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Building Back Sustainably Through Cultural Heritage and Community-based Tourism

Building Back Sustainably Through Cultural Heritage and Community-based Tourism - - TRAVELINDEXSongkhla, Thailand, May 10, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2022 at the International Convention Center (ICC) in Songkhla, Thailand from August 2-4.

The event, under the theme “Building Back Sustainably through Cultural Heritage and Community-based Tourism”, is generously hosted by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Songkhla Convention and Exhibition Bureau (SCEB) and the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) with the support of Songkhla City.

“At this year’s PATA Destination Marketing Forum, we are ready to celebrate the start of a robust Asia-Pacific tourism recovery. Our experiential conference programme highlights best practices in destination marketing and destination management in the post-pandemic recovery world. We’re here to support a sustainable recovery for the region” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “All of us at PATA are excited to host our next in-destination event and show that Thailand is open for international MICE events such as ours. We all look forward to welcoming you to Songkhla, Thailand.”

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, TCEB, said, “TCEB is proud and delighted to promote and co-organize the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2022, Songkhla in Thailand. The event, which will serve as a driving force for international MICE events in Thailand, contributes to implementing the government’s policy of stimulating and developing the regional economy. Songkhla is one of Thailand’s leading MICE cities, with strong potential and readiness to host international conventions to world-class standards. The city has already built a strong track record in hosting numerous high-profile MICE events.”

“The event will contribute greatly to raising visibility and awareness of Songkhla and other regional MICE cities as international MICE destinations. At TCEB we are committed to supporting responsible, low-impact, sustainable growth in the MICE business, to harness MICE events to benefit local communities, and to drive inclusive economic growth across the country,” he added.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas), TAT, said, ”A historic town with rich cultural heritage, Songkhla is also blessed with beautiful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and a tranquil lake. In addition, Songkhla exudes a vibrant character of a dynamic commercial and knowledge hub with unique local architecture and exemplary cuisine. We look forward to welcoming all PATA delegates to Songkhla to immerse themselves in this remarkable destination.”

Mr. Ampon Pongsuwan, Vice Governor of Songkhla, said, “Welcome to Songkhla, one of the most beautiful cities in Southern Thailand. Since the city is surrounded by water, you will find some of the freshest seafood cuisine, making this town perfect for seafood lovers. All PDMF 2022 delegates are invited to join our unique cultural activities, well-preserved heritage building sight-seeings, and a boat trip out to see exotic tropical plants and creatures in the largest natural lake in Thailand. Furthermore, Songkhla is also home to the biggest convention centre in Southern Thailand, as well as a range of quality hotels. If you have never visited an ethnically diverse town before, then Songkhla is the destination that is worth a visit. Sawasdee krub!”

The event offers a unique opportunity for networking, learning, and discovery, consisting of a one-day conference and a one-day destination experience through a technical tour, as well as various hosted social functions.

Delegates attending the event will have the opportunity to choose from three unique destinations experiences, planned and craft by DASTA, including:

– Nod Na Lae Lifestyle @ Tha Hin Community: Encounter Tha Hin Community local tribe’s traditional way of lifestyle and learn how they are promoting Ecotourism.
– Nature meets Culture @ Koh Yo Community: Explore the culture of Southern ethnic people and enjoy the authentic village unaltered since the old times.
– Heritage Singora @ Hua Khoa Community: Savour the view of Songkhla Lake Estuar and venture around the Old Town that boasts a collection of UNESCO heritage site candidates.

Gp. Capt. Athikun Kongmee, Director-General, DASTA, said, “With our utmost excitement and readiness to welcome all delegates to Songkhla, DASTA has come up with three routes of technical tour wherein the excellence of community-based tourism, leading to sustainable tourism development, is to be unveiled.”

Located in the southern part of Thailand, Songkhla is a fishing town, known as a major harbour and seaport, and the “City with Two Seas”. Most recently, Songkhla has been proposed by the Thai government as a World Heritage Site and UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy. Travellers will be amazed with the destination’s many beautiful attractions including the city’s Old Town, as well as its great local cuisine.

Songkhla is easily accessible by air from Bangkok, and many international airlines operate flights to/from Bangkok. Furthermore, direct access from Singapore and Malaysia to Songkhla, which had been suspended during the pandemic, will resume soon.

Registration for the event is complimentary, however, due to limited seating, PATA International members will be given priority on a first come, first serve basis.

As PATA acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region, the Association is proud to note that the PATA Destination Marketing Forum is a net zero carbon event and PATA is working with a local green project to help support organisations to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration sources in Thailand.