Liz Ortiguera, Chief Executive Officer of PATA, discusses the need for the industry to become more resilient so that we can collectively rebuild it – one which is healthy for the local communities as well as the environment. This is the time to be more mindful, she says.
Having taken over the reins only two months ago from Mario Hardy, Liz Ortiguera, CEO of PATA, has deep-dived into it all. She says, “Over the last two months I have come to really appreciate the PATA network. It is quite multifaceted and represents every aspect of the vast ecosystem of travel and tourism. I have been busy meeting all the members, partners and stakeholders of PATA chapters.”
“For months now,” she continues, “we have all been seeing and feeling the immense tragedy that has been hitting India and many other markets. The news has been challenging even in the recent weeks in terms of spike in numbers. I assure you that it is part of our core mission of PATA to help our members and the industry at large to survive and thrive coming out of this. First of all, our crisis research centre launched last year is open to everyone. It has relevant playbooks for various industries – whether it is aviation, hospitality, or any other industry in the sphere of travel. The playbooks will vary depending on the stage that your market is in the COVID crisis. I urge everyone to please check that out. It is a resource as a support to the industry.”
Exchanging ideas and solutions
Sharing an update on a recent event held with PATA’s government members, Ortiguera says that she sees a continuous need to support the members and accelerate their learnings. PATA International’s government members recently participated in a government-members only forum in partnership with World Bank. “This is intended to be a learning best practice share so that we can get more learning at minimise risks and open up markets faster by sharing what we are learning,” she reveals.
“Later in August, I am also kicking off an innovation series of workshops for members. We just issued a survey and received feedback that some of the ideas that we developed do resonate. Things like digital marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. So these workshops will be held in the coming months. And most importantly, I am kicking off an official support from PATA for Covaxin initiative. Covax is currently getting vaccines in to South Asia in countries such as India. My goal is to take the platform that PATA has and continually do advocacy and education with the intent of engaging multinationals and wealthy countries to donate vaccines to the rest of the nations,” Ortiguera says.
Sharing the example of Singapore, she said that the country is targeting to open up borders in the beginning of September after achieving 80 per cent vaccination rate across its population. “This is what is critical to opening up borders.This is actually like a war time period, when in order to help the recovery we also need to look within ourselves and see how we can be part of the solution. And therefore, my recommendation to India is vaccine deployment!” Ortiguera says.
Virtual PATA Travel Mart (PTM) 2021
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced that Virtual PATA Travel Mart (PTM) 2021 will take place from 2-5 September and Leshan, China will once again be the featured destination for the event.The event is being organised in conjunction with the Sichuan International Travel Expo (SITE). It will offer two business days of one-on-one meetings with up to 50 matched appointments across all time zones from 2-3 September. There will also be two trade visitor days on 4-5 September. In addition, industry trends and insights will be a part of the programme as well as interactive networking breaks with special sessions from various national tourism organisations.