

Several important debates will lead up to the CEO Challenge. UNWTO is convening the second Climate Change and Tourism conference in Davos in early October this year, while in November a tourism ministerial meeting will address the theme in London. Next year on April 22-23, the airline community will convene its third Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva.

"We strongly support these initiatives and intend to incorporate their conclusions and recommendations into our CEO Challenge'', Mr de Jong said.

He added: “We cannot achieve a meaningful response to climate change by acting alone. No one can. No single organisation. No single sector. Only by working together - as a united travel and tourism force - can we make a difference."

Leading industry personalities have begun to voice their support for the CEO Challenge.

"This is a critical issue for the aviation and tourism industries to confront together," said Qantas Airways CEO Mr Geoff Dixon. “The timing is perfect and PATA is ideally placed to assist in their efforts. I thoroughly support the CEO Challenge," he added.

"The CEO Challenge 2008 is a timely initiative that will bring together public and private sector leaders to focus on practical steps we can take, as an industry, to address the important issue of climate change," said Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Director General Mr Andrew Herdman.

"Economic and social development must go hand in hand with environmental responsibility," he said, adding that he believes Asia Pacific is pivotal in the sustainable development of the global aviation, travel and tourism industries.

Accor Asia Pacific Chairman Mr David Baffsky said the health of the world's environment is fundamental and climate is a crucial component to all sectors of the tourism industry.

"Our industry must not be marginalised so it is very important for CEOs to participate in the CEO Challenge on climate change," he said. “It will facilitate the industry having a real voice and making a positive contribution to a fully informed debate to allow a proper understanding of the impact of our sector on our planet", he added.

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping said the event could not be timelier.

"The travel industry, because of its diversity, has not been able to come to grips with the dimensions and implications of climate change, nor to even understand how culpable we truly are as negative contributors to climate change, nor how we can mobilise our enormous resources to provide positive leadership," he said.

"This is an important conference, which I hope to be able to participate in," said Mr Ho.

The 'PATA CEO Challenge' is a new annual event which PATA organises in lieu of the previous PATA Annual Conference. For the full release and testimonials, and to register your interest, please go to


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 recognised 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 organisation. Find out more at


BHN brings together more than two decades of experience in developing and organizing the world's most prominent gatherings of the hotel and tourism investment community, including the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles, the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, the Bolsa Mexicana de Inversión Turistica (BMIT) in Mexico City, the annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) and the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) in Hong Kong.

The BHN website at is the gateway for information about the conferences BHN produces, as well as a direct link to important players in the hospitality investment world.


Founded in 1990, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation is the region's leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence, analysis and data services. The Centre also convenes highly acclaimed international aviation strategy summits. Understanding aviation markets is our great strength. We aim to present our clients and business partners with an unrivalled depth of expertise delivered by skilled and experienced professionals.

PATA Press Release
Online pressroom:


Note to editors:
A high resolution CEO Challenge logo is available. Email:
For more information contact:
PATA Corporate Communications
Ms Min Min Wong
Tel: +66 (0)2 658-2000 extension 107

PATA Marketing Communications
Mr David Gillbanks
Tel: +66 (0)2 658-2000 extension 108

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