PATA summit explores future of travel

BANGKOK, 15 March 2017: Tourism leaders are set to explore future travel and tourism trends at the PATA Annual Summit 2017 in Negombo, Sri Lanka, 18 to 21 May.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association has recruited a strong line-up of speakers and panellists to share their insights and knowledge at the one-day conference that forms an integral part of the association’s annual summit.

The PATA Annual Summit will be hosted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, 18 to 21 May, at  Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo.

Under the theme ‘Disruption. Innovation. Transformation: The Future of Tourism’, the event also features a half-day UNWTO/PATA Ministerial Debate where industry leaders and government representatives discuss ‘The Shift to Recognised Sustainability Leadership’ and ‘The Sharing Economy in Travel and Tourism’.

“We are excited to assemble such an impressive line-up of speakers for the PATA Annual Summit. These speakers represent companies that have been in the forefront of disrupting, innovating and transforming the global travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “This is the perfect opportunity for all industry stakeholders to stay abreast of the rapid changes that are taking place in today’s ever evolving landscape.”

Confirmed speakers:

ACI HR Solutions founder and CEO Andrew Chan;

Microsoft Philanthropies Asia regional director Daiana Beitler;

Microsoft chief technology officer-APAC Erick Stephens; Twenty31 Consulting Inc partner Greg Klassen; co-founder and COO Ha Lam;

Jetwing Hotels chairman Hiran Cooray;

Beautiful Destinations founder/CEO Jeremy Jauncey;

Singapore Tourism Board former assistant chief executive (International Group) Lawrence Leong;

Baraka managing director Muna Haddad;

Twenty31 Consulting Inc partner Oliver Martin;

Skift founder/CEO Rafat Ali;

HubSpot marketing director Ryan Bonnici;

TripAdvisor head of destination marketing APAC Sarah Mathews;

UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai;

Airbnb head of strategic partnerships, APAC Thao Nguyen;

Etihad Airways vice president international affairs Vijay Poonoosamy;

Blacklane regional director APAC Wong Soon-Hwa.

The event explores various topics including ‘Managing Disruption through Innovation’, ‘The Transformation of Marketing’, ‘Research Innovation’, ‘Disrupting the Travel Industry’, ‘The Real Future of Tourism: Young Tourism Professionals’, and ‘Embracing Disruption: A Blueprint for the Future of Tourism’.

Located close to the Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo is one of the top resort destinations in Sri Lanka.

Registered delegates for the conference also receive complimentary access to the PATA/UNWTO Ministerial debate on Saturday 20 May.

The official airline for PAS 2017, SriLankan Airlines, is offering special fare discounts to registered delegates travelling from SriLankan Airlines online ports. Discounts are also available for delegates staying at official PAS 2017 hotels.

For more information or to register for the event visit or email