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In late 1954, the idea to form an association was first conceived by Hong Kong IATA agents
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Three years later, in 1957, the Hong Kong Association Travel Agents was finally formed
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In 1958, with 23 members, HATA produced its constitution and bylaws
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Membership stood at 59 in 1968
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1972 saw HATA holding its first overseas annual convention

Issues in the 70's included traffic problems in Hong Kong, inaccessibility of tour groups to Lok Ma Chau - a vantage border lookout point where visitors came to look into China, etc.
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1982 HATA celebrated its silver jubilee with a formal dinner and dance
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1986 was the year HATA held its 15th annual convention and the venue was Jakarta with 150 members attending. This was also the year that HATA was appointed the training arm of the travel industry
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The 90's saw HATA forging a closer working relationship with China by organising a number of fact-finding trips. Places visited included the Pearl River Delta, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangtze River and Suzhou. Study tours were also organised to Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan and India.

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1993 saw HATA taking its annual overseas convention on board a cruise ship for the first time traveling from Vancouver to Los Angeles.
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1996 HATA went to Paris to celebrate 25 years of organizing overseas convention. HATA wanted this convention to be talked about for years to come and this was achieved as even today it is still the most talked about convention ever.
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HATA goes on the Internet. The HATA web site is launched.
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1997 is the 40th anniversary since the founding of HATA. Membership now stands at 350.
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Since 1997, the travel industry has undergone severe changes due to various factors. One of them being the Asian economic crisis. Even HATA has to change in order to adapt to the new working environment