Following a series of meetings with industry leaders in seven PATA-member nations, Mr. Mclnerney reaffirmed PATA's ongoing effort to encourage travel to the region with short-term tactical marketing and communications programmes and longterm strategic planning. In addition, the Association will act on ways to develop strategic ties with other organisations to expand industry training and educational opportunties.
"Many of our 2,200 members have been hit by the recent economic situation in Asia," he said. "We announced an initial Action Plan in late November, which was wellreceived during the industry meetings. We now plan to take some of the member comments and suggestions and incorporate them into the next phase of the plan."
According to Mr. Mclnerney, PATA's initial efforts are directed at focusing industry and consumer attention on the "affordability of travelling to Pacific Asia."
"Much of our region has had a reputation of being expensive," he said. "That is no longer the case, between the devaluation of some currencies and the array of special offers being afforded to travellers visiting the region."
According to Mr. McI nerney, PATA will promote member travel packages and special rates through the Association's "What's New in Pacific Asia" release and online at PATAnet (http://www.pata.org), special marketing programmes with PATA Chapters and participation in travel sales events throughout the globe.
Open forum meetings were held in Jakarta and Bali, Indonesia; Singapore;
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; Macau; and Hong Kong. In January,
Mr. Mclnerney will conduct similar sessions in Australia, New Zealand and
Fiji, followed in February with meetings in Japan, Republic of Korea, Chinese
Taipei, Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China. Meetings in South
Asia will be held in late April and early May.