Speakers confirmed for Sabah PATA event

BANGKOK, 29 January 2019: The Pacific Asia Travel Association confirmed a line-up of international experts from the adventure travel industry who will make presentations at the upcoming PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart 2020 (ATCM 2020) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

The event, hosted by Tourism Malaysia and supported by Sabah Tourism and Malaysia Airlines, will be hosted at the Sutera Harbour Resort 12 to 14 February with the theme ‘Ahead of the Curve: Authenticity and Sustainability in Adventure.’

“Adventure tourism is one of the fastest-growing niches in the entire tourism sector, and the PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart provides the perfect platform for travel trade professionals to gain deeper insights into adventure travel trends and contribute to creating a more responsible travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO  Mario Hardy.

“It is important to note that for travellers, adventure travel offers a unique experience by allowing them to interact with local communities, immerse themselves in the natural environment, and have a positive impact when they travel.

“Meanwhile for destinations, adventure travel provides them with an opportunity to highlight their natural and cultural values, and in turn promote the preservation of the environment and the responsible and sustainable development of travel and tourism.”

“Tourism Malaysia and Sabah Tourism, in organising this event which highlights their commitment in the development of a more responsible and sustainable travel and tourism industry,” he added.

This year’s conference programme will feature two concurrent hands-on workshops on Sustainability and Authenticity, led by Eric Ricaurte, Founder & CEO, Greenview and Dan Moore, CEO, Pandion Consulting & Facilitation, respectively.

Other confirmed speakers include Graham Harper, Director – Sustainability & Social Responsibility, PATA; Irshad Mubarak, Owner, Junglewalla Tours; Jessica Yew, Co-Founder & Director, Sticky Rice Travel; Natasha Martin, Adventure Tourism Expert; Pakkanut Bansiddhi, DVM, MSc, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Companion Animals and Wildlife Clinics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University; Raj Gyawali, Founder, Socialtours, and Theerapat Trungprakan, President, Thai Elephant Alliance Association.

The conference will explore various topics including ‘State of Adventure Tourism’, ‘Who Are Our Adventure Tourists?’, ‘Creating Meaningful Adventures’, ‘Sustainable Elephant Experiences’, ‘How to Use Responsible Travel Initiatives to Attract Adventure Tourists’, and ‘Starting Small: How to Integrate Adventure Elements Into Your Tour.’

In addition to the one-day conference designed to support PATA’s vision for the responsible development of tourism, the event includes a one-day travel mart that will bring together 60 buyers from 26 destinations with 60 sellers from 10 destinations.

Situated on the island of Borneo, Sabah is the second largest of 13 states in Malaysia. It shares the island with Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesian Kalimantan. With its lush rainforests, sub-aquatic splendour, magnificent mountains, and colourful cultures, Sabah is a treasure trove for the adventurous spirits.

Sabah is well-connected domestically and internationally. The main gateway to Sabah is the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) situated about 20 minutes away from the city.

Presently Sabah enjoys almost 100 direct international flights that connect to major cities including Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur (via Kuala Lumpur International Airport), Seoul (Korea ROK), Hong Kong SAR and Shenzhen (China), Singapore, Jakarta (Indonesia), Taipei (Chinese Taipei), Manila (Philippines), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Tokyo (Japan) and Perth (Australia).