Bangkok, Thailand, October 27, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has taken the bold move to make significant changes to the design of its organisational governance at the recent Board Meeting and Annual General Meeting held on October 12 and 14, respectively.
Over the past three years, PATA has been reviewing leading organizational models and been in consultation with a wide range of experts to create a design that modifies and refines the Association for more efficient outcomes and engaged participation. The major changes are a shift from an appointed Board to an elected Board by all members that is also substantially reduced in size, in addition to a reduced and fully elected Executive Board.
A unique feature of the new design is a shift from an expansive array of committees to Expert Task Forces (ETFs), which draw upon the deep knowledge and experience within the PATA network to address issues of interest to the Association and the industry. The ETFs are established to focus on a specific task within a specified time-frame and disband upon completion. New ETFs will be formed on new issues as they arise. The goal is to enable the active engagement of members in dynamic and meaningful activities that support PATA’s purpose of facilitating the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
Over the past year, three pilot ETFs have been formed with strong results. Two ETFs helped frame and facilitate the development of the PATA Crisis Resource Center and Tourism Recovery Monitor, both designed to support members through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and assist towards recovery. A new ETF is currently in process to help envision the future of PATA in a post COVID-19 environment to maximise benefits for current and future members of the Association.
As noted by Immediate Past Chair Dr. Chris Bottrill, who oversaw the governance redesign during his tenure as Chair, “I believe the meetings last week were a pivotal moment for PATA. Through the work of dedicated leaders and the input of members, we have committed to a new design that builds upon the legacy of PATA and sets us up for future growth, impact and success. It is a proud moment for the PATA community to have embraced change with the goal of strengthening the Association now and for the future.”
The changes to the Association’s organisational design and comprehensive revision of its bylaws brings its governance in close alignment with common business practices. For associations to prosper and remain relevant in an increasingly digital world, PATA must be as agile as the organisations it serves. Hence, the new structure is designed to enable a voice for all members. The ETFs along with the Board, Executive Board, and Management initiatives will encourage greater member engagement through ‘micro-volunteering’ by facilitating ‘bite-sized’ feedback on issues that matter to members, while assuring the agenda remains relevant, timely, dynamic, engaging, and beneficial for all industry stakeholders. PATA will retain its legacy of a strong community and a balance of public and private sector members in the new design, but the changes will enable broader participation of members to facilitate greater equity and diversity in all aspects of governance and operation.
PATA Chair Soon-Hwa Wong added, “In the VUCA world, the one who can adapt best is the one who will survive and thrive. To facilitate true transformation, we need to remove all the hindrances and barriers. Besides the collective will, we must have in place an effective governance structure to deal with the many unknowns that lie ahead. There is no perfect time for change. Organisation redesign is a must have and not a nice-to-have, if PATA is to lead the industry into the future. And the Future is Now.”
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 800 member organisations, including 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 20 international airlines and airports, 102 hospitality organisations and 70 educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 35 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 22 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATA mPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London. PATA’s Annual Theme for the 2020 calendar year is ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’.