This year’s edition discussed key challenges in marketing and managing tourism growth for unexplored destinations including topics such as fair trade, living heritage communities, coastal and marine tourism.
The PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum (NTFF) 2016 held in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh from November 23-25 brought together delegates from the public and private sectors to exchange and share insights on some of the major issues in tourism. The forum witnessed an attendance of 242 delegates from 17 countries, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong SAR, India, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Palau, Spain, Thailand, UK, USA and the United Arab Emirates. Hosted by the Bangladesh Tourism Board under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the event discussed marketing strategies and managing tourism growth for an unexplored destination following the theme ‘Designing a sustainable tourism brand – an integrative approach to building a responsible coastal destination.’ Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, addressed the media and said, “Through this important event we hope to provide our delegates with an engaging programme that not only provides our delegates the opportunity to experience what Cox’s Bazar has to offer today’s travellers but also offers practical hands-on knowledge through the Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt.” He stressed on the importance of holding such events in Bangladesh and added, “As travel and tourism becomes a greater contributor to the economic well-being of each destination, plans for the responsible development and sustaining those elements generating growth must be taken into consideration.” Rashed Khan Menon, MP, Hon. Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, officially inaugurated the conference on November 25 where the opening address was given by S.M. Ghulam Farooque, Secretary – Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism of Bangladesh. Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, was also one of the speakers at the forum along with established and experienced industry professionals representing the Alliance for Ecotourism, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort, Dhaka University, E-Tourism Frontiers, The Reef-World Foundation, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), IstitutoOikos, Lovedesh, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, Nepal’s National Trail Organisation for the Great Himalaya Trail, Social Tours, and Transcaucasian Trail Association (TCTA). The conference topics covered fair trade, living heritage communities, coastal and marine tourism, heritage trails and domestic/regional tourism markets and featured a session on brand building and marketing for emerging destinations. The next edition of NTFF will be held in Palau from November 15-17, 2017.