Exclusive Interview – Mario Hardy – CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
In the past three years PATA has focused on building a financially strong organisation, increasing the number of members globally and improving engagement with its members and partners. We asked Mario Hardy what’s to come.
PATA WILL ALWAYS REMAIN A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY
In the years to come, the Association will look to be thought leaders, by focusing on further engagement with its members by monitoring current trends and issues. However, PATA will always remain a strong advocate for the development of a responsible and sustainable travel and tourism industry.
What are the key trends you’re seeing in Asian travel and tourism (inbound and outbound)?
After having met with ASEAN Tourism Ministers, I can safely say that an area of focus for most destinations is the issue of tourism dispersal. Many countries suffer from overcrowded tourist destinations and often times the infrastructure in place does not support these high number of tourists. Dispersing tourists to secondary and tertiary destinations will also help local communities alleviate poverty by generating new sources of income and creating new job opportunities. This is something that PATA has been advocating for the past three years and we are extremely pleased to see countries embracing this new philosophy.
What interesting new members have you landed of late?
We value every member that joins the PATA family, however some of the more well- known brands that have recently joined include PayPal, Airbnb and Royal Brunei Airlines. In 2017, we welcomed more than 125 members from the public and private sectors to the Association.
Photo: Mario Hardy – CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)