International Speakers for PATA AT&RTCM 2016

travel-news-img-7Bangkok (Thailand) – January 15, 2016 (travelindex) — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has gathered a dynamic range of international speakers from around the world to share their insights and knowledge at the upcoming Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2016 (AT&RTCM 2016) in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The event, generously hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), will be held at the Dusit Thani Island Resort Chiang Rai from February 17-19.

“Adventure travel is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors with Asian travellers looking to expand their horizons in 2016 by choosing an adventure travel holiday. This year’s speakers will provide greater insights into how best to capitalise on this growing industry in a responsible manner,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “The historic northern city of Chiang Rai, one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Thailand, provides the perfect setting for this event with its natural beauty, indigenous culture and rich heritage.”

PATA is pleased to announce that Shannon Stowell, President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), will be delivering the Keynote Address on ‘Increasing our Adventure Tourism Competitiveness’. In his Keynote Address he will examine how destinations and companies can assess the value and competitiveness of the adventure tourism sector, including market size and segmentation. He will also delve into two indices that measure tourism competitiveness: the Adventure Travel Development Index and the World Economic Forum.

Other confirmed speakers include Hamish Keith, Co-Owner & Managing Director, Exo Travel Thailand; Mei Zhang, Founder, WildChina; Judy Karwacki, President, Small Planet Consulting & Jubilee Travel; John Roberts, Director of Conservation Activities, Anantara Resorts and Spas Worldwide; Willem Niemeijer, Founder & Chairman, Khiri Group; Yin Myo Su, Chairperson, Inle Heritage Foundation; Ben Fleming, Marketing Manager, Tourism Authority of Thailand Los Angeles Office; Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing APAC, TripAdvisor; Ryan Bonnici, Marketing Director, Hubspot; Damien Del Porto, Director- Marketing, Khiri Group; Wouter Schalken, Tourism Component Manager, Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme; Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director – Advertising and Public Relations Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Ajay Jain, Editor, Kunzum Travel Mag, and Ric Gazarian, best known as an avid traveller, author and documentary producer.

The conference will explore various topics including ‘Creating Experiences that Challenge, Delight and Inspire’; ‘Best Practices in Responsible Tourism from ASEAN Region’; ‘Sharing Opportunities: How to Design Effective Co-operative Marketing Campaigns’;’ The Inbound Marketing Playbook; ‘Sharing Opportunities: Building Back Better after a Disaster’; ‘The New Adventure Market: Understanding the Indian and Chinese Adventure Traveller’, and ‘Crossroads: Adventure and Responsible Travel Off the Beaten Path’.

As the home of the former capital of the great Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Rai is a fascinating province filled with cultural and natural wonders. Located in northern Thailand, tourists can escape the crowds and visit remote hill tribes and spot exotic wildlife. Attractions range from ruins of ancient settlements and Buddhist shrines to magnificent mountain scenery and hill tribe villages. Chiang Rai is also a centre for community development projects, helping rural villagers develop their attractions without adversely affecting their natural and cultural assets.

For more information or to register for the event as a seller, conference or media delegate, please visit or email