BANGKOK, 23 May 2022: The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) honoured two of its members for their contribution to the association’s activities in the Asia Pacific region.
PATA awarded life membership to Andrew Jones, Guardian, Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong SAR, China. Over the past 50 years in the hospitality industry, he has worked in numerous senior management and corporate positions for hotels, resorts and management companies in London, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, China, and Asia.
In 1996, Jones embarked on a new journey. He founded and became the Guardian of Sanctuary Resorts, a resort management company that pioneered responsible and sustainable tourism experiences where people balance their body, mind, and spirit in an environmentally friendly space long before it became a ‘kicky’ thing to do.
The PATA Chair’s Award was presented to Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) director. It recognises an individual for their help, support, loyalty, and dedication during the chair’s tenure.
She joined the Marketing Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) in 1988, and in September 1998, she became deputy director, leading up to her appointment as MGTO director in December 2012.
Executive Board shuffle
Meanwhile, the association appointed six new members to its Executive Board for a two-year term. They are Benjamin Liao, Forte Hotel Group, Chinese Taipei; Suman Pandey, Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure, Nepal; Tunku Iskandar, Mitra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia; SanJeet, DDP Publications Private Ltd, India; Luzi Matzig, Asian Trails Ltd, Thailand, and Dr Fanny Vong, Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM), Macau, China.
They join current Executive Board members Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Ministry of Tourism, Maldives, and Noredah Othman, Sabah Tourism Board, Malaysia.
The chair goes to Peter Semone. He replaces Soon-Hwa Wong, who was elected chair in 2020.
Semone has engaged in a varied career linked to tourism consultancy in the Asia Pacific over the last 16 years. PATA hired him as its vice president of marketing from 2002 to 2006 under the association’s president Peter de Jong. He headed the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office for a short spell as an interim executive director. He subsequently headed to Laos and Vietnam on Asian Development Bank projects and a Luxembourg aid programme that built the Lao PDR’s first hotel school in Vientiane. He currently resides in Dili, Timor-Leste, where he is ‘chief of party’ for USAID’s Tourism For All Project.
Benjamin Liao and Suman Pandey were elected as the new vice-chairman and secretary/treasurer, respectively.