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PATA adds crisis simulation to Mekong Forum

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has added a special full-day session on tourism reputation and crisis management to the…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has added a special full-day session on tourism reputation and crisis management to the 9th PATA Mekong Tourism Forum, Chiang Mai, Thailand, March 26-28, 2004.

As a business exercise for tourism industry leaders, participants in the March 26 pre-Forum seminar will have to cope with a simulated crisis which touches on issues which now affect tourism: terrorism, diseases, computer crime, environmental disasters and biological warfare. The programme, called Catch Me If You Dare, encourages people to work together to solve problems effectively.

Public and private sector tourism participants will benefit by being able to:

  • assess their own ability to handle a crisis situation

  • better manage stress levels in a crisis

  • develop communication techniques to enhance reputation management

  • recognise individual and team strengths

  • be creative with regard to new business realities

  • better handle media in a crisis, and

  • assess potential problems in managing public perception.

The initiative is a joint effort by PATA, Bangkok-based The Winning Edge Managing Director, Mr. Bert van Walbeek, and the international consultancy firm, TIRIAN.

The seminar is based on an ingenious blend of fact and fiction. TIRIAN`S Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Grant, said: The key to success is the ability of individuals and small teams from an individual country to work with the whole group – which represents the international community – to deal with the issues presented. He added: Crisis management, ethics, values, leadership, cross-cultural differences and many more subjects are tackled head-on. We create a fast-paced and realistic scenario.

Tourism executives can join at a special PATA-sponsored fee of US$80 net per person. The seminar runs 1000-1700 on March 26, 2004 at the Sheraton Chiangmai Hotel (the Mekong Forum venue). The price includes lunch and afternoon coffee.

The theme for the 9th PATA Mekong Tourism Forum is, Protect, Position and Promote, which reflects PATA`s commitment to managing the reputation of Asia Pacific travel and tourism on behalf of the Association`s 1,200 member organisations across the region.

Following the simulation exercise on March 26, several issues will be discussed in the Mekong Forum such as Mekong travel product development, private sector investment and tourism as a regional growth engine. Plenary sessions will be built around the theme of protecting, positioning and promoting Greater Mekong Sub-Region tourism.

The 9th PATA Mekong Tourism Forum is organised by PATA in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The Forum is being hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Registration for PATA members is US$120 per delegate, US$200 for non-members and PATA Chapter members and US$50 for spouses for social functions only. Earlybirds will receive a US$20 discount for registering before January 30, 2004. A late fee of US$20 will be levied for registrations received after March 1, 2004.