PATA honours industry leaders at the PATA Annual Summit and Adventure Travel Mart 2023


PATA was honoured to announce that the PATA Life Membership was awarded to Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).

BANGKOK – During the PATA Annual Summit and Adventure Mart 2023 in Pokhara, Nepal, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) recognised several individuals for their valuable contributions to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.

The PATA Life Membership and the PATA Award of Merit were presented during the Inauguration Ceremony and PATA Awards Presentation held at the Pokhara Grande Hotel on Tuesday May 30, 2023.

PATA Chair Peter Semone said, “As we look towards the future of travel, it is always important to remember the past and recognise the individuals who have greatly contributed towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry. Their achievements should inspire us all to work harder for the responsible and sustainable recovery of the travel industry. I would like to sincerely congratulate them for their valuable contributions and support to both PATA and the entire travel and tourism industry.”

PATA was honoured to announce that the PATA Life Membership was awarded to Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO). The award is the Association’s highest individual honour and recognises significant leadership and invaluable dedication to PATA.

Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes came on board the Marketing Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) in 1988, and throughout the years organized and participated in various local, Greater China and overseas tourism exhibitions, conferences, seminars, and promotional activities. In September 1998, she became Deputy Director, carrying on her dedication to destination marketing, and was appointed as MGTO Director in December 2012, before receiving the Medal of Merit for Tourism from the Macao Special Administrative Region Government in 2016.

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She is a current member of the following committees of the Macao SAR Government: Tourism Development Committee, Economic Development Committee, Cultural Development Consultative Committee, Urban Planning Committee, and Investment Committee. She also acts as Macao SAR (China) Focal Point to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, as well as a current member of the Supervisory Board – Finance and Elections of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

The PATA Award of Merit was presented to Dr Chris Bottrill, Associate Vice President, International, Capilano University, Canada. The Award of Merit is reserved for individuals who have consistently contributed to PATA and the PATA chapter network over an extended period.

Chris  is an accomplished educator and administrator and has a wide background of applied experiences. He has taught tourism sustainability, destination development, entrepreneurship, and adventure management topics in universities in Canada, New Zealand, USA and Austria, and served as Dean of three different Faculties at Capilano University. In his current role as Head of International, he oversees a complex portfolio of international recruitment, admissions, partnerships, internationalization and global engagement activities working with a wide array of partners around the world. Chris contributes regularly to professional development activities and has delivered related presentations and workshops in 18 countries. He has also completed over 50 projects around the globe.

In addition to PATA Life Membership and the PATA Award of Merit, the Association also bestowed a special award to Dr. Dhananjay Regmi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board and Soon Hwa Wong, CEO, AsiaChina Pte. Ltd., Singapore for the extraordinary efforts and support to PATA.