The PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2016 (NTFF2016) in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh attracted 242 delegates from 17 countries. The event, hosted by the Bangladesh Tourism Board under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, brought together delegates from the public and private sectors to share inspiring and insightful discussions on some of the major issues in marketing and managing tourism growth for an unexplored destination.
The theme for this year’s event was ‘Designing a sustainable tourism brand – an integrative approach to building a responsible coastal destination’.
Addressing a media briefing at the Royal Tulip Sea Pearl Beach Resort & Spa on November 24, PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “Through this important event we hope to provide our delegates with an engaging programme that not only provides our delegates the opportunity to experience what Cox’s Bazar has to offer today’s travellers but also offers practical hands-on knowledge through the Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt.”
Stressing the importance of holding such events in Bangladesh, Dr. Hardy added, “As travel and tourism becomes a greater contributor to the economic well being of each destination, plans for the responsible development and sustaining those elements generating growth must be taken into consideration.”
The highlight of the event was the Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt held on November 24. Delegates, separated into teams, were asked to take photos and videos during the tour and share them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #NTFF2016. The photos were then judged in four categories: Best Group Selfie, Best Food, Best Video and Best Overall Photo. The user-generated content with this hashtag led to over 160,000 over social media impressions in the following 24 hours.
The conference on November 25 was opened officially by His Excellency Rashed Khan Menon, MP, Hon. Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The opening address was given by Mr. S.M. Ghulam Farooque, Secretary – Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism of Bangladesh. Delegates also heard from Mr. Xu Jing, UNWTO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
Conference topics covered fair trade, living heritage communities, coastal and marine tourism, heritage trails and domestic/regional tourism markets. The programme also featured a session on brand building and marketing for emerging destinations.
Delegates heard from established and experienced industry professionals representing the Alliance for Ecotourism, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort, Dhaka University, E-Tourism Frontiers, The Reef-World Foundation, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Istituto Oikos, Lovedesh, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, Nepal’s National Trail Organization for the Great Himalaya Trail, Social Tours, and TransCaucasian Trail Association (TCTA).
* Countries represented at the event were: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong SAR, India, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Palau, Spain, Thailand, UK, USA and the United Arab Emirates.
Presentations from the speakers are available at www.pata.org/event/ntff-2016.
The PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2017, hosted generously by the Palau Visitors Authority, will be held in Palau from November 15-17. More information about the event will be available at www.pata.org/event/ntff-2017.