UAE sets example for recovery of travel trade

Recovery, resilience, development, sustainability, responsibility and innovation are values that will serve as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism in present times. The Middle East presents the right model for recovery of the travel business with these embedded values.

I have watched and personally experienced a glimpse into the remarkable recovery of the travel and tourism industry in the UAE and the wider region with great interest, especially in the lead up to our first-ever PATA Annual Summit taking place in Ras Al Khaimah in October this year.

Originally planned for late March 2020, we have had to reschedule the event twice because of the global pandemic. While navigating these uncertain times one thing was sure, our next PATA Annual Summit was going to take place in the UAE no matter what. We selected this destination purposely and for many reasons. Firstly because of the Emirates’ bold and engaging tourism strategies that have made headlines around the world for their rich cultural heritage, spectacular scenery, famous landmarks, high-quality tourism experiences and abundant indoor and outdoor attractions, securing the country’s reputation as an exciting travel destination.

Secondly, the UAE is highly accessible, making it a very convenient destination for our Asia-Pacific organisation members from East and West to convene.

Last, but most certainly not least, we are delighted to partner with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) as the host for our event. The Emirate’s holistic approach and commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism with a focus on cultural preservation, employee well-being and industry-wide protocols and carbon emission goals is what we applaud.

Fast forward, today we are busy planning the content and logistics of the event.  I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit Expo 2020 and meet with our local partners, members and government officials. Having watched the developments in the region from afar and then walking the grounds of Expo 2020 right after the opening in October made one thing very clear, this region is a true model for the travel and tourism industry in the recovery from the global pandemic.

Recovery, resilience, development, sustainability, responsibility and innovation are values that are symbolic for the travel and tourism sector in the Middle East. Values that are also core to PATA in serving as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the Asia Pacific region. We are excited to be holding our 2022 Annual Summit in Ras Al Khaimah, bringing the world on one platform with a conference, leadership forums and travel mart components. This is especially relevant as the Middle East has also become an important source and destination market with China currently closed and the crisis in the Ukraine.

The PATA Annual Summit will be held from October 25-27 in Ras Al Khaimah. The event will be the first time that the travel trade association will host its annual summit in the Middle East. The PATA community and partnerships bridge across the full spectrum of the travel sector. Its membership base spans every facet of the travel ecosystem from government leaders and MNCs to SMEs and universities.

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