First PATA Academy programme in Maldives begins

First Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Academy programme in the Maldives kicked off Wednesday morning with the participation of industry professionals.

The programme — the first PATA Academy human capacity building programme to be conducted outside its home base of Thailand — is themed ‘Exploring the Art of Storytelling’, and takes place from Wednesday to Thursday at Bandos Island Resort.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, MATATO President Abdulla Ghiyas stressed on the cooperation between his organisation and PATA, saying that the PATA Academy programme held in the Maldives was the result of two years of work done by both the associations. He expressed hope that more joint initiatives would be carried out in the future.

“We hope this will transform into an annual programme,” Ghiyas said.

PATO CEO Dr Mario Hardy spoke on the need to find new and creative ways to promote tourism, with aspects such as local culture and lifestyle incorporated in marketing materials. The PATA Academy programme would pave way for such efforts to promote the Maldives as a destination, he added.

The programme being conducted in the Maldives is based on the successful PATA Academy event held in December at the association’s Engagement Hub in Bangkok, and delivers an intensive and interactive training programme incorporating a series of classroom interactions conducted by leading travel industry experts coupled with practical activities, group assignments and networking opportunities.

Participants gain hands-on experience by working both individually and on team-based projects where presentations are shared at the end of the programme. From this intensive high-value training, participants take home practical marketing strategies to be applied and implemented in their respective organisations, including:

  • Generating realistic, narrative-driven user stories
  • Choosing the most effective medium
  • Learning to ask the right questions
  • Identifying elements of powerful stories
  • Communicating and presenting ideas well to influence and inspire actions

Confirmed speakers include award-winning Canadian filmmaker Kyle Sandilands, Head of Growth at Trevor Weltman, Founder and Head of Product at Scott Experience Design Dung ‘Mos’ Dang, Professional Travel Bloggers Association President Matt Gibson, and PATO CEO Dr Mario Hardy.

The PATA Academy capacity building programme is the association’s in-house outreach initiative for Human Capital Development (HCD) focused on the tourism industry. Leveraging PATA’s network of talented industry leaders worldwide, the programme designs and implements customised training workshops for diverse organisations, including government agencies, non-governmental organisations, educational 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.

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