The PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2019 (PDMF 2019), with the theme “Redefining a Destination – Reviving the past to reimagine the future”, officially began on Wednesday, November 27 at the Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa in Pattaya, Thailand, attracting 325 delegates from 26 destinations.
The event, hosted by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), along with support from Pattaya City, brought together delegates from the public and private sectors for inspiring and insightful discussions on some of the major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth to emerging destinations, through two nonstop days of learning, discovery and community-building.
Delegates travelled from all corners of the globe including Australia, Bhutan, China, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (ROK), Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Russia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.
PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy noted that, “By bringing together such a dynamic group of speakers, we can highlight the need to discuss, analyse and share various ideas with both the public and private sector to plan, build and promote a sustainable tourism industry.”
Stressing the importance of holding such events, he added, “As travel and tourism becomes a greater contributor to the economic well-being of each destination, plans for the responsible development and sustaining those elements generating growth must be taken into consideration. It is through these partnerships with the public and private sector that help build and promote a sustainable tourism industry.”
Mr. Ronakit Ekasingh, Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City, stated “The PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2019 offers an important platform for all MICE stakeholders, including private sector companies, MICE operators and tourism businesses across the Asia-Pacific region. In particular the event maximises benefits to Thai participants both from Pattaya itself and from MICE cities around the country. As you know, Pattaya with its sandy beaches, multiple attractions, has ease of access from Bangkok and U-Tapao airport.”
“Pattaya has always been one of Thailand’s most popular tourist and MICE destinations. It has also become more widely known as one of the region’s most important venues for international meeting, incentives, conventions, exhibitions and events. This year, Pattaya is proud to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pattaya’s tourism industry. We will continue to build up an image that corresponds to its mission to promote the city’s sustainable tourism,” he added.
Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President – Strategic Business Development & Innovation, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), stated, “TCEB is proud and delighted to promote and co-organise the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2019 event here in Pattaya, Thailand. The event, which will serve as a driving force for international MICE events in Thailand, contributes to implement the government’s policy of stimulating and developing the regional economy. Pattaya City is one of Thailand’s leading MICE cities, with strong potential and readiness to host international conventions to world-class standards. The city has already built a strong track record in hosting numerous high-profile MICE events.”
“This event offers an important platform for all MICE stakeholders, including private sector companies, MICE operators and tourism businesses across the Asia-Pacific region. In particular the event will maximize benefits to Thai participants both from Pattaya City itself, and from secondary MICE cities around the country. In order to further stimulate Thai participation, TCEB has negotiated waivers of registration fees for Thai operators and relevant government agencies for the event. The event will contribute greatly to raising visibility and awareness of Pattaya City and other regional MICE cities as international MICE destinations,” she added.
Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said, “Gearing up to mark its 60th anniversary in 2020, TAT has reaffirmed its commitment to making travel and tourism the kingdom’s most environmentally sustainable and being a good hosts. We now have to better balance quantity vs. quality, and marketing vs. management.”
Mr. Taweebhong Wichaidit, Director-General, Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), proclaimed, “DASTA places emphasis on tourism development that generates income to the local, enhances employment opportunities, and improves the sustainability of livelihoods. The challenges of sustainable tourism development include ensuring that income derived from tourism is distributed to all stakeholders and contributes to the community’s quality of life and well-being. These factors are important foundations for national development”
“On this occasion, DASTA presented a new dimension of the prototype community in 3 routes of Pattaya including Royal Pathway to Sustainable Development, Learning the Coconut Life, the Hidden Gem of Pattaya, and Local Way of Pattaya Rice Farmer that have achieved great success in terms of development and management of sustainable tourism which lead to an added value to their local tourism called Community-Based Tourism,” he added.
On Thursday, November 28, delegates had the opportunity to join the Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt, which offered the delegates a unique, culturally-immersive experience and the opportunity to unearth and showcase a rarely seen side of Pattaya.
Tour participants were also given a social media challenge with a chance to win a special prize. The user generated content that was created during the tour was incorporated into the session on ‘Leveraging user generated content’ during the conference on Friday, November 29.
Other topics discussed during the conference include the ‘The Story of South by Southwest‘, ‚Targeting the right market segments‘, ‚Engaging the next generation of travellers‘, ‚The case for Universal Design‘, ‚Thailand Tourism’s role in redefining a destination‘, ‚Case study of CBT in Thailand‘, and ‚Rebranding a Destination‘.
Delegates heard from a dynamic line-up of speakers from such organisations as South by Southwest, MMGY, Luxurique, Desaru Coast, Octa, the Asia – Pacific Development Center on Disability, Centara by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien, Perfect Link Consulting, Takienta CBT Club, Jumbo Journey and Events, ADARA, and Talent Basket.
Picture: Back Row: L/R: Mr. Ronakit Ekasingh, Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City; Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President – Strategic Business Development & Innovation, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB); Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO,PATA; Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and Mr. Taweebhong Wichaidit, Director-General, Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), Thailand.