Mr. McInerney describes the "PATA Action Plan" as a series of short-term, tactical marketing and communications programmes designed to assist PATA member destinations impacted by the recent currency devaluations, the stock market upheaval and fire-related haze in areas of Southeast Asia, which have hurt the region's travel and tourism industry.
The announcement comes on the eve of a series of meetings with tourism and business leaders slated throughout the region by Mr. McInerney, who joined the 46 year-old Association as Chief Executive on November 3. The first set of open forum meetings, scheduled for December, include Jakarta and Bali, Indonesia; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; Macau; and Hong Kong, SAR, PRC. Similar meetings will be held throughout the first half of 1998 in East Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia and the South Pacific.
"The announced Action Plan is the first phase of the effort," Mr. Mclnerney said. "During these visits, we will seek input from the membership on existing programmes and suggestions for other areas in which PATA can provide assistance."
Initial elements of the plan include:
• Effective with the December 1,1997 edition of "What's New in Pacific Asia," PATA will place special emphasis on bargains and promotions being offered by PATA members. "What's New" is distributed to PATA's international media mailing list and is also posted online for consumers at www.pata.org under "Travel News."
• The listing of special bargains and promotions will also be provided to all 79 PATA Chapters for distribution to member travel agents.
• PATA will be organising PATA "villages" or other levels of participation at 23 travel trade shows throughout Europe and the Middle East during the next six months. Promotion will focus on the outstanding travel value offered by PATA member destinations.
• In North America, PATA villages will be incorporated into a number of outbound trade shows, while PATA Chapters will organise special presentations to help a number of the impacted PATA destinations reach local travel professionals.
• Travel agent workshops in Australia and New Zealand are being organised during the first half of 1998 to promote travel to Asia. Coupled with the sessions will be media events for consumer and trade reporters.
• From October 1997 to May 1998, PATA will conduct five major working media trips with North American and European journalists to help promote travel to the region. Participating destinations include Vietnam, India, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Sarawak, Malaysia. In addition, a working trip will be organised to the South Pacific later in 1998.
• PATA and TIME are collaborating to offer Communicators Workshops throughout the region. The two-day workshops are designed to help mid-level public relations employees improve their media relations skills. The initial Communicators Workshop will be held December 5-6 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
• In conjunction with the Communicators Workshop, the host destination will have the opportunity to hold a single-day Media or Product Promotion workshop. Media Workshops are designed to explain the importance of tourism to local consumer and trade media, while Product Promotion Workshops will help PATA members more effectively promote their travel products. The initial Media Workshop is slated for December 4 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Founded in 1951, PATA is one of the world's largest travel industry associations representing 40 national government members, more than 2,000 companies and organisations, and some 17,000 Chapter members in 79 Chapters worldwide.