Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced a new executive board, with Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) president Abdulla Ghiyas joining as a non-voting member.
Following its recent annual summit in Gangneung, South Korea, PATA announced its new executive board, with Chris Bottrill, international director and dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Capilano University in North Vancouver as chairman, replacing Sarah Mathews, TripAdvisor’s head of destination marketing Asia-Pacific.
Bottrill joined PATA in 2011 and has participated in a range of roles, including as chair of the Human Capital Development Committee and vice chair of the Sustainability and Social Responsibility Committee since 2014. He has also been a trustee of the PATA Foundation for the past three years.
The new executive board comprises Haji Azizan Noordin, CEO, Langkawi Development Authority; Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director, Macao Government Tourism Office; Bill Calderwood, managing director, The Ayre Group Consulting; Jon Nathan Denight, president and CEO, Guam Visitors Bureau; Shahid Hamid, executive director, Dhaka Regency Hotel and Resort; Luzi Matzig, chairman, Asian Trails; Benjamin Liao, chairman, Forte Hotel Group; Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board; Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah, general manager marketing, Malaysia Airports Holdings; and Gerald Perez, managing director, Leading Edge.
Haji Azizan Noordin was also elected as the new vice chairperson, while Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes was elected secretary/treasurer.
MATATO president Abdulla joins the PATA executive board as a non-voting member and observer for a one-year term at the invitation of the PATA chairman.
Abdulla has recently been named the 2018 PATA Face of the Future, the most prestigious honour given by PATA to young tourism professionals in the Asia Pacific region.
Abdulla is a serial entrepreneur engaged in leading travel businesses and startups.
He is the Deputy Managing Director of Inner Maldives Holidays, one of the largest inbound and outbound travel agency in Maldives. He is also a Director for Ace Travels Maldives and Spence Maldives, which are joint ventures with Sri Lankan blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.
Having 14 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, Abdulla was the youngest Board Director of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) from 2014 to 2017. He was also named by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Maldives as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Maldives in 2010 for his role in business turnaround in Inner Maldives Holiday.
Abdulla also contributes to the Consulate of the Republic of Seychelles to the Maldives as the Deputy.
MATATO is today considered the leading NGO in the Maldives, with the association engaged in various activities such as advocacy and lobbying, training and workshops, fam trips, loan schemes via different financial institutions, recognition programmes such as awards, travel conferences and forums, publications and much more. The association last year organised destination stands and road shows, exhibiting brand Maldives in 14 countries around the world.