Tourism, aviation cuddle up at TAASS

Kathmandu, October 15:

Both the tourism and aviation sectors are prepared to meet unprecedented business challenges created as a result of the global banking crisis.

That’s the practical and reassuring message emerging from last Sunday’s inaugural Annual Tourism & Air Service Development Summit (TAASS) in Kuala Lumpur.

“TAASS could not have come at a better time, as we look to an uncertain future in our industry,” said PATA chair Janice Antonson, who inaugurated the event. “Bringing together the leaders of aviation and tourism at this critical time gives us the opportunity to share ideas and solutions.”

Staged jointly by PATA and the World Route Development Forum (Routes) and sponsored by Tourism Malaysia, this one-day summit brought together more than 80 participants — destination marketers, airlines and airports — in an exciting new framework designed to break the mould in route development.

There was unanimous agreement that given the current business climate, the market conditions would be challenging for the tourism and aviation sectors over the next 12-18 months.

However, experts predicted the current crisis would be a catalyst for business opportunities within markets ‘closer to home’ — with short haul business travel expanding to help counter the expected decline in long haul.

PATA president and CEO Peter de Jong said, “As an inaugural summit we achieved our prime objectives. The forum initiated an active dialogue between the tourism and aviation planners for sustainable development.”