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PATA celebrates outstanding leaders at PATA Annual Summit 2024

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Picture: L/R: Peter Semone, Chair, PATA; Soon-Hwa Wong, PATA Ambassador for Greater China appointment; Mayur Patel, PATA Chairman's Award recipient; Elizabeth Chin, PATA Award of Merit recipient; Darren Ng, PATA Life Member 2024 recipient, and Noor Ahmad Hamid, CEO, PATA

At the PATA Annual Summit 2024, PATA honored three tourism leaders for their contributions and appointed Soon-Hwa Wong as PATA Ambassador for Greater China.

BANGKOK – During the PATA Annual Summit 2024, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) celebrated the contributions of three tourism professionals and industry leaders who have dedicated their efforts, skills and expertise to the betterment of the Association, and contributed to the overall development of Asia Pacific tourism and beyond. In addition, the Association also recognised the appointment of Soon-Hwa Wong as PATA Ambassador for Greater China.

The PATA Life Membership, the PATA Award of Merit and the PATA Chairman’s Award were presented on Thursday, May 16, 2024, at the PATA Annual Summit 2024 Welcome Dinner Reception and PATA Awards Presentation, hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office and SJM Resorts, S.A. during the PATA Annual Summit 2024 held at the Grand Lisboa Palace Resort, Macao, China.

“PATA congratulates all four individuals on this sincere acknowledgement of their passion and leadership in ensuring the responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific and beyond,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid. “With their guidance, the Association continues to grow and serve its purpose in supporting the industry. Their tireless efforts should inspire all of us as fellow tourism professionals to fulfil our roles in driving tourism forward.”

The PATA Life Membership was awarded to Mr Darren Ng, Managing Director, TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd. As the Association’s highest individual honour, the award serves to recognise individuals for their leadership and dedication to PATA.

Mr Ng has held prominent positions in various committees and associations in the travel and tourism industry. He served as the Chairman of the PATA Singapore Chapter from 2008 to 2016 and is currently an Advisor to the Chapter. Mr Ng has also been a council and advisory member of PATA, serving as an Industry Council Member, Proxy Member, and Board Member between 1990 and 2023. Currently, he holds a position on the Supervisory Board of PATA.

Aside from his contributions to PATA, Mr Ng joined TTG Asia Media in 1984 and has since made significant contributions to its growth and success. In October 2000, he transitioned from being the Executive Director at Miller Freeman Pte Ltd to becoming the Managing Director at TTG Asia Media. Under his leadership, TTG Asia Media achieved consistent organic growth and established profitable portfolios in event management, tourism, and travel trade publishing. Mr Ng’s strategic vision also led to the expansion of TTG Asia Media’s geographic presence across Asia.

The Association was honoured to present Ms Elizabeth M. Chin, Executive Director, PATA New York Chapter, with the PATA Award of Merit. This award is reserved for individuals who have consistently contributed to PATA and the PATA chapter network over an extended period of time.

Ms Chin has played a pivotal role in the success of the PATA New York Chapter and supported numerous workings of the Association as a whole. She began her professional journey as a corporate auditor, followed by over 25 years of diverse experiences across various industries, ranging from food service to entertainment. In 1986, Ms Chin founded and has since served as the owner of ECI Travel World, providing travel experiences tailored to exploring spectacular destinations worldwide.

Mr Mayur Patel, Head of Asia, OAG, was presented with the PATA Chairman’s Award. This distinct Award bestowed by the PATA Chair acknowledging an individual for their support, loyalty and dedication during their tenure.

Mr Patel is responsible for business development and leading the sales organisation in the region. Prior to joining OAG, he was Head of Regional Sales, ASPAC, Middle East and North Africa at Amadeus where he was responsible for the Travel Intelligence business. Mr Patel spent over seven years at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in a variety of roles focussed on aviation data solutions and services.

As PATA Ambassador for Greater China, Soon Hwa shall serve as a representative of PATA in the region. The Ambassador will work towards achieving the goals of PATA, facilitating collaboration among stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry, and enhancing the presence of PATA in Greater China.

With over 40 years of experience in Asia Pacific travel and tourism, Soon Hwa is a seasoned and versatile senior business leader who can help companies navigate the complex and dynamic market opportunities in the region. As the CEO of AsiaChina Pte Ltd, he leverages his extensive network of high-level contacts and deep understanding of the two-way tourism and trade flows between Asia Pacific and China to provide effective and tailored solutions for clients and partners across various sectors, such as destination management, aviation, car rental, urban mobility, travel agency, and startup.

He is also passionate about driving change and transformation in the industry, as evidenced by his involvement in various association leadership roles, such as the Immediate Past Chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the current Chair of PATA Singapore Chapter, and the Honorary Chairman of the Tourism Management Institute of Singapore (TMIS). Through these platforms, he collaborates with senior tourism leaders, policymakers, educators, and innovators to shape the future of tourism and hospitality in the region and beyond.

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