PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

07 . 3 . 2019


PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

The view from the plane window was enchanting. Colorful and pretty buildings dotted the green landscape. The beautiful panorama of the city of Dehradunnestled in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India, stretched out below us. We were about to land at the Jolly Grant Airport that serves Dehradun. The thrill of anticipation pervaded us as we looked forward to a great and fruitful experience at the PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019 being held in Rishikesh. The beautiful town of Rishikesh on the banks of the sacred river Ganga lies about 20 kilometers from Jolly Grant Airport. We had been invited by Uttarakhand Tourism to be a part of the event.

The Venue Of PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

The PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019 was held between Feb.13th and Feb.15th, 2019 in the scenic environs of the Ganga Resort of GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam), under the aegis of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and supported by ATOAI. Ganga Resort located on the banks of the flowing Ganga with spectacular views of the Ram Jhula and the Ashrams that line the Eastern bank was indeed an ideal location for the PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019. In many ways the hosting of this event in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand was a testimonial to the emergence of this mystical town as the adventure capital of India.

Day One Of PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

The first day of the PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019 saw the delegates gazing in awe at the spectacle of the river Ganga and its eastern banks, even as they completed their registration formalities after being given a traditional welcome by women dressed in colorful local attire.

The excitement in the air was palpable as the Buyers, Sellers, and Delegates from across the world got ready to experience a slice of what Rishikesh had to offer through Pre-Fam tours. They could choose from two options.


Beatles Ashram

Some chose to walk along the eastern banks of the river Ganga on a heritage walk that took them to the famous Beatles Ashram where the iconic band stayed and gave birth to some of their legendary music.


River Rafting

Those with a more adventurous frame of mind opted to go river rafting in the famous rapids of the Ganga.

The day came to an enchanting conclusion with a session of Yoga on the banks of the Ganga. Delegates experienced the mystical effect of Yoga which was a curtain raiser for the upcoming International Yog Festival 2019 being organized by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam(GMVN) from the 1st to 7th March 2019 at Rishikesh.

As the daylight over the Ganga slowly evaporated and the waters assumed a silvery sheen, devotional prayers by a group of young students filled the place with a mystical aura and set the stage for the famed Ganga Aarti.


Ganga Aarti

The night dazzled in a magical tableau as the lighted lamps paid homage to the eternal Ganga accompanied by Vedic chants. It was an experience that touched the core of the hearts of all present.

Day Two Of PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

After a day that was surcharged with excitement, the delegates, refreshed and rejuvenated by the fresh Himalayan air that blows over the Ganga, gathered again at the Ganga Resort for a day filled with enriching interactions through lectures and panel discussions

The PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019 was formally opened by the traditional lighting of the lamp by Shri Satpal Maharaj, Honourable Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand along with other noted dignitaries that included Shri Dilip Jawalkar, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand, Shri Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Shri Yogendra Tripathi, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Dr. Mario Brady, CEO of PATA, and Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President of ATOAI.

Shri Satpal Maharaj, Honourable Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand and the team from Uttarakhand Tourism highlighted the amazing tourism potential of the state and the support offered by the Tourism Board. After the welcome address from all the dignitaries, the event was underway.

Interaction At The PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

Lectures & Presentations

The ball was set rolling by an interesting keynote address rejuvenating your soul through travel by Paul Brady, Editorial Strategist, Skift, USA. Paul talked about the emerging trends in tourism that was a blend of travel with wellness. He underlined the various offshoots and how tourism, in general, would benefit from this trend as major players in the wellness industry enter the travel sector with holistic offerings.

An interesting talk about harnessing the power of Instagram for promoting travel experiences and destinations titled “Storytelling to sell travel on Instagram”, was given by Ajay Jain, Writer, and Owner of Kunzum Travel Cafe. He also provided basic tips and tricks to get the most out of Instagram.

Apoorva Prasad of The Outdoor Journal, Luxembourg spoke about how one could future proof destinations using sustainability. He talked about the need for all stakeholders to come together to ensure balanced and sustainable growth of tourism in the Indian context. He emphasized the need for the preservation of our tourism assets for the generations to come.

Ms. Choy Teh, Account Manager-Media Relations from Bannikin Asia and Mr. Rohan Prakash, CEO of Trip 360 shared their perspectives of adventure travelers from China and India respectively.

The talks focused on marketing strategies for the New Adventure travelers.

A talk titled, “A Special Story Of Indian Rejuvenation”, by Ms. Yosha Gupta, Founder, Meraki, Hong Kong SAR focused on how the organization is geared towards bringing alive the lost art forms of India in a sustainable manner, through high-end product offerings like Bags, Wallets, and clutches.

Mrs. Robin Weber Pollak, President, Journeys International, USA, delivered the closing keynote address. She talked about vision-driven leadership in Adventure Tourism. She shared the inspiring story of her parents who started the company Journeys and her own journey to take up a leadership position in her company and industry vertical.

Panel Discussions

Apart from lectures and presentations at the PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019, one also saw stimulating panel discussions among experts which threw the spotlight on areas like the trends in travel to India, the creation of regenerative experiences for the traveler, and the use of tourism as a tool for rejuvenation.

A Panel that included Ms. Mariellen Ward, Digital Storyteller, Content Marketer, Traveller, Breathedreamgo, India, Mr. Mohan Narayanaswamy, Managing Director, Travel Scope, India, and Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President of ATOAI discussed the various travel segments that are available in India and what draws travelers to India. Issues like safety and solo women travel were discussed at length. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Mario Brady.

Another panel discussed threadbare the various aspects of product strategies for niche segments like culinary tourism, Adventure Tourism, Wellness Tourism, etc. The discussion centered on customer expectations and ways to create integrated and holistic itineraries that gave a regenerative experience to the customers. The participants in this panel discussion were, Mr. Trevor Jonas Benson, Director of Food Tourism Innovation, Culinary Tourism Alliance, Canada, Ms. Vivienne Tang, Founder, Destination Deluxe, Hong Kong SAR, and Mr. Rajeev Tewari, CEO, Garhwal Himalayan Explorations Pvt. Ltd, India. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Ajay Jain.

Tourism can help in reviving and sustaining the culture and heritage of a place. This was the focus of a panel discussion by Mr. Trevor Jonas Benson, Director of Food Tourism Innovation, Culinary Tourism Alliance, Canada, Ms. Shradha Shrestha, Manager-Brand Promotion and Corporate Marketing, Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal, and Ms. Moe Moe Lwin, Director and Vice Chairperson, Yangon Heritage Trust, Myanmar. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Mario Brady.

Day Three Of PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019

The third day of the event was reserved for a buyer and seller interaction with the holding of the travel mart. There were 47 seller organizations from across 10 countries that included Bhutan, India, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Myanmar, Malaysia, as well as Thailand. They interacted with 44 buyer organizations from across eighteen countries that included Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the USA.

The highlight of the day was the visit of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat.

He interacted with the participants and visited the different stalls at the travel mart. It was heartening to see the presence of the Chief Minister at the event and show the focus that the state has on the tourism sector.

Media Briefing

A media briefing session was held on the third day where Shri Dilip Jawalkar, Secretary Tourism, Religious Affairs and Culture Department, Government of Uttarakhand, Dr. Mario Brady, CEO, PATA, and Capt. Swadesh Kuma, President of ATOAI addressed the media and answered queries. Check the video below to see our interaction with Dr. Mario Brady and Shri Dilip Jawalkar in the course of the media briefing

The PATA Adventure Travel And Responsible Tourism Conference And Mart 2019 in the enchanting environs of Rishikesh was successful in presenting the diverse spectrums of adventure and spirituality of Rishikesh and Uttarakhand on the world stage. The event also turned the spotlight on challenges like sustenance of the environment and culture as well as over tourism.

We were hosted by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. However, the views and opinions expressed here are our own.

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