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PATA Japan Chapter Newsletter Vol. 5 - February 2004
Hot News coming straight to you from the PATA Japan Chapter Secretariat

Why should I become a PATA Japan Chapter Member?
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PATA Japan Chapter – First Event of 2004
The PATA Japan Chapter held its first event of the New Year at the Hotel Grand Palace, a PATA Japan Chapter member, in Tokyo on Thursday, January 22nd. The event began with a meeting of the Board of Directors, and was followed by a presentation on general Japanese Government tourism policy, focusing on the Visit Japan Campaign and ways to make Japan a top destination for overseas tourists, by Mr. Satoru Kanazawa, Director General of the Tourism Department, Policy Bureau Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Mr. Kanazawa’s presentation was very well received, and provided much food for thought and inspiration for participants. Following Mr. Kanazawa’s presentation, Mr. Hee Soo Shin, Executive Director of the Tokyo Office of the Korea National Tourism Organization, made a presentation about the upcoming 2004 PATA Annual Conference and Korea Chapter Annual General Meeting in Jeju Island, also outlining the venue island’s principal attractions and sights. This was the first function organized jointly by the Japan and Korea PATA Chapters, and Mr. Nobutaka Ishikure, Chairman of the PATA Japan Chapter, commented that “we wish to expand on the success of this event, being involved in further activities with other neighbouring Chapters, such as the PATA China Chapter”.

The day’s programme ended with an informal reception, which provided great networking opportunities for members and non-members alike. The first PATA Japan Chapter event of 2004 was attended by over 80 people, both PATA members and non-members. It is hoped that the event will encourage new members to join as they see what a fun and friendly chapter we are!

PATA Chapter Communicators Lead the Fight against Bird Flu
PATA has called on travel industry communicators and public relations professionals throughout the PATA chapter network to circulate factual messages about avian influenza (“bird flu”). PATA recommends forwarding the following key messages to anyone concerned about bird flu:
  • Unlike common flu, bird flu cannot pass from human to human; humans can only catch it through contact with infected poultry.
  • The evidence to date is that you are not at risk of catching bird flu by eating uncooked chicken or eggs.
  • Unless you come into direct contact with contaminated animals, you are not at risk of catching bird flu when visiting areas that have confirmed cases.
  • The risk to travelers is minimal. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not issued any travel advisories related to bird flu.
Destination Jeju 2004: New Conference Highlights
More than 20,000 colorfully clad Jeju residents will join PATA Annual Conference delegates at the official welcome reception on April 18 at Jejeu World Cup stadium. Delegates and locals alike can look forward to live entertainment, which Korean television will broadcast to a national audience. For comfort, delegates should bring a light jacket as it could be windy and cool in the evening. The event will be hosted by the Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO) and the Jeju Provincial Government.

All delegates to the 63rd PATA Annual Conference will receive a complimentary taekwondo outfit at registration. Free taekwondo lessons will take place Monday, April 19 to Wednesday, April 21 at the Shilla Cheju Hotel. An English-speaking instructor will teach participants the basic moves of taekwondo, a world-renowned Korean marital art. All participants should wear the uniform. Delegates who attend all three sessions will receive accreditation. For further information, please visit www.PATA.org.

CNN Chief to Address PATA Annual Conference
Mr. Chris Cramer, Managing Director of CNN International, will deliver the closing keynote address at the 53rd PATA Annual Conference. Mr. Cramer is responsible for overseeing CNN International’s worldwide newsgathering operation outside the United States, as well as editorial content and programming.
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Silent Auction Calls for Donations
The PATA Foundation will hold its 14th Annual Silent Auction at the 53rd PATA Annual Conference (PAC 2004) in Jeju Island, Korea (ROK), April 18-22, 2004. Ever since the first Silent Auction was held at the 40th PATA Annual Conference in Bali in 1991, the event has been a not-to-be-missed attraction at the PAC. The PATA Japan Chapter will be donating an exciting, original item to the auction – please keep your eyes open for it at the event! Proceeds from successful bids go to the PATA Foundation which funds tourism-related environmental, cultural and educational programs at the community level, helping PATA to help local communities to protect the environment, conserve cultural heritage and support educational programs. For more information about donating items, please contact Silent Auction coordinator Mr. Tongchan Srinava (tel: (66-2)658-2000 ext. 115; fax: (66-2)658-2010; e-mail: aye@pata.th.com).

Mekong Forum Adds Simulated Crisis Session
PATA has added a special full-day session on tourism reputation and crisis management to the 9th Mekong Tourism Forum, Chiang Mai, Thailand, March, 26-28, 2004. Participants in the March 26 pre-Forum seminar will have to cope with a simulated crisis, which will touch on issues now affecting tourism. The program, entitled “Catch Me If You Dare”, will involve a fast-paced and realistic scenario demanding crisis management, ethics, values, leadership and cross-cultural difference skills from participants. Tourism executives can join the session at a special PATA-sponsored fee of US$80 net per person, including lunch and coffee. The seminar runs from 10:00 to 17:00 on March 26, 2004 at the Sheraton Chiangmai Hotel (the Mekong Forum venue). More information about the seminar is available at www.catchmeifyoudare.com.

Qantas to Launch Low-Cost Domestic Airline
Qantas has announced that its new low-cost domestic airline will be named Jetstar with headquarters in Melbourne. Jetstar will begin selling seats in February 2004, and start flying in May 2004, using 14 Boeing 717s currently operated by Impulse Airlines under the QantasLink brand. The first Airbus A320 will be delivered in June 2004, and Jetstarwill over time move to an all A320 fleet. Qantas said the airline’s route network and fare structure will be announced in January 2004. For further information, visit www.qantas.com.au.
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Japan Airlines Adds Flights to Northern Marianas
The Marianas Visitors Authority announced that Japan Airlines has commenced daily services to connect the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas (CNMI) with Haneda, Tokyo, Kansai and Osaka, Japan due to the increasing numbers of Japanese travelers to Saipan, Tinian and Rota in the Northern Marianas. The additional flights will provide passengers with convenient afternoon departures to male connections with other Japan Airlines international flights. For further information, visit www.mymarianas.com.

China Shelves Maglev Plans
China has shelved its plans to have a Maglev (magnetic-levitation) train ply the Beijing-Shanghai route due to high costs. As of now, China’s first maglev (built at a cost of US$1.2 billion) will only serve a short stretch of 18 miles from Shanghai’s Pudong Airport to the city center. This regular commercial operation started on January 1st. China is now exploring alternative options, similar to Japan’s Shinkansen Bullet Train and France’s TGV.

Air India Introduces Companion Free Scheme
Air India is offering the Companion Free Scheme (CFS) applicable on Air India-operated flights (excluding codeshare flights) with adult IATA published full fares, both on one-way and round-trip tickets. CFS is valid for flights between India and the United States, United Kingdom and Europe in first, executive and economy classes; between India and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam in executive class; and between the Gulf and India in executive and economy classes. The offer is subject to certain terms and conditions. Passengers are required to travel on their outbound journey together but may return individually. The offer is valid for outbound travel until March 31, 2004, and can be booked at any Air India office or through travel agents. For further information, visit www.airindia.com.

IATA Opposes New EU Denied Boarding Regulation
The European Union (EU) has now completed the revision of rules that define assistance to airline passengers in the event of denied boarding, delays and cancellations. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the legislation misses its mark. The spirit is more punitive than compensatory, and it will actually have a negative impact on consumer-friendly fares and global airline tickets, comments Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO. IATA feels that the new rules will not necessarily provide efficient consumer protection and are potentially very damaging to the industry.

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