Message from Zurab Pololikashvili,
Secretary General, United Nation World Tourism Organisation

On behalf of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), I commend the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) for its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of tourism's potential to lead in the transition to greater sustainability.

Assisted by globalization, digitalization and connectivity, tourism has come of age globally over the past decade. International tourism has grown strongly for eight straight years, with arrivals surpassing 1.3 million in 2017. At the same time, it has provided jobs, empowered communities and improved livelihoods.

This is especially true in Asia and the Pacific, which in 2017 cemented its status as the fastest–growing tourism region in the world, adding 6% in arrivals. By 2030 it will rival Europe for the world's most popular tourism region.

As a sector we must adapt to such trends ensuring that, where there is growth, there is also true commitment to sustainable development. For tourism, this means to overcome barriers to inclusion and accessibility, manage growing tourist numbers smartly and efficiently, and ensure that all of the socioeconomic benefits of the sector are shared with local communities.

It is critical to raise awareness, among local populations and visitors alike, of the importance of conservation and preservation of cultural and natural heritage, the environment and biodiversity while undertaking tourism activities. I am happy to count on PATWA as a trusted supporter and partner in communicating the transformative impact of tourism along its whole value chain.

Innovation in technology will play a big part in reaching these goals. UNWTO has made it a priority to scale up innovation and digitalization in tourism, with sustainability foremost in mind.

The South Asia Travel Awards are firmly established and I trust that this seminar will make its contribution to increasing tourism cooperation for long–term sustainability.

Zurab Pololikashvili

Message from Prahlad Singh Patel
Minister of State (IC) For Tourism & Culture, Government of India

I am happy to Know that Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) is organising a Seminar on Sustainable Tourism & Challenges followed by Safari India South Asia Travel Awards 2019.The event will be held on 30 August 2019 at 7:00 pm at The Ashok Hotel, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

Despite rising Challenges, the tourism sector continues to consolidate the positive growth it has registered over the last five years and provide significant Development and economic opportunities worldwide.

However as tourism continues to expand, so does the call for greater responsibility in our sector. The ability to respond to climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing contemporary society, is an issue of immense importance for the tourism sector.

Tourism in Asia and the Pacific Continues to grow above expectations, advancing the economies and helping to preserve the diverse culture and environments of the region. Last year, 279 million people visited Asia and the Pacific, 15 million more than in 2014, as the region earned US$ 418 billion in international tourism receipts. Yet in this region and across the globe, the continued growth of tourism sector brings with it increased levels of responsibility.

I am sure, the Seminar on Tourism & challenges will come out with innovative new ideas for the promotion of tourism in the country and the Safari India South Asia Travel Award will indeed act as a great incentive for the significant contribution made for the promotion of tourism in South Asia.

I convey my best wishes for the grand success of both the Seminar and Award Function.

Prahlad Singh Patel

 

Message from Mario Hardy,
CEO, Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA)

 

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