The Pacific Asia Travel Association will be holding its Annual Summit in Negombo, Sri Lanka in 2017, in recognition of the importance of the country in Asian tourism. The winning bid was submitted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, supported by local stakeholders.
Announced formally at the ongoing PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore, India, Sri Lanka was also presented as the latest tourism and MICE destination in Asia. Negombo was chosen out of the 4 options given – Negombo, the Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Bentota/Beruwala, due to the destination’s rich and colourful history, the proximity to the airport, and the event itself will be held at Jetwing Hotels; the single largest accommodation provider in Negombo.
The Annual Summit is a 3- to 4-day programme consisting of the association’s executive and advisory board meetings; AGM; PATA Foundation charity and Gala dinner. The one-day conference agenda addressing major issues relevant and affecting travel and tourism business environment and preludes with the PATA Chapter meetings.
The beginning of the Jetwing group, Jetwing Blue was opened in 1973 with 6 rooms of a planned 50 – and relaunched in 2011 after a massive reimagining which saw the expansion of the property to 120 rooms and the largest conferencing facility in the area. Considered the birthplace of Jetwing, Negombo remains the family’s heart with a total of 6 properties in the destination.
Former Chairman of PATA and current Chairman of Jetwing, Hiran Cooray welcomed the announcement, stating that, “Sri Lanka and Jetwing will welcome the delegates of the PATA Annual Summit with open arms in keeping with our reputation of being the heart and home of Sri Lankan hospitality. Our contribution to South Asian tourism is growing steadily, as our destination is truly unique with plenty to offer everyone. We look forward to a successful Summit, with the participation and support of all stakeholders to further expose Negombo and Sri Lanka as unique destinations.”