PATA, announces Langkawi as 2018 travel mart host

Sarah Mathews, TripAdvisor’s head of destination marketing Asia-Pacific, has been elected as chairperson of PATA executive board at the PATA Annual Summit in Negombo, Sri Lanka last week.


Elected vice chairperson in May 2016, the Hong Kong-based Matthews replaces Andrew Jones who remains a member of the board as its past chairman.

PATA also elected five new members to its executive board – Chris Bottrill, dean at the Faculty of Global and Community Studies, School of Tourism Management, Capilano University; Hiran Cooray, chairman, Jetwing Hotels; Jon Nathan Denight, president and CEO, Guam Visitors Bureau; Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah, general manager marketing, Malaysia Airports Holdings; and Peter Semone, senior advisor, Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality.


Other executive board members include Stephen Pearce, vice president marketing, Tourism Vancouver; Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director, Macao Government Tourism Office; Pilar Laguaña, chairperson, PATA Micronesia Chapter; and Ben Montgomery, director of business relations management, Centara Hotels & Resorts.


Bottrill was elected as the new vice chairperson, while Pearce remains the board’s secretary/treasurer.


Anthony Lau, executive director, Hong Kong Tourism Board; Soon-Hwa Wong, regional director – Asia-Pacific, Blacklane; and Faeez Fadhlillah, CEO and co-founder of Tripfez, have also been appointed to the executive board as non-voting members.


The recent summit also saw the announcement of Langkawi as the host of the 2018 PATA Travel Mart (PTM).


Hosted by Tourism Malaysia and Langkawi Development Authority, the mart will take place at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre, the island’s largest convention venue.


Azizan Noordin, CEO of Langkawi Development Authority, who received his Life Membership Award at the summit, said that PTM will “further promote Langkawi as an international resort island destination”.