PATA ANNUAL SUMMIT 2016
In May 2016, the island hosted the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Summit 2016, a five-day event that united over 600 delegates from 27 nations in celebration of “Exploring the Secrets of the Blue Continent.
- Special Welcome at customs
- 5-10 minute drive from Airport to Hotels
The event marked the first major international conference to take place at the newly constructed Guam Convention Center at Tumon Bay’s Dusit Thani Guam Resort. Generously hosted by the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), the Summit incorporated a one-day conference, the PATA Youth Symposium, the PATA Executive Board and Committee meetings, the Annual General Meeting, and a ministerial debate by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The final day was reserved for delegation to attend the official opening of the subsequent 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, also held on Guam.
Event Press Conference + Valley of Latte Opening Reception
- River cocktail reception
- 4,000-year-old history
The event officially launched on May 17, 2016, with a press conference held in the lobby of Dusit Thani Guam Resort, the island’s only 5-star luxury resort and host for the event. In addition to attendance by local and international media, Governor of Guam Eddie Baza Calvo and dignitaries from across the region were present.
“We’re glad we’re able to support the Pacific Asia Travel Association and its anniversary celebration,” said Gov. Calvo. “This event will precede the Festival of Pacific Arts, which will be held in May 2016. It is another opportunity for Guam to demonstrate its ability to host international, multi-level conferences. As the gateway between Asia and America, Guam’s geographic location, its perfect blend of Pacific Islander, Asian and American community, and it’s beautiful beaches all come together to provide a unique experience.”
Following the press conference, guests were welcomed with a river cruise at the island’s newest optional tour, Valley of Latte operated by Turtle Tours. After a river cocktail reception, dinner was held at the newly developed Valley of Latte eco park. Experts from the University of Guam were on hand to present central ideas of the Chamorro culture, and give guests an overview on the significance of the island’s symbol of longevity and strength, the latte stone.
Guests were treated to traditional Chamorro food at the dinner reception, including local favorites lik kelaguen, tamales gisu, and roasted pig, before being given the opportunity to explore the park. A replica of an ancient Chamorro village gave delegates a glimpse into the island’s 4,000-year-old history along the backdrop of the Talofofo River.
PATA Youth Symposium + Complimentary Tours
- Island Tour
- Walk to Shopping District
- Chamorro Fiesta
Delegates not attending the Youth Symposium were invited to attend a special complimentary half-day tour of the island. From 9 a.m. to noon, guests were permitted to either attend the Island City Tour, which provided an up-close look at historical sites including Two Lovers Point, the Plaza de España, and many cultural sites in the island’s capital city of Hagåtña; or the Southern Island Tour, which explored villages including Umatac, the scenic southern mountain ranges and sites including the Cetti Bay overlook and nearby Cocos Island.
Attendees also had the option to explore Guam’s shopping district of Pleasure Island on their own. With dozens of luxury name-brand boutiques and duty-free shopping, there is no shortage of high-end retailers offering numerous leather goods, clothing, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes. Although DFS Guam is within walking distance to most luxury hotels within Tumon, resorts also offer convenient trolley transportation for guests. Other shopping options include American-style shopping malls and open-air shops like Chamorro Village in Hagåtña.
Following lunch, the main PATA Annual Summit kicked off at the Guam Convention Center at Dusit Thani Guam Resort. In addition to a series of speakers, the summit featured a number of networking opportunities throughout the hotel.
Following the day’s events, a welcome dinner fiesta was held at the Plaza de España in the shadow of the newly constructed Guam Museum. A highlight of the Summit, guests enjoyed a traditional Chamorro fiesta, complete with dancing, performances by several local musicians and bands, carabao rides, cocktails, cultural performances, arts and crafts by local vendors, and appearances by local dignitaries dressed in colorful Chamorro dress. Guests celebrated well into the night, which ended with a fireworks display over the Pacific Ocean.
PATA Annual Summit 2016 + Welcome Fiesta Dinner
- Environmental Sustainability
- Charity Gala Dinner at SandCastle
As the Summit continued, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held a ministerial debate on Pacific Island Tourism, a historic first for the island and the region. The high-level debate, moderated by BBC World News, signaled an acknowledgement of the importance of the region to global tourism.
The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. The organization promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.
Following the conference, Guam Visitors Bureau hosted the PATA Foundation Charity Gala Dinner at SandCastle, the island’s most original, world-class show. In addition to amazing magic illusions, white tigers, and Las Vegas-style dancers, the dinner featured a four-course meal and cocktails. Proceeds went to the PATA Foundation, which contributes to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific.
Board + Council meetings / Optional activities
- Car Rental
- Historical Sites
On Day 4 of the Summitt, several breakout sessions were held in smaller rooms of Dusit Thani Guam Resort, with special sessions for board and council meetings.
Delegates who did not attend the smaller meetings were given free time for optional activities. While some took trolley rides to shopping areas throughout the island or engaged in water activities near the resort, others opted to rent their own cars for a self-tour of Guam. Guests visited WWII sites, located throughout the island, and escaped to unspoiled beaches like Ritidian Point.