Håfa Adai, Tirow, Alii, Lenwo, Mogethin, Kaselehlie, Ran Anim, and Iokwe!
I want to start by welcoming everyone to the last PATA Micronesia Chapter General Membership Meeting of the year. It is wonderful to finally host an in-person meeting and to those who traveled from our sister islands, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us today. For those attending virtually, I would like to thank you as well for joining us and I look forward to seeing you in person soon.
The fact that we are able to conduct this hybrid meeting speaks volumes to how far we've come. Our islands, like the rest of the world, suffered from the effects of the pandemic. However, we can all agree that due to our location and economic landscape, the impact to our islands hit much harder. It took some time, patience, and resiliency, but our region has finally reopened. We are seeing tourism arrival numbers increase across the Pacific. I will save the statistical data for our National and State Tourism Offices to share during their reports, but from the airline perspective, United is increasing flight frequencies in Micronesia.
According to PATA's visitor forecast for the Pacific region, it will take 3 years to reach 2019 figures, based on a conservative model. The good news is that our National and State Tourism partners are once again out in our source markets meeting with travel trade partners and promoting in consumer events in order to compete with other destinations looking to satisfy the growing demand for travel. Reports from travel experts show that travelers are now looking for less-dense destinations and are willing to travel long-haul to experience something new and unique. This presents an opportunity for our region to benefit from and we must start preparing by working with our tourism stakeholders-the hotels and resorts, optional tour companies, car rentals, dive operators and so forth, to be ready to welcome visitors. The hospitality and service sectors in the region and in many parts of the world, were disrupted and are now facing challenges in meeting customer expectations. As we anticipate arrivals to continue to grow, we must be ready and I know we will be.
Now, as my role as Chair concludes with this meeting, I want to thank our members for their continued support of the Chapter. Although the pandemic affected the nature of our organization, we continued to provide value to our members through regularly issued newsletters, virtual membership meetings, travel studies and reports from industry experts, to name a few. However, this would not have been possible without our hard-working committee Chairs and co-Chairs, the Board of Directors and the members who volunteered to support the Chapter. I want to thank you for all your hard work and leadership throughout the past 2 challenging years.
Later today, we will be voting on a new set of Board of Directors to lead this organization for the next 2 years. Along with that, the committee chairs and co-chairs will be selected to also lead the Chapter to ensure that the goals and objectives set by the committees are executed for the benefit of the Chapter and the region. I ask for everyone's continued support as PATA Micronesia transitions with a new set of leadership. I also call on everyone to remain active with the Chapter and look forward to more great things to come.
In closing, I want to again thank my fellow Board of Directors, the committee Chairs and co-Chairs and you, the members, for allowing me to serve as Chair. It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity. I will continue to remain involved as Immediate Past Chair and will offer my guidance to the new Board. It will be an exciting 2 years to come and I eagerly await to meet you all again at the next meeting, wherever that may be.