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PATA elects new executive board

The Pacific Asia Travel Association(PATA) is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Chris Bottrill, Director, International and Dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada as Chairman of the Association’s Executive Board. He replaces Ms. Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing APAC – TripAdvisor, Hong Kong SAR, who was elected Chairman in May 2017 and remains a member of the Executive Board as Immediate Past Chairperson.



“I am deeply honoured to be elected to the role of Chair of PATA and to work with a team of highly talented and accomplished Executive Board members from throughout the Asia Pacific region. We have just completed our annual summit in the beautiful town of Gangneung in the Republic of Korea, and were reminded by H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Dr. Taleb Rifai, and others just how important tourism can be for fostering peace and prosperity on our planet. We were also reminded of the responsibility we have to tread carefully on the environment, maintain cultural diversity, and embrace the rights of all individuals, which is not a simple task,” said Dr. Bottrill. “PATA is an organisation growing from strength to strength, and we are poised to play an ever-increasing role as a body representing governments, industry, and education in the fastest area of tourism growth on our planet. The task ahead for us is to embrace change, move fast, engage more, align strategically, and lead within the context of global sustainability goals. It is a privilege to play a small part as Chair in this important period of time for our industry and our association.”


As the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Global and Community Studies at Capilano University, current Dean of Fine and Applied Arts, and Director, International, Dr. Bottrill oversees a wide and complex portfolio of university internationalisation, international projects and partnerships, tourism and hospitality, film, animation and design programming. He has taught a wide array of tourism topics including destination development, sustainability, marketing, and entrepreneurship at universities in Canada, New Zealand, the USA, and Austria.


Along with a PhD in tourism network and destination development from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, he has extensive applied industry experience having completed over 50 tourism management and development projects around the globe. These have included new product feasibility analysis, marketing strategies, resource assessments, and multiple stakeholder engagement processes. He has also presented on tourism-related topics ranging from Olympic preparedness to community tourism development at conferences and forums in China, Canada, Russia, Finland, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, and Cambodia.


Dr. Bottrill’s first experience with PATA was as a conference volunteer in Vancouver in 1995. He joined PATA in 2011 and has participated in a wide array of roles. He has served as the Chair of the Human Capital Development (HCD) Committee and Vice Chair of the Sustainability and Social Responsibility Committee since 2014, and he has also been a Trustee of the PATA Foundation for the past three years. During his tenure as committee Chair and Vice Chair, Dr. Bottrill initiated a revision of both committee terms of reference, rebuilt committee membership, and led the formation of action plans which have seen many initiatives begin and come to fruition. In his role as HCD Chair, he also facilitated highly successful Youth Symposiums in Phnom Penh, Chengdu, and Bangalore, Guam, Sri Lanka, and Macao.


Dr. Bottrill is also the Director of the acclaimed PATA supported Vietnam Community Tourism project aimed at protecting ethnic hill tribe culture through tourism, and last year he led a PATA study on Indigenous Tourism and Human Rights.


During the PATA Annual Summit 2018 in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, Korea (ROK), PATA also elected a new Executive Board comprising Dato Haji Azizan Noordin, Chief Executive Officer - Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Malaysia; 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, President & CEO - Guam Visitors Bureau, Guam, USA; Mr. Shahid Hamid, Executive Director- Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort, Bangladesh; Mr. Luzi Matzig, Chairman - Asian Trails Ltd. Thailand; Mr. Benjamin Liao, Chairman - Forte Hotel Group, Chinese Taipei; Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO - Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal; Mr. Mohamed Sallauddin H.j. Mat Sah, General Manager Marketing - Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Malaysia, and Mr. Gerald Perez, Managing Director - Leading Edge, Guam, USA.


On the election of the new Executive Board PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “Over the past few years we have made great progress to ensure financial stability and recognition as a crucial voice in the responsible development of the travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. I look forward to working with our new Executive Board in building upon that success and supporting our members in creating a positive impact on not just the industry, but the world.”


Furthermore, Dato Haji Azizan Noordin was elected as the new Vice Chairperson, while Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes was elected Secretary/Treasurer.


Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) to oversee its operation and management with 3 strategic thrusts of tourism, investment and community development.


He began his career in the tourism and hospitality industry with the Tourist Development Corporation Malaysia, now known as Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, as a Tourist Officer in 1978. He has since served in various leadership roles including heading the Tourism Malaysia overseas offices in Seoul, Korea (ROK) and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Dato’ Azizan Noordin retired from Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia) when he was the Deputy Director General (Promotion). He was responsible for overseeing the operations of the organisation and the promotional efforts all 44 Tourism Malaysia overseas offices. He led Tourism Malaysia sales missions overseas and has been a key speaker at many international tourism seminars and conferences.


After 40 years in the civil service, Dato’ Azizan is still dedicated in servicing the country and public. Through his advancement from rank and file in the past 40 years, he has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge that is indeed beneficial to the tourism industry.


Dato’ Azizan is a graduate of the MARA University Institute of Technology in Malaysia, and holds two Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Oxford Learning Centre of Excellence and Institute of Technology in Australia.


Mr. Peter Semone, President & Founder - Destination Human Capital Ltd, Ireland and Mr. Soon-Hwa Wong, CEO - Asia Tourism Consulting Pte, Ltd, Singapore have been appointed to the Executive Board as non-voting members.


Mr. Abdulla Ghiyas, President - Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and PATA Face of the Future 2018, 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 20, 2018 during the PATA Annual Summit 2018 in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, Korea (ROK). 

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