The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is collaborating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand its Crisis Resource Center (CRC) to provide further aid in the rapid, robust and responsible renewal of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry.

“Timely, accurate, and useful information is the need of the moment for our members as they manage their recovery from COVID-19,” said Trevor Weltman, PATA Chief of Staff. “The generous support we received from ADB has allowed us to invest in bringing these essential tools to our region at this critical time. As 65% of PATA members polled had no crisis plans pre-COVID, the CRC will be a permanent offer from PATA going forward to continue meeting their evolving needs for crisis preparedness, management and recovery from this crisis, and beyond.”

The PATA Crisis Resource Center and Tourism Recover Monitor were launched in April 2020, to provide reliable and up-to-date policy statements, authoritative information, and tourism indicators from around the globe. The new CRC will officially be launched on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

The ultimate vision of the CRC is to lead, coordinate, and sustain a comprehensive world-class digital resource for crisis response, management, and recovery for the Asia Pacific Travel Industry. In the immediate term, PATA believes Asia Pacific will be the leading force of tourism’s global recovery from COVID-19, as both an inbound destination as well as a robust source market.

“The tourism industry accounts for a substantial amount of private sector employment and investment in the Asia Pacific, especially within the Greater Mekong Subregion. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the industry’s vulnerability to crisis. Through the Crisis Resource Center, PATA is building much-needed infrastructure to make the Asia Pacific tourism sector more resilient,” said Dominic Mellor, ADB Senior Investment Specialist and head of the Mekong Business Initiative, which supported the CRC through technical assistance.

As part of the expansion, the Association has formed a CRC advisory team to help provide further content and development of online toolkits and resources for industry stakeholders to navigate their way through the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Destination marketing and crisis management expert Damian Cook will provide resource and recommendation kits for destinations, airlines and airports, hospitality, tours operators and SMEs; while crisis communications and communication strategy expert, John Bailey, will draft best practice guidance documents on how to develop and implement a holistic communication strategy to support a destination recovery campaign.

Damian Cook is the CEO and Founder of E-Tourism Frontiers, a major global initiative to develop online tourism in emerging markets. He has lived and traveled all over Africa and it was his experience of working in tourism, the media, and marketing that led him to see that Africa’s failure to access the online sector presented a major threat to the sustainable future of tourism. After working as a consultant in both the public and private sector developing destination websites and online marketing campaigns he formed E-Tourism Africa, which worked across the continent, training and facilitating business for the sector. He has also helped manage global tourism crises including the SARS and Ebola outbreaks

John Bailey, the Managing Consultant at Global Communications Consulting, has spent more than 25 years helping companies around the world to prepare for, and respond to, reputation challenges and crises. He is the author of the Best Practice Guidelines on Crisis Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age, published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He has been involved in the response to numerous crises, including several airline accidents and the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. More recently, he was part of the team advising the senior management of Malaysia Airlines on their response to the disappearance of flight MH370, a crisis unprecedented in aviation history.

The CRC Advisory Team also includes PATA Immediate Past Chair Sarah Mathews, who led the pilot Expert Task Force (ETF) that originally created the online resource in order to accumulate knowledge, generate support, and help members and industry stakeholders across the globe access solutions by governments, while also assisting governments in understanding the challenges through the travel impact survey.

Hear more about Mr. Cook and Mr. Bailey on the newest ‘Travel To Tomorrow’ podcast hosted by PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy at–EP8-Damian-Cook-and-John-Bailey-egc26m/a-a2kpji9. With a global pandemic impacting travelers and tourism businesses around the world, Travel To Tomorrow provides a dose of imagination, insight, and inspiration for navigating a path forward. In this podcast series, Dr. Hardy talks to prominent speakers, leading futurists, and industry pioneers to define the emerging future of the travel and tourism industry.