[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ew Delhi, by Ajay Gupta: Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 began on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India with 300 delegates from 28 countries in attendance for the three-day niche event, comprising a one-day-travel mart and one-day conference.
The event was organized by the PATA and hosted by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry from both the private and public sectors to discuss the issues and opportunities in travel and tourism. On February 14, the theme of the conference was ‘‘Rejuvenate Your Soul Through Travel’ with a diverse line-up of speakers.
The thought leaders, innovators, and pioneers, who are shaping the emerging landscape of the adventure travel and responsible tourism industry examined various conference topics that covered ‘Rejuvenating Your Soul Through Travel’; ‘Storytelling to Sell Travel on Instagram’; ‘Using Sustainability to Future-Proof Our Destination’; ‘Trends to India’; ‘Creating Experiences that are Regenerative’; ‘Marketing to the New Adventure Travellers’; ‘Tourism as a Tool for
Rejuvenation’; ‘A Special Story of Indian Rejuvenation’, and ‘Sustaining our Souls: Vision-Driven
Leadership in Adventure Tourism’.
The conference was opened by Shri Dilip Jawalkar, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs
and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand; Shri Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry
of Tourism, Government of India; Shri Yogendra Tripathi, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism,
The Government of India, and Shri Satpal Maharaj, Honourable Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand.
Speakers included Ajay Jain , Speaker, Writer and Owner – Kunzum Travel Cafe; Apoorva
Prasad , Editor-in-Chief and Founder – The Outdoor Journal; Choy Teh , Account Manager, Media
Relations – Bannikin Asia; Mandip Singh Soin , Founder & Managing Director – Ibex
Expeditions; Mariellen Ward , Digital Storyteller, Content Marketer and Traveller –
Breathedreamgo; Dr. Mario Hardy , CEO – PATA; Melissa Burckhardt , Director – Membership
Relations, PATA; Daw Moe Moe Lwin , Director and Vice Chairperson – Yangon Heritage
Trust; Mohan Narayanaswamy , Managing Director – Travel Scope; Paul Brady , Editorial
Strategist – Skift; Rajeev Tewari , CEO – Garhwal Himalayan Explorations Pvt. Ltd.; Robin Weber
Pollak , President – Journeys International; Rohan Prakash , CEO – Trip 360; Shradha Shrestha,
Manager – Brand Promotion and Corporate Marketing, Nepal Tourism Board; Capt. Swadesh
Kumar , President – Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI); Trevor Jonas
Benson , Director of Food Tourism Innovation – Culinary Tourism Alliance; Vivienne Tang ,
Founder – Destination Deluxe, and Yosha Gupta , Founder – Meraki.
During the media briefing conference on the morning of Friday, February 15, PATA CEO Dr
Mario Hardy noted that “The event aims to be a catalyst for generating new ideas and improving
collaboration between public and private sector organizations”.
“By bringing together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers, we hoped to highlight the
need to discuss, analyze and share various ideas with both the public and private sector in
planning, building and promoting a responsible travel and tourism industry,” he added.
The B2B mart exhibition welcomed 47 seller organizations from 10 destinations (Bhutan, China,
India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand) and 44 buyer organizations
from 18 source markets (Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the
Republic of Korea, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United
Kingdom and the USA).