The idea to start our chapter began when Mr. Andrew Jones, PATA Chairman at the time, came in as a guest speaker in 2016 for TOUR 111 – Introduction to Tourism at Capilano University. Students were left inspired with his presentation; several went to introduce themselves and talk more about his presentation. He recommended that students research into possibly establishing a PATA Student Chapter here at Capilano University. We established our chapter in March 2017 and have never looked back since!!

PATA Canada Vancouver Capilano University Student Chapter Chair, Shaun McGrath, at the PATA Youth Symposium in Macao, SAR (Photo: PATA)

We are fortunate to be tourism students at Capilano University, as there is a wealth of knowledge and experience from all the professors in the programs. Immediate past Dean of the School of Global & International Studies and current Director – International, Dr. Chris Bottrill, is currently serving as Chairman of PATA. Ms. Stephanie Wells, Co-Chair School of Tourism Management, and Mr. Chris Carnovale, tourism instructor and CBT Vietnam ambassador, were all equally as excited to make this happen. Without their support and guidance, we would not have been able to establish the PATA Student Chapter. All three continue to serve as faculty advisors to our chapter, providing invaluable mentorship as we proceed through our second year.

There are currently over 20 PATA student chapters throughout Asia, two in the Pacific region, and our proudly Canadian one at Capilano University. As we are the first in Canada, this caught the attention of other Universities that are PATA Student Chapters in Asia. They are intrigued with how we will develop. We want to build great relationships with these Universities that reach across Asia from as far west as Dhaka, Bangladesh to as far east as Manila, Philippines. It is a very exciting time for all the student members and professors involved.

Entering our second year after summer break, we are full of energy and ideas to keep building on the momentum. Our mission is to help tourism students from both sides of the Pacific to be more connected, expand their networks, and share information on developments within the tourism industry. Our first goal will be getting the word out on campus among students and co-hosting World Tourism Day on Thursday, September 27th.

Looking forward to share our journey and successes with you in the 2018-19 school year!