Pacific Asia Travel Association

Pacific Asia Travel Association

Pacific Asia Travel Association

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The (PATA) is a membership association working to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.



The association began in 1951 when Lorrin P. Thurston, president of two major daily newspapers in Honolulu, and William J Mullahey of Pan American Airways set about organising the first Pacific area travel conference with the aim of promoting tourism to the largely undiscovered region of Asia Pacific.

The purpose of the meeting, Thurston noted, was to “discuss cooperation among Pacific countries that would result in a greater exchange of visitors to their mutual advantage, and to develop methods of presenting the Pacific area to the world’s travellers and the travel trade by reducing restrictions on Pacific travel, filling in accommodation gaps, and presenting the Pacific story in advertising and publicity”.

In March 1951, invitations were sent out for the conference, which was to be held in the first week of June, from the office of Hawaii's territorial governor, Ingram Stainback. Unfortunately many of the replies came in too late and the conference was postponed.

It was then in October 1951 that Thurston, who was in Paris attending a European travel conference, issued his now-famous cable to Mullahey: "Proceed to send...
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