PATA & PTBA and TAT at the AT&RTCM

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has joined up with the Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA) and will rendezvous in Chiang Rai next year at the AT&RTCM (Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference) sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Seems like all the PATA does is go to conferences and conventions and doesn’t really do anything to increase the number of real tourists to Thailand.



And, partnering up with “professional travel bloggers”, an oxymoron if ever there was one, is a complete waste of time.

Travel bloggers are a small clique that travel around the world and consider themselves local experts after being somewhere for a few days. They are usually clueless and mostly just support each other by retweeting posts on Twitter and Liking each other on Facebook.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has hosted travel bloggers in the past – usually upwards of 1,000 at a get-together in Bangkok – and then the bloggers go off and stay at hotels for free as long as a favorable post is written. But, tell me, or show me, where are all the blog posts promoting Thailand from the numerous events that TAT has sponsored?

PATA will work with PTBA to encourage buyers, sellers, and conference delegates to connect with leading industry travel bloggers at the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2016 in Chiang Rai, Thailand from February 17-19, 2016, at the Dusit Island Resort Chiang Rai. The event is being hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Big waste of time.

Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “In today’s digital economy, original user-generated content is a critical aspect for any organisation’s digital marketing strategy. Destinations need to better understand that good travel bloggers help sell tourism offerings through enriching stories that encourage travel and truly connect with an audience. More importantly, these stories help foster cross-cultural understanding for the highly interconnected and interdependent travel and tourism industry.”

But, very few actually blog about their trip. How many of the big names from the Middle East that were in Thailand recently actually promoted Thailand? How many from the Thai Bloggers Exchange (TBEX) posted about their free hotel stays?

“This partnership allows our members the opportunity for them to connect with leading industry travel bloggers at our events, particularly the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart in Thailand and PATA Travel Mart in Indonesia. This can help elevate their marketing efforts and stay competitive,” he added.

Attending conferences and conventions is not the way to stay competitive in the digital age.

Matt Gibson, president, PTBA, added, “PTBA is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping the travel industry and professional bloggers meet and work together in productive and mutually-beneficial ways that enable both parties to meet their goals. We are very excited about the opportunities this partnership will open up for us to engage in dialogue with the travel industry in the Asia Pacific region about how they can boost sales through blogging, social media, and by working with professional bloggers.”

Non-profit that charges $75 annual membership fee. And, they do little to help the travel industry. Honestly, tell me, how many people doing research for a holiday look at a travel bloggers blog? I use TripAdvisor and a few other sources but would never, ever listen to advice from a travel blogger since they are mostly in it for money and looking to get a free trip in exchange for a favorable post on their blog.

As part of the agreement, the two organisations will work to to share information through research and publications, reciprocate in event participation, and enhance access for the benefit of members of both organisations.

Lots of words that mean little and will do almost nothing to attract tourists to Thailand.

Remember just how much help the PATA was when the former CEO made this video to help the Tourism Authority of Thailand try to convince the world that the Bangkok flooding was no big deal. It has all of 249 views total over the past 4 years.

I hope these three acronyms have fun together in Chiang Rai but I really don’t see any value added that will help Thailand bring in tourists.

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Categories:   TAT, Thailand



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