19 August 2003
HONG KONG - American travellers will be ready to return
to South-east Asia next year, Richard Copland, president
and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has
Copland, who was in Hong Kong for the Welcome Day
celebrations last week, said, "A lot of challenges remain
but we are confident that American travel to this region
will be back next year.
"If properly marketed and developed, they will return to
Asia. Americans will never give up the right and freedom to
Next year is also the year that ASTA is meeting in Hong
Kong and Copland is confident he will be able to attract at
least 4,000 delegates to the city for the October 1-5
"There are certain destinations in the world where you
say, "I will be back". Hong Kong is such a destination, it
is one of the world's great cities."
Added Copland, "It is a proven fact that ASTA
conferences have greatly helped travel and tourism in a
destination. It has been shown that we can help business
grow by 20 percent."
In November 2001, ASTA moved its annual congress from
Seville to "the one place we knew we should be - New York
City", said Copland.
In 2002, it met in Hawaii and this year, it will convene