KOROR, Palau—The 2nd Tri-annual Meeting of the Pacific Asia Travel Association-Micronesia Chapter was held on Aug. 6-8, 2019, in Kosrae.
Dozens of members representing national and state tourism offices of Micronesia, representatives of travel trade and other businesses, elected officials, and private individuals gathered for the organization’s meeting.
The meeting opened on Aug. 6, 2019, with a day of tours. Participants received a free boat tour around the island. Additional available tours and activities included a tour of Lelu Ruins, the 14th century home of kings and village chiefs; Tafunsak Gorge Waterfall Tour; Utwe Biosphere Reserve; Teniwak Japanese tunnels; and green banana paper production. Hikes were also offered to Mt. Oma and Menke Ruins, an ancient temple dedicated to the breadfruit goddess. A welcoming reception that evening was hosted by Kosrae Governor’s Office.
Chapter committee meetings were held the following day at Kosrae Nautilus Resort. Education Committee chair Denise Mendiola reported on upcoming trainings for customer service, food handling/safety and “training the trainer” within the region.
Cultural, Heritage & Environment Committee chair Rita Nauta reported on the integration of cultural, heritage and environment into upcoming training by the Education Committee; the Micronesian Milestones historical timeline in Guampedia.com; and development of a Micronesian brand emphasizing seafaring and storytelling.
Chapter member and historian Tony Ramirez also explained the importance of historic and cultural interpretation for tour guides.
Marketing Committee vice chair Luciano Abraham reported on upcoming international and regional events and the chapter’s social platforms and official website MicronesiaTour.com.
Membership Committee chair Lou Aguon-Schulte highlighted PATA members in the region in a special video presentation and discussed renewals, new sign-ups online, and the chapter’s membership goals for this year.
On the following day, members got a chance to visit the world’s last Ka forest (Yela Ka Forest), followed by the chapter’s general membership meeting at the Tafunsak Marina Conference Room later that afternoon, where each of the national and state tourism offices reported on the status of visitor arrivals, upcoming events for tourists, upcoming marketing event, and other news. A farewell reception was hosted Kosrae Speaker’s Office, and optional tours continued on the final day.
“This was a very productive meeting,” said Stephanie Nakamura, PATA Micronesia chairwoman. “Kosrae has been described as the perfect getaway for its unblemished garden of flowers, palms and citrus trees. It is still rich in historical sites and ruins, and we hope to go back soon.”
The PATA-Micronesia chapter will hold its third tri-annual meeting in Palau on. Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, 2019.
PATA is a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. The PATA Micronesia Chapter consists of more than 80 members from the Micronesia region directly in the tourism industry, including national and state tourism offices. (PR)