A meeting of 102 regional travel players in Singapore yesterday endorsed in principle a “big six-figure” regional recovery campaign to put Asia back on the map in terms of travel.
Led by PATA and IATA, the meeting included 27 airlines, 11 hotel chains and six NTOs. Held at the Conrad Hotel, it grouped regional players from Singapore, plus a number who flew in from Japan, Korea and Bangkok.
“Delegates endorsed the need for a strong and coordinated pan-regional campaign to return the travel industry back to pre-SARS levels,” said PATA’s MD for communications Ken Scott at a press conference today.
With airline passenger traffic down 44.8 percent in Asia for April, against a 12.6 percent drop in capacity, the feeling amongst delegates was that a united front was needed, organisers said.
Anthony Concil of IATA said the issue was not about being removed from negative lists, but about changing negative perceptions.
“Credibility does not come from being off a list, it comes with time. Asia has a problem, and particularly our longhaul research shows a cloud over Asia in terms of perceptions, not just specifically over Hong Kong or Singapore,” said Concil.
While more would be revealed June 6 in terms of the mechanics of the campaign, Scott said budget was “dependent on the willingness and depth of pockets of the NTOs.” All NTOs had been asked for a single fee to contribute.
“We need a big six-figure number to get this process going,” said Scott.