PATA Launches China Advisory Board and Beijing Chapter

21 December 2011

Dragon Trail Co-founder appointed as Chairman

Beijing -  The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the PATA China Advisory Board at the first China Responsible Tourism Forum, organised by PATA, in co-operation with the Organising Committee of the China International Heritage Towns

The PATA China Board will be made up of the chairs and vice-chairs of PATA chapters in mainland China, and will act as an advisory council to the PATA China Office, which was established in 2008.

While the role of the PATA China office is to foster public and private partnerships, and develop intra-governmental relations, the PATA Board and the PATA China chapters will have the mandate of building a community of travel and tourism professionals in China. The PATA China office will leverage the inner chapter network of over 40 PATA chapters worldwide to share knowledge and best practices. PATA China will also network with industry peers to streamline collaboration between Chinese and expat members of the Chinese travel industry. The goal is to educate the industry on changing trends in the travel and tourism industry in China, and to assist in business growth for companies and tourism professionals domestically and internationally.

“The importance of building a bridge between Chinese travel and tourism professionals and expats working in China is vitally important,” said Martin Craigs, CEO of PATA. “The new PATA China Board and Chapter structure across mainland China, and the PATA Greater China office based in Beijing is a substantial institutional foundation that will help the next generation of PATA members build their business.”

The first chapter that has been launched, the PATA Beijing-China Chapter, consists of PATA members working in diverse segments of the industry. These include aviation, hospitality, tourism, media, academia, and government. Other chapters across China are being formed and will include the formation of student chapters. Activities of the chapters will include seminars, network luncheons with guest speakers, and industry conferences, the first being the China Responsible Tourism Forum, which was held on December 16, 2011.

The PATA Beijing-China Chapter board includes the following members:

  • Chair: Jens Thraenhart - President, Dragon Trail
  • Wang Yan - Deputy Director General International Communication, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA)
  • Gao Fu - Deputy Director Top End Market, Beijing Tourism Administration (BTA)
  • Tiger Wu - Director of Recreation and Tourism Research, Peking University
  • Jasmin Esguerra - Tourism Attache China-Beijing, Philippines Tourist Board
  • Julia Dai - Director Beijing-China, Horwath HTL
  • Karen Zhang – Associate Vice President China, UBM Aviation
  • Li Bo – Deputy Managing Director, Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Centre
  • Kate Chang - Regional Director Greater China, PATA

The PATA China Board and the PATA China-Beijing Chapter are chaired by Jens Thraenhart, Co-founder of digital marketing agency Dragon Trail. Thraenhart brings experience to the chairmanship role of PATA China, including global board directorships of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), and the International Federation for Information Technology in Travel and Tourism (IFITT). Thraenhart also established the Canadian e-Tourism Council during his employment at the Canadian Tourism Commission.

“I am grateful and excited that so many PATA members want to get involved in the PATA China Board and the development of chapters all over the country,” said Kate Chang, PATA Regional Director for Greater China. “Uniting the industry from senior officials to students will add real value and complement the growth we are already experiencing in China.”

Aligned with the “next generation PATA” direction, the first PATA China Student Chapter has also been launched at Beijing International Studies University by University President Dr. Feng Pei.

A delegation of industry experts, led by Martin Craigs, PATA CEO, Kate Chang, PATA Director-Greater China, and Jens Thraenhart, PATA China Chair, included senior tourism experts such as Mason Florence, Executive Director of Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, Peter Semone, Director of Lanith Laos, Dr. Chen Xu, researcher at the China Tourism Academy (CTA), and Anna Pollock, CEO of DestiCorp, all engaged with students in an interactive meeting of minds on December 15.

“The importance of supporting tomorrow’s leaders in the travel and tourism industry in China by developing student chapters is critical, especially recognizing the growth China is experiencing,” said Thraenhart, Chair of PATA China. “Developing mentorship and internship programs will be part of our activities. These, in turn, will build careers for students, and will grow the business of PATA member organizations.”