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Bangkok, THAILAND – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to be bringing together a dynamic line up of international speakers for the upcoming PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2015 (AT&RTCM 2015) in Thimphu, Bhutan on February 4-6, 2015.
The event will bring together both public and private tourism professionals involved in adventure and responsible tourism to discuss creating new opportunities for promoting environmental protection and social sustainability within the industry. With both conference and travel mart components, the three day niche event is being generously hosted by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and supported by the event’s official carriers, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines.
PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “PATA is proud to be bringing together such a diverse and dynamic line up of speakers for the event, which I know will not be only informative but engaging for our participants. In the intimate setting of Bhutan, the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart is truly a unique opportunity to be part of the discussion on responsible tourism and explore one of the most exclusive travel destinations in the world.”
‘Explore Beyond Tourism – Celebrate Happiness’ is the theme of this year’s event and incorporates the concept of reaching beyond borders and uniting people from various backgrounds and cultures through unique experiences, while adopting a sustainable and responsible approach to the consumption of those experiences.
Bhutan, guided by the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, believes the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal, and in terms of tourism, happiness is directly linked to the consumer/tourist experience.
Confirmed speakers at AT&RTCM 2015 include Mandip Singh Soin, Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions Pvt Ltd, India; Ian Ord, Founder and Creative Director, Where Sidewalks End Travel Inc.; Sarah Mathews, Destination Marketing Senior Sales Manager APAC, TripAdvisor; Adam Knight, Senior Business Manager, Lonely Planet, Australia; Karma Lotey, CEO, Yangphel Adventure Travel, and Vice President, SAARC-Chamber of Commerce & Industry for Bhutan; Kelly Tompkins, Founder & CEO, Adventure Link; Sam H. McGoun, Co-Founder, The King’s Challenge; Dr Lam Dorji, Executive Director, Royal Society for Protection (RSPN) of Nature, Bhutan; Stewart Moore, Chief Executive Officer, EarthCheck; Robert Basiuk, Managing Director, Borneo Adventure; and Simon Monk, Founder, World Nomads.
The Conference will explore various topics including “Linking National Philosophy to Tourism”, The Traditionalists vs The Disruptors, Millennials/Youth Travellers, Future Trends of Adventure Travel, and Success and Challenges in Community Based Tourism.
AT&RTCM 2015 will take place in the Kingdom’s capital city of Thimphu, located in the western Bhutan region. The capital is the main centre of commerce, religion and government in the kingdom. The city is home to spectacular landscapes, monasteries and sacred sites, including the famous Tashichho Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Museum, a variety of markets and the Buddha Dordenma Statue. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary and immerse themselves in the lifestyle of contemporary Bhutanese.
Furthermore, Bhutan has declared 2015 as ‘Visit Bhutan 2015′ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck the 4th King, a figure loved and revered by all Bhutanese. It is only befitting that the country that he put ahead of himself come together to celebrate 60 years of a life spent in the service of the nation and its people. Colourful festivals, events and activates held in different parts of Bhutan will be arranged throughout the year.
View video from AT&RTCM 2012 on the PATA TV YouTube channel and hear what other participants had to say about the event.
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