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The event begins with a unique, culturally-immersive experience of Songkhla through the one-day destination experience.

The event begins with a unique, culturally-immersive experience of Songkhla through the one-day destination experience.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has gathered a diverse line-up of industry experts from both the public and private sectors to explore the challenges and issues of destination marketing and management at the upcoming PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2022 taking place from August 3-4 in Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.

“All of us at PATA are truly excited to host PATA’s Destination Marketing Forum (PDMF) 2022 in Songkhla, Thailand as this will be the Association’s first in-person conference since the outbreak of the pandemic,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “PATA has a rich history in the development of emerging new destinations which is ever more relevant today.  At PDMF we will share insights and best practices for destination marketing and management, particularly since consumer interests, travel behaviour and the landscape has shifted. We bring together a diverse line-up of industry experts to discuss the opportunities in developing a responsible and sustainable industry as we look towards recovery. We look forward to hosting our industry colleagues and supporting their recovery journeys.”

The two-day event, with the theme “Building Back Sustainably through Cultural Heritage and Community-based Tourism””, is hosted by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Songkhla Convention and Exhibition Bureau (SCEB), the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), and the Prince of Songkhla University with the support of Songkhla City.

The event begins with a unique, culturally-immersive experience of Songkhla through the one-day destination experience.  Delegates can choose from three different routes that showcase the local culture, heritage, and cuisine of Songkhla.

On the following day, the conference will be officially opened by H.E. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Thailand. Delegates will also hear two keynote presentations from Al Merschen, Partner, International Insights, MMGY Global, on “The Best Practices for Destination Marketing” and Audra Morrice, Masterchef Asia/ Singapore Host & Judge, Cook, Author, Australia, on “The Traveller’s Priority – Gastronomic Tourism to Asia”.

Other confirmed speakers include Jetsada Chitrat, Governor of Songkhla Province, Thailand; Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President – MICE Capability and Innovation, TCEB; Gp. Capt. Athikun Kongmee, Director General, DASTA; Liz Ortiguera, CEO, PATA; Naomi Mano, Chair, Japan MICE Association; Will Kataria, Senior Director, Sales and Operations, Cvent; Nicola Eliot, Vice President, BBC Storyworks; Chris Adams, Director, Head of Research and Insights, Miles Partnership; Montakarn Suvanatap Kittipaisalsilp, Programme Officer for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand; Dr. Nawamin Pinpathomrat, Doctor, Scientist, MasterChef UK Finalist, Thailand; Noredah Othman, CEO, Sabah Tourism Board; Thoyyib Mohamed, CEO & Managing Director, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation; Dinh Ngoc Duc, Director General of Tourism Marketing Department, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT); Peter Semone, Chair, PATA; Douangmala Phommavong, Managing Director, Exo Travel Laos Co., Ltd.; Fernanda Rodak, Sustainability & Social Responsibility Project and Research Coordinator, PATA; Wanvipa Phanumat, Director of Community Based Tourism Development, DASTA; Jaray Suwannachart, Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya; Thanawat Charoenpornthip, Head of Koh Yo Tourism Club; Poonsup Chukaew, Head of Node-Na-Le Learning Center, Tha Hin Community, and Pete Bryant, CEO, Steller.

The conference includes sessions on ‘The Changing World of MICE’, ‘Reinstating Tourist Confidence in Our Destinations’, ‘Lessons from Management and Conservation of UNESCO World Heritage Sites’, ‘Masterclass on Digital Marketing’, ‘Destination Marketing in the Age of COVID-19’, ‘Seizing the Potential of Gastronomy Tourism’, ‘Creative Community-based Tourism: Local Voices for Destination Marketing’, and ‘Always On: The Campaign Never Stops’.

Located in the southern part of Thailand, Songkhla is a fishing town, known as a major harbour and seaport, and the “City with Two Seas”. Most recently, Songkhla has been proposed by the Thai government as a World Heritage Site and UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy. Travellers will be amazed with the destination’s many beautiful attractions including the city’s Old Town, as well as its great local cuisine.

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