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Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announces new executive board

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) recently announced the ratification of the 2019/2020 PATA Executive Board. Dr. Chris Bottrill, Dean of Fine and Applied Arts, and Director, International at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada, and Ms. Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing APAC – TripAdvisor, Hong Kong SAR, have been formally approved to continue for an additional one-year term as Chairman and Immediate Past Chairperson, respectively.

During the PATA Annual Summit 2019 in Cebu, Philippines, PATA also elected five new members to its Executive Board including Mr. Soon-Hwa Wong, CEO – Asia Tourism Consulting Pte. Ltd., Singapore; Mr. Benjamin Liao, Chairman – Forte Hotel Group, Chinese Taipei; Ms Jennifer Chun, Director, Tourism Research – Hawaii Tourism Authority, USA; Mr. Vinoop Goel, Regional Director – Airports & External Relations, International Air Transportation Association (IATA), Singapore, and Mr. Henry Oh, Jr., Chairman – Global Tour Ltd, Korea (ROK).

Other Executive Board members include Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director – Macao Government Tourism Office, Macao, China; Mr. Bill Calderwood, Managing Director – The Ayre Group Consulting, Australia; Mr. Jon Nathan Denight, Representative, Palau Visitors Authority, Palau; Mr. Shahid Hamid, Executive Director- Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort, Bangladesh, and Mr. Luzi Matzig, Chairman – Asian Trails Ltd., Thailand.

Mr. Soon-Hwa Wong was elected as the new Vice Chairman, while Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes remains Secretary/Treasurer.

Mr. Soon Hwa has some 40 years of extensive experience in the Asia Pacific tourism and hospitality industry. After a long and successful corporate career, he founded Asia Tourism Consulting to provide advisory and consulting services to commercial and not-for-profit enterprises. During his career, he started the Hertz Asia Pacific office in Singapore in 1993.  After Hertz, as Regional Director – Asia Pacific, he helped Blacklane GmbH establish the Singapore regional office and built a service network covering some 80 cities. Prior to Hertz, he was Regional Manager – South East Asia for Air New Zealand, GM Marketing of Mansfield Travel and Deputy GM Avis Singapore.

On the election of the new Executive Board PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “I look forward to working with our new Executive Board in supporting our members in creating a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia- Pacific region. Our Executive Board this year is truly an example of PATA’s diversity and expertise.  I am especially proud to recognise that PATA has five women on its Executive Board and five representatives from the Pacific, who will work alongside our other members representing the Americas, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and South Asia. I am confident that all of us together will continue to support the productive efforts of the global tourism industry and our core values at PATA.”

Furthermore, Mr Josefa Tuamoto, CEO – Tourism Solomons, Solomon Islands and Dr. Fanny Vong, President – Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), Macao, China have been appointed to the Executive Board as non-voting members.

Ms Flori-Anne Dela Cruz, Youth Representative – Guam Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, Guam and PATA Face of the Future 2019, joins the PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer for a one-year term at the invitation of the PATA Chairman.

The new Executive Board members were confirmed at the PATA Board Meeting on May 12, 2019 during the PATA Annual Summit 2019 in Cebu, Philippines.

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