The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) will be the host of PATA’s 60th Anniversary and Conference in Beijing from April 9-12, 2011.

To be held at the China World Hotel, the celebratory event will be the focal point of a series of anniversary activities commencing from this year’s PATA Travel Mart (PTM) and continuing through 2011. Said Zhu Shanzhong, Vice Chairman, CNTA: “We are looking forward to working with PATA for a successful conference.”

Taking the theme ‘Building Tourism: Past. Present. Progressive’, the anniversary activities will reflect on PATA’s past, highlight its present and make strides towards a progressive future. Said Hiran Cooray, chairman, PATA: “With 60-years of history behind us, we want to take the opportunity to recall the contribution PATA has made to Asia Pacific tourism, while also looking ahead to consider what role PATA will play in the years to come. We are very appreciative of CNTA’s support during one of the grandest events in PATA’s history.”

Since its 1951 inception in Hawaii, PATA has grown from a group of like-minded travel professionals seeking to realise the potential of tourism in the Pacific region, to a global association representing the interests of the ever-growing, ever-exciting Pacific Asia tourism industry.

“Contributing to the sustainable development and success of the travel-and-tourism industry in both the Pacific as well as Asia, PATA has become the voice and authority on tourism in the region,” added Cooray.

The first of the anniversary activities to get underway, PATA’s ‘Face of the Future’ is an annual campaign which spotlights an individual who has worked to change or advance travel-and-tourism in the Asia Pacific. This year, to coincide with the 60th anniversary celebrations, ‘Face of the Future’ is being brought to the forefront by putting the power of the vote into the hands of its members.

Submissions for the campaign are already being accepted and voting will commence with the launch of a dedicated URL, www.PATA.org/PATA60, at PTM, which this year will be held at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Macao, from September 14-17.

This sub-section of the main PATA site will become a one-stop information source for all 60th anniversary related activities and events. It will even include an online photography exhibition which, grouped by decade, will chart key people and events in PATA’s history.

Memories are also the theme of ‘My PATA My Story’, a commemorative book of stories about the travel industry over the past 60-years written by PATA lifetime and honoured members.

Not forgetting the ‘progressive’ element, ‘Tomorrow’s Tourism Competition’ will ask tourism students at educational institutions around the region to contribute their ideas about how we can create a more sustainable future for our industry.

Undoubtedly, one of the big themes of the future will be green tourism. This is at the heart of the 'Zero Footprint Challenge', a competition which will launch at the anniversary celebrations in Beijing, and seeks to highlight examples of tourism organisations who take their environmental responsibilities seriously.

All our Chapters have an inspiring and motivating role to play in the 60th anniversary celebrations, as they drive these events ahead. They will be responsible for nominating aspiring leaders from the tourism sector and in nurturing young, upcoming talent in their regions.

The next 15-months will also see a number of PATA events and meetings, starting with PTM 2010 at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel from September 14-17. Other highlights for 2011 include: the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart in Nepal, February 07-11; the PATA Executive Board Meeting in Hawaii, February 18-19; the 60th Anniversary and Conference in Beijing, April 09-12; the PTM 2011 in New Delhi, September 06-09 and the Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference in Darwin, Australia on the September 27-30.

For more information, please visit http://www.pata.org/