PATA has formally endorsed Soon-Hwa Wong, CEO of AsiaChina, as its new chair, replacing Chris Bottrill who had held the position since May 2018.
Bottrill remains a member of the Executive Board as Immediate past chair.
In a press statement, Wong said: “It is indeed an honour to be given the privilege to serve PATA members, especially in a time like this.”
As the association approaches its 70th anniversary in 2021, Wong said efforts are ongoing for “a comprehensive organisation redesign that will transform PATA into an association that will lead the tourism industry into the post-Covid future and beyond”.
“Together with our industry partners from both the public and private sector, we will commit to sustainable tourism development to benefit the economic well-being of the community at large,” he added.
Wong 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 to provide advisory and consulting services to commercial and not-for-profit enterprises. He recently set up AsiaChina, primarily focusing on the two-way tourism flow between China and Asia-Pacific.
As part of paying it forward, he is also providing pro-bono services in mentoring start-ups and university students in his alma mater in addition to serving in several social committees.
Wong’s long association with PATA dates back to 1996 and he has served in various capacities over the years. Presently chairman of the PATA Singapore Chapter, he is also the recipient of the PATA Life Member Award in 2018 and PATA Award of Merit in 2008.
During the virtual PATA Board Meeting on October 12, six new members also joined the Executive Board. They are Hai Ho, CEO, Triip, Singapore; Suman Pandey, president, Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure, Nepal; Andrew Jones, guardian, Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong; Fanny Vong, president, Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao, China; Oliver Martin, partner, Twenty31 Consulting Inc., Canada; and Peter Semone, founder and president, Destination Human Capital, Timor Leste.
Ho and Pandey were elected as the new vice chairman and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively.
Furthermore, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director, Macao Government Tourism Office and Supawan Teerarat, senior vice president, strategic business development & innovation, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau have been appointed to the Executive Board as non-voting members.