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Maldives Hosts Inaugural PATA Human Capacity Building Programme

Maldives Hosts Inaugural PATA Human Capacity Building Programme

Male (Maldives) – July 14, 2017 ( – Travel industry professionals in the Maldives are now better placed to promote effectively this idyllic destination, thanks to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The inaugural PATA Human Capacity Building Programme in the Maldives was staged this week in conjunction with the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO). There were 45 participants in attendance. Representing PATA were CEO Dr. Mario Hardy and Director-Human Capital Development Mrs. Parita Niemwongse.

The event, with theme “Exploring the Art of Storytelling”, was staged at the Bandos Island Resort. It provided participants with an intensive and interactive training programme that incorporated a series of classroom sessions conducted by leading travel industry experts coupled with practical activities, group assignments and networking opportunities. The programme content was based upon the successful PATAcademy-HCD at the Association’s Engagement Hub in Bangkok.

“Human capital development is a fundamental component in PATA’s mission for the responsible development of the travel and tourism industry in the region. We remain committed to providing opportunities for local communities to share in the benefits of tourism and broadening the horizons of tourism industry professionals beyond their day-to-day tasks,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with MATATO to stage the first PATA Human Capacity in the Maldives. The theme, ‘Exploring the Art of Storytelling’, fits perfectly with the Maldives where there are so many fantastic stories to be told to a global audience.”

Abdulla Ghiyaz, President – MATATO said, “I hope this opens the door for further cooperation between PATA and MATATO and this becomes an annual event in the Maldives.”

Speakers at the two day programme included Kyle Sandilands, Director and Cinematographer; Trevor Weltman, Head of Growth –; Dung ‘Mos’ Dang, Founder and Head of Product – Scott Experience Design, and Matt Gibson, President of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association and CEO of UpThink.

Kyle Sandilands said, “It’s been a real pleasure to be here in the Maldives as part of this event. My goal was to share some insights about the tools filmmakers use to tell visual stories and provide examples of ‘out of the box’ approaches used to create tourism films. We looked at various examples ranging from surrealist escapism campaigns to more documentary-type approaches in promoting a destination. We had a great audience and it was overall a very positive experience. Thanks to MATATO for hosting such a great event.”

Trevor Weltman and Dung ‘Mos’ Dang delivered an immersive training session on how to apply best practices from software and hardware development to create successful business stories. “Every story has a hero,” said Trevor Weltman. “In business stories, this hero is the user or customer. We created a system for our consulting that helps travel brands focus intensely on solving traveller needs at each stage of their travel journey. We taught participants how to apply this system to both advertising campaigns and digital products.”

Matt Gibson said, “Since the Maldives faces institutional barriers to bring outside storytellers to the country, my session focused upon providing delegates with the tools they need to tell the story of this beautiful destination online. It’s important for all storytellers to know how to identify the story ideas that are the most interesting, to craft inspiring content and to leverage social media to maximise the reach and impact of that content.”

The PATA Human Capacity Building Programme is the Association’s in-house/outreach initiative for Human Capital Development (HCD) across the broad spectrum of travel and tourism. Leveraging PATA’s network of talented industry leaders worldwide, the Programme designs and implements customised training workshops for government agencies, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and private sector businesses.

The training is delivered through innovative adult education learning techniques including case studies, group exercises, group discussions, instructor presentations and site visits.
The facilitators bring knowledge, experience and expertise from a wide range of business sectors and drawn from PATA’s extensive and established network in the tourism industry and beyond.

PATA designs and coordinates the workshop, providing experts who lead and moderate exchanges among participants and offer their own perspectives and experiences. The workshop content and agenda, including the ideal profile and number of participants, are developed by PATA in close collaboration with the lead institution or organisation.

The workshop duration may vary in length from two hours to two days, depending upon the learning objectives, and may be staged at any location worldwide.

For further information on the PATA Human Capacity Building Programme, please visit or contact Mrs. Parita Niemwongse, Director, Human Capital Development – PATA at

About PATA
Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 25 international airlines and airports, 108 hospitality organisations, 72 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 36 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organize travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.

Paul Pruangkarn
Director – Communications & Marketing
+66 (02) 658-2000
Bangkok, Thailand