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2011 International Tourism Festival of Imperial Palace

PATA Chapter delegates to enjoy unique access to ‘Temple of Heaven’

Delegates of the PATA Chapter Colloquium will enjoy a rare night access to Beijing’s famous ‘Temple of Heaven’ for a special cocktail reception on the evening of April 8, 2011. Chapter members will be guests at the opening ceremony of the 2011 International Tourism Festival of Imperial Palace. The event will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take in the splendour of this architectural masterpiece, rarely used for public functions.

Said Bill Calderwood, interim CEO, PATA: “This is a very special honour for PATA and will be quite an exceptional event.”

Hosted by Dongcheng District People’s Government, the opening ceremony will feature performances from renowned Qin Zither musician Chen Leiji and female soloist Sa Dingdin, winner of the 2008 BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for the Asia-Pacific region. Also performing will be Yugang Li, a popular actor of Chinese Opera Theatre and Can Tang, a famous singer.

The evening event will follow a full day of meetings, during which approximately 150-delegates will come together to discuss ways to reinvigorate the PATA Chapter network and find new opportunities for its members. On the agenda are brainstorming sessions on how to enhance the relationship between PATA and Chapter members, as well as ways to maximise the benefits brought about by technology and social media.

The Colloquium is a key element of the Association’s commitment to increasing the cooperation and partnership between the global Chapter network and PATA head office, as well as reinforcing the importance of the Chapters in PATA’s future plans.

Said Calderwood: “The Chapter network plays an integral role at the grassroots level in the delivery of PATA membership services. Formed within local travel industry communities, Chapter members work together to support each other’s business objectives, while also offering local relevance for the aims and objectives of PATA as a whole.”

First established in 1961, the Chapter network quickly grew into a powerful global grassroots distribution vehicle; by 1997 there were 100 Chapters on five continents. In recent years, however, the network has declined, having been usurped by a more powerful and direct distribution channel – the internet.

Since 2008, PATA has turned its focus back to the Chapters. It is committed to expanding the network across the globe, resurrecting Chapters that were once viable and functional, as well as working with existing Chapters to strengthen their membership base and improve communications with PATA head office. Preliminary discussions have already taken place to form a Beijing Chapter, while June will see the launch of a Cambodia Chapter.

Registration for the PATA Chapter Colloquium is open until midday (Bangkok time) on April 1, 2011. Please email Ben Montgomery, PATA Director – Chapter Development, at ben@PATA.org for further information.

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