PATA nibbles at the EATOF table

BANGKOK, 23 May 2024: The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) take a nibble at a new partnership involving the East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Federation (EATOF), the only association solely representing tourism in East Asia.

Despite the obvious duplication in membership between the two associations in East Asia, TTR Weekly asked PATA Chair Peter Semone if the MoU might open opportunities to shore up participation in PATA events or possibly lead to cross-membership.

Picture: L/R: Peter Semone, Chair, PATA; Noor Ahmad Hamid, CEO, PATA; Hyeon Jun-Tae, Secretary General, EATOF; Joo Eun Joung, International Team Leader, Gangwon State Government and Secretariat, EATOF; Kim Nuri, Specialist, EATOF.

“(It should) strengthen attendance at events and bolster PATA’s secondary city engagement and relevance to support the dispersion of tourism for improved sustainability,” Semone responded. “This can reduce pressure on the carrying capacity of Asia’s gateway destinations. It will also spread the benefits of tourism to more people, and eventually, this could result in additional members.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by EATOF Secretary General Hyeon Jun-Tae and PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid last week during the PATA Annual Summit 2024 (PAS 2024) in Macao, China. PATA Chair Peter Semone and Joo Eun Joung, International Team Leader, Gangwon State Government and EATOF Secretariat, witnessed the signing on stage.

“PATA is delighted to solidify our relationship with the East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Federation, and we look forward to working closely with EATOF in the coming years,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid. “By collaborating on innovative initiatives, we can harness the collective strength of our members to support both organisations’ efforts toward the responsible development of tourism across the Asia Pacific region.”

The MoU was signed during the ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’ session of the PAS 2024 programme. It represents PATA and EATOF’s joint commitment to establish an alliance to activate tourism in the Asia Pacific region. The MoU stands as a testament to how strategic collaborations are key to propelling sustainable development forward and promoting resilience and innovation across the global tourism landscape.

“As the Secretary-General of EATOF, I am pleased that EATOF is stepping up into a global tourism alliance by signing an MOU with PATA, a pillar of Asia Pacific Tourism,” said EATOF Secretary-General and Director-General of Gangwon State, Korea (ROK), Hyeon Jun-Tae. “We will strive to contribute to boosting local tourism through various businesses, including mutual collaboration in tourism, youth engagement, big data analysis, and more.”

The MoU outlines promising collaborations between PATA and EATOF aimed at fostering mutual participation in significant events hosted by each association (namely the EATOF General Assembly and the PATA Annual Summit), sharing exemplary sustainable practices, and facilitating collaborative initiatives spanning from educational endeavours to regional tourism programmes.

The East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Federation (EATOF) was formed in 2000 by nine local government agencies in East Asia, with Gangwon State leading the way. Through collaborative efforts of each member province, EATOF has sought to increase its membership, reinforce the foundation for further cooperation, and ensure more active exchange between its members. Ten member provinces in ten countries are currently participating, with the EATOF Secretariat located in Gangwon State, Korea (ROK).


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