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PATA TASK FORCES SHOW THE WAY

Travel News Asia Date: 15 September 2000

Over the last 12 years PATA has formed 33 Task Forces to help various PATA-member destinations such as Western Australia, Pokhara, Nepal, Cebu, Philippines, Palau, Tahiti, Guam and Micronesia. In each Task Force, a group of PATA-invited tourism industry experts, often from both public and private sectors, fully assess a destinations touristic strengths and weaknesses. A strategic report is then written following terms of reference which are usually set by the host countrys government or NTO. The terms of reference may call for specific emphasis to be placed on, for example, marketing, hotel infrastructure, environmental safeguards, aviation recommendations, participation of the local community, or all of the above.

In August, the Indonesian government requested a PATA Task Force, facilitated by the PATA North Sulawesi Chapter, to assess Manado, North Sulawesi. The Task Force, comprising three global tourism experts and a senior PATA official from Singapore, is now completing a report of key findings and recommendations. Their aim is to create an international strategic tourism plan for Manado.

Another PATA Task Force, requested by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, will visit the South of Thailand in October to report on the best way to promote sustainable tourism in Trang, Krabi, Satun and Pattalung provinces.

The government of DPR Korea has also asked PATA to send in a tourism Task Force to assess that countrys potential now that it is opening doors to the outside world. The Task Force has been asked to make specific recommendations on hotel development and investment, aviation links, environmental conditions, marketing and education needs.

PATA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Joseph A. McInerney, said other PATA governments and destinations were welcome to request Task Forces for their own specific needs. "PATA Task Forces have not only successfully developed many PATA destinations in the areas of marketing strategy and environmental concern, they have also generated guidance for many other member destinations," he said.

Mr. McInerney added, "PATA Task Force reports represent a major investment of time and expertise by professionals from PATA sources worldwide. Task Force reports are a great tool for host destinations to use if they are serious about creating a healthy and sustainable tourism industry on their doorstep."

PATA-member destinations can enquire about the suitability of a Task Force for their own destinations by e-mailing Mr. McInerney at joe@pata.th.com.

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