Published on : Wednesday, December 2, 2015
The PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015 (NTFF2015), under the theme “Ecotourism – Transcending Climate Change”, successfully ended in Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines on Friday, November 27, 2015 with 541 delegates from 20 countries in attendance.
The event, hosted by the Provincial Government of Albay in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Philippines, brought together delegates from both the public and private sectors to share their insights and experiences on various aspects of the travel and tourism including ecotourism, adventure travel, marketing, climate change mitigation, crisis management and risk reduction, and digital marketing.
Delegates travelled from all corners of the globe including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Fiji, Guam, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Addressing a media briefing at the Oriental Legazpi on Wednesday, November 25, PATA CEO Mr Mario Hardy stated that, “It is important for our industry to be committed in combating climate change, and share meaningful dialogue on making productive changes for the sake of future generations.”
He also added that, “The choice of Albay province as the venue for this event also reflects the Association’s primary advocacy issue of dispersing tourists to lesser-known yet attractive corners of the world. Albay is one such destination and was recognised as such, having recently been awarded the PATA CEO Challenge 2015 Top Destination in the category of Regions/States/Provinces.”
The highlight of the event was the Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt held on November 26, 2015. Delegates, separated into teams, were asked to take photos and videos during the tour and share them on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #NTFFTreasureHunt. The photos were then judged in 5 different categories: Best Travel Shot, Best Food Shot, Best Action Video, Best Selfie, and Best Chili Shot (using a special #NTFF2015 Chili). The user-generated content, which was used in the conference session on interactive marketing the following day, generated over 700 photos on Instagram and over 2,000 social media mentions in total.
During the conference on Friday, November 27, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) was honoured to have both His Excellency Ramon Jimenez, Jr., Secretary, Philippine Department of Tourism providing the opening address at the conference on the “Successful Destination Marketing Campaign – Trend in this digital economy”, and Mr Joey Sarte Salceda, Governor, Provincial Government of Albay, Philippines, providing the closing address on “Ecotourism – Transcending Climate Change”.
At the conference, topics covered included Climate Change Mitigation and the Role of Tourism, Marine Tourism & the Implications for Water Reliant Operations, Global Adventure Travel Trends, ASEAN for Adventure: Where the Boundaries are Endless, Crisis Management & Risk Reduction for New Destinations, The Power of Ecotourism: Best Practices & Models for Implementation, and Interactive Marketing – A Treasure Hunt.
Delegates heard from established and experienced industry professionals such as Ms Loraine Gatlabayan, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Mr James Harvey, International Coordinator and Operations Manager, Green Fins/Reef World Foundation; Mr Petch Manopawitr, Deputy, IUCN Southeast Asia Group, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Mr Andy Cornish, Global Shark Programme Leader, WWF International; Mr Zane Smith, Development Manager – Ecotourism New Zealand, and Lead Innovation Consultant – Tai Poutini Polytechnic; Mr. Sylvain Gianni, General Manager, Asiaventure Services; Mr. Willem Niemeijer, Founder & CEO, Khiri Travel Co., Ltd.; Mr Struan Robertson, CEO, SpiceRoads Cycle Tours; Mr Masato Takamatsu, Managing Director & Chief Research Officer, Japan Tourism Marketing Co.; Mr Lucas M. Nunag, Owner, Amarela Resort and Chairman of Bohol Provincial Tourism Council; Mr Timothy Wilcox, Head of UNISDR’s Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR); Mr. Masaru Takayama, Founding Chair, Asian Ecotourism Network; Mr Jon Nathan Denight, General Manager, Guam Visitors Bureau; Mr Hiran Cooray, Chairman, Jetwing Hotels Ltd.; Mr Al Linsangan III, Executive Director, The Coron Initiative and Director, Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc.; Mr. Damian Cook, Founder & Managing Director – E-Tourism Frontiers and Chairman Local Ocean Trust; Ms. Lisa Pagotto, Founder, Crooked Compass & Railbookers; and Ms Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing – APAC, TripAdvisor.