At our recent business assembly, the first for the year, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Philippines Chapter’s Board of Trustees bannered our landmark events during our previous two-year term.
Our association prides itself on being the only tourism organization in the country which harnesses the strength of the younger generation through the PATA Student Chapters established in various tourism education institutions in the country.
These active student groups are now present in the Lyceum of the Philippines University (Manila campus), Far Eastern University, Enderun Colleges, PATTS College of Aeronautics, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Treston International, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, and the University of Baguio.
Our association has also required all members to be accredited by the Department of Tourism, in keeping with the DoT’s mandate of ensuring world-class standards of services offered by our country’s tourism establishments.
It is also vital for the association to give back to the community we serve through our various corporate social responsibilities. Through the Sining at Kultura Foundation, PATA spends for the yearly college tuition of three tourism students. Being affiliated with World Vision, we give monthly school allowance to one child. Last year, we sponsored a “Bingo Break” to raise funds and donate to the Missionaries for the Poor.
In line with our advocacy of continuously updating the skills and knowledge of tourism industry practitioners, PATA hosted the learning series, “AI+EQ=SUCCESS Blazing Into Our Future,” which featured three illustrious speakers.
Eduardo Mapa discussed the importance of Digital Transformation in Business. Doctor Kom Campiranon talked about the role of Artificial Intelligence in the Tourism Industry, while Doctor Leslie Choudhury enlightened everyone with the Power of Human Touch.
A feather in the cap for PATA was its hosting of an international annual summit in Cebu City which attracted more than 500 tourism professionals from all over the world. It was indeed a showcase of how fun things can be in our country, especially with the well known Cebuano hospitality making its mark on the foreign guests. The event’s keynote speaker was Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
However, PATA Philippines Chapter’s claim-to-fame is our hosting of the annual Pinoy Chikka, a Ted Talk-type of forum where experts share their views in front of an audience of 2,500-plus tourism professionals, government officers, tourism students and their professors. This forum is currently the biggest organized by any tourism association in the country.
The featured speakers discussed very interesting topics that kept everyone glued to their seats all throughout the five-hour session.
Peggy Angeles, senior vice president of SM Hotels and Convention Centers, shared with the millennials in the crowd how she built a lucrative career in the hotel industry. Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, one of the young breed of leaders in the country today, discussed how he transformed a sleepy town into a viable tourism destination.
Columnist, author, and president of Inner Mind Development Institute Jaime Licauco gave a spine-tingling narration on Mystical Tourism, citing popular destinations in the country that offer tourists a glimpse of exciting paranormal activities.
With these achievements during our past term, small wonder the same Board of Trustees won re-election for another two-year term. Aside from myself as chairman, Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengson, Jr. is the vice chairman; tourism director Daquila Gonzales is the secretary-general; Marlene Insigne of Southeast Travel Corp. is the treasurer; Apolonio Anota, Jr. of Sining at Kultura Foundation is the legal counsel.
Onelle Pacheco-Versoza of Hotel Celeste/Boracay Tropics is Trustee for Membership; Teodoro Espallardo of Altabriza Resort Boracay is Trustee for Programs; Maria Paz Alberto of Ark Travel Express is Trustee for Education; Agnes Macapia of The Le Soleil Group is Trustee for Industry Liaison; Simon Ang of Celebrate Life Travel and Leisure is Trustee for Government Liaison; and Isabel Garcia-Lee of Henann Hotels and Resorts is Trustee for Ways and Means.
PATA’s Secretariat is manned by Mikhaela Dela Paz. Information on membership requirements are available at 0926-417-0917.
With the trust and confidence bestowed upon us to serve another term, we are all fired up even more to make great things happen for our tourism industry and make our country’s foreign visitors appreciate why “It’s More Fun In The Philippines.”
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YOUR weekend CHUCKLE
Parallel lines have so much in common. It’s a shame they’ll never meet.
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