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PATA Global Insights Conference 2017 examines the future of tourism

PATA Global Insights Conference 2017 examines the future of tourism

The highly acclaimed annual PATA Global Insights Conference was once again a resounding success with nearly 200 delegates hearing from high profile speakers representing major international brands such as Boeing, Microsoft and TripAdvisor.

Under the theme ‘R U Future Ready’ and with the support of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and BBC World News, the event took place on September 29 at the SKYCITY Grand Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand.

“This year’s conference programme focused primarily upon the need for the public and private sectors in the travel and tourism industry to prepare for the disruption and innovation that is currently taking place and will take place in the future,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “As a non-profit membership association, PATA continues to work with its partners and members for the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region and this event highlights our commitment to this endeavour.”

The event examined the issues, threats, challenges and opportunities for New Zealand’s tourism sector in line with the Tourism 2025 Plan and beyond, specifically looking at artificial intelligence, aviation, e-commerce, consumer travel trends, cybercrime, destination brand building and media.

Delegates heard from such speakers as Chris Monk, Head of Region (APAC) – Decoded; Jameson Wong, Director for Business Development – APAC,; John Schubert, Managing Director – Marketing Asia Pacific and India, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Maggie Wu, Chief World Explorer at; Martin Snedden, former CEO – Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA); Russell Craig, National Technology Officer – Microsoft New Zealand; Sandra Chipchase, CEO – Destination NSW Australia and Executive Producer, Vivid Sydney; Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing APAC – TripAdvisor, and  Stu Stacy, Commercial Director – ADARA, as well as BBC World News International Correspondent Phil Mercer who moderated the conference panel sessions.

The programme also featured a fascinating session with ‘Tomorrow’s Tourism Leaders’. Supported by Auckland University of Technology (AUT), delegates explored the future for tourism through the eyes of AUT PhD students Richard Aquino, Sabrina Seeler and Sarath Munasinghe, and Masters student, Xuan Bach Tran (Alex).

Stephanie Crowley of Chrysalis Studios Inc., crafted live murals to portray striking reflections of each conference session.

On September 28, PATA and ATEED presented the Tourism Leaders Forum with the title ‘Being Future Ready’. Tourism industry leaders in New Zealand, including Nick Hill, CEO – ATEED; Chris Roberts, CEO of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA); Stephen England-Hall, CEO of Tourism New Zealand, and Cam Wallace – Chief Revenue Officer at Air New Zealand, addressed the challenges and opportunities facing public and private organisations as the nation seeks to maximise the sector’s economic benefits in line with the Tourism 2025 Plan and beyond.

Martin Snedden, who masterminded the nation’s Tourism 2025 Plan, opened the event and provides an overview of the Plan’s objectives. BBC correspondent Phil Mercer moderated the panel sessions.

Some presentations from the speakers are available at, while photos from the event are available to view and download on the PATA Flickr page.