Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)

  • Post last modified:23 February 2023
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Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) was founded in the year 1951 as a non–profit corporation to stimulate interest in the Pacific region as a vacation land and to develop, promote and facilitate travel to and among the many Pacific destinations. The Association had 44 Founder Members.

The Founder Lorrin Thurston, a leading newspaper publisher in Honolulu had an idea to organize all travel from the occident to the Pacific area in a consistent, cohesive and systematic manner as to ensure maximum benefit from the existing opportunities and the creation of fresh opportunities through multimedia publicity.

PATAs first conference was held in January 1952 in Honolulu and its headquarters were established in San Francisco, USA in 1953. PATA has its own Director for Europe in London and works to promote traffic from the European into the Pacific region. PATA’s first Asian office was opened in Manila, Philippines in 1976.

As a non–profit organization PATA was subjective of developing, promoting and facilitating travel to and their within the Pacific area and South East Asian region. It primarily operates in the United States market, which is the world’s biggest travel market. The organization provides the meeting point for the people involved in all aspects of the travel trade from a large number of countries.

It focuses attention on travel opportunities in member countries and builds up greater awareness and specific contacts among the travel trade in countries from where the tourists originate. The underlying philosophy of PATA is that the entire travel industry must work together to develop an ever–increasing flow of pleasure travel from which each member will derive a fair share of the total business.


PATA activities include assisting small and up–and–coming destinations to develop their infrastructure, providing expertise and planning group travel schemes, destinations, hotels operations discounts. It provides up–to–date information and practical theoretical experience in the field of tourism.

Through its Research Development, Education and Marketing Councils, PATA as a central source, supporting its diverse membership in tactic marketing programmes for their destinations and products together with training and educational programmes for human resources development.

The annual conferences of the PATA and workshops provide greater scope to its members to share their idea and exchange views about promotion of tourism in their respective regions. PATA staffs are expects in their respective fields of unlike and research and, regularly exchange with others, information latest techniques and practice in their respective areas.

All members benefit directly or indirectly from the continuing programmes of PATA, which include travel research, marketing, training programmes and the development of visitor plants and services. Promotion occupies a major portion of PATA’s total effort.

The PATA publication, Pacific Travel News, is relied upon by wholesale and retail travel agents as an important source of authoritative material on the Pacific. PATA has produced the Pacific Area Destination Handbook, which compiles in a single volume all the data that is required for the planning and sale of travel and is the world’s most authoritative and comprehensive handbook on 31 Pacific destinations.

PATA also publishes its Hotel Directory and Travel Guide listing the hotels, resorts and travel services in the Pacific area. PATA has the following nine categories of membership :

  • Active Government
  • Associate Government
  • Active Carrier
  • Associate Carrier
  • Active Industry
  • Allied
  • Affiliated Allied
  • Associate
  • Sustaining.

PATA control is vested in the Active government, carrier and industry members. The organizations qualifying for Active government or Active carrier membership have the right to membership. They do not require sponsorship and are requested to provide the Board of Directors with pertinent information.

Membership in all other categories is at the discretion of the Board of Directors and requires not only that the organization comply with certain guidelines for eligibility but also that certain categories of PATA members must sponsor the new applicant and vouch for its stability and professionalism.


The PATA Secretariat located in San Francisco, USA, is the operational hub that links PATA members in all divisions, coordinating PATA’s policies, plans, administration and finances, membership’s and chapters, communications and planning for PATA’s Annual Conference. The work of the Association is divided into three divisions.

Asia Division with its office located in Singapore looks after Japan, Republic of Korea, Republic of China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Pacific Division with its office in New South Wales, Australia looks after Australia, New Zealand, the Islands of the South Pacific and Micronesia. Americas/Europe Division with its office in San Francisco looks after North and South America and Western Europe.

This Division’s activities are primarily promotional and include varied member activities, chapter support, PATA Travel Marts, international trade show participation, travel trade education, advertising, PATA merchandising and other revenue–generating programmes.

Finances of the Association

The Administration and programmes of the Association are financed by way of membership dues and the marketing assessments paid by all members. The amount of dues, however, varies with the category of membership. The marketing assessments of governments and carriers are calculated in accordance with a Stanford Research Institute formula.

This formula takes into account, among other things, the growth in visitor arrivals and expenditures at member areas and the growth in traffic volume of carrier members. The association’s financial position is reviewed by the Board of Directors at their monthly meetings and an annual audit is made by an outside accounting agency.

In addition to membership dues and the marketing assessment amounts, there are additional revenues, which come fromAllied, and Associate Members, a portion of which is applied to various marketing programmes.


The Pacific Asia Travel Association performs a variety of functions. These include :

  • Pacific Travel Conference and Workshop : During the first four months of each year, PATA sponsors and organizes a conference of its members with the objectives of reviewing the progress, exchanging ideas and planning for future programmes. These meetings are held at different areas. The annual conferences attract a large number of delegates from all over the world. The conference also serves as a unique promotional tool for the host government providing an opportunity to the travel industry from abroad to get a sample of what it has to offer in terms of tourist attractions and future tourism plans to the foreign visitor.

  • Marketing : A long–range marketing programme coordinates all the promotional functions of PATA for a maximum impact in the consumer market and among sales agents. The marketing programme includes advertising, publicity and promotion. An extensive advertising programme schedule is carried in leading national magazines of North America with a view to increase interest in the Pacific region as a major travel area. The association prepares and distributes a wide selection of selling aids and sales promotion materials to travel agents and tour operators throughout the world. A strong trade–advertising programme is directed towards travel agents in order to merchandise PATA’s consumer advertising and sales promotion efforts. Weekly news releases, special feature stories and photographs are provided to the various newspapers, magazines and radio and television networks by the Association’s Pacific News Service. Members may use the Association’s materials, including photographs, for their own publicity purposes.

  • Research and Development : The Association’s research programme is designed to provide it with the marketing information needed to formulate its own marketing programme as well as to provide its members with information, which will assist them in designing their own programmes. The Association organizes research seminars, research presentations and technical assistance programmes for its members. Another important facet of the research programme includes the collection, analysis and dissemination of Pacific travel statistics and an effort designed to constantly improve and standardize the tourism statistics of the Pacific region.

Today, PATA provides it members with an array of programmes and events created to promote the region as the preferred international destination. These activities also aim to develop a sustainable future for the travel industry and to assist members with professional development in a number of fields.

Originally oriented towards sending visitors to the Pacific Asia region, PATA has grown to encompass the changing market place and now incorporates intraregional tourism within the PATA geographic boundaries. The PATA Annual conference draws together the top decision makers in the region.

The PATA Trade Mart focuses on marketing opportunities by matching the buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products. PATA’s special– interest marketing seminars and marts are held regularly to help members target new business opportunities and learn the successful techniques for development.

PATA also keeps its members up–to–date on relevant industry trends via the strategic information centre, which provides members with timely research and market intelligence for business planning, product development and marketing.

PATA’s office of Environment and culture and the PATH Foundation co– ordinates programmes to preserve the region’s environmental, heritage and cultural resources. Through targeted marketing and promotional programmes, business networking opportunities and support and resources services, PATA provides a professional and personal growth.

PATA’s mission is to enhance the growth, value and quality of Pacific Asia travel and tourism for the benefit of its membership. PATA has long been an advocate of balancing growth with conservation measures.

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