PATA Face of the Future Award is the region's most prestigious recognition for young people in the travel industry
March 13, 2008 // Franchising.com // Singapore,- IHG's (InterContinental Hotels Group's) Director, Strategy, Asia Pacific, Kenneth Low, has been announced as the winner of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Face of the Future 2008 in recognition of his contribution to the travel industry in the region.
Kenneth, who just turned 35, is based in Singapore and is the first hotel industry executive to win the coveted award. He will be presented with his award at a gala dinner during the PATA Board of Directors and Annual General Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 6 April 2008.
He has been involved with PATA as a member of its Young Tourism Professionals (YTP) programme since 2003 and was one of the foundation members of the programme. He subsequently became part of the PATA Singapore Chapter, under its YTP committee.
Announcing the award, the President and CEO of PATA, Peter de Jong, said Kenneth was an outstanding candidate in a very strong field. He said: "The judging panel was impressed by both Kenneth's career achievements and engagement with PATA as a Young Tourism Professional."
"The calibre of entries gets stronger every year," added Mr de Jong. "With the enormous pressures on human resources in our industry, it is reassuring to see exceptional young professionals like Kenneth Low pursuing careers in travel and tourism."
Judging criteria required candidates to show initiative and leadership in the implementation of local, regional and international tourism initiatives, including research projects as well as a demonstrated commitment to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific travel industry in a spirit compatible with PATA's mission.
Candidates must be aged 35 or below. They must also work for a good-standing PATA-member organisation or be undertaking post-graduate travel and tourism studies at a PATA-member education institution.
Kenneth said the award was recognition of the opportunities and encouragement provided by IHG. He said: "I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of my company and colleagues who share my enthusiasm for our region and our efforts to ensure a sustainable future for our industry."
This prestigious award further underlines IHG's strong performance and continuing growth. In a record 2007, nearly 100 new hotels were signed in the Asia Pacific region, including 70 in Greater China. This brings the IHG pipeline in Greater China to 107 hotels, the largest of any non-domestic hotel operator.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 3,900 hotels and more than 585,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. IHG owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.
The company pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The IHEI formed the foundations of the Tourism Partnership launched by the International Business Leaders Forum in 2004, of which IHG is still a member today. The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus.
IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com. For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media
Mission statement: "The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA's private and public sector members, we enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region."
Founded in 1951, PATA is the recognised authority on Asia Pacific travel and tourism. PATA provides leadership and advocacy to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 airlines and cruise lines, and hundreds of travel industry companies. In addition, thousands of travel professionals belong to dozens of PATA chapters worldwide. PATA is a not-for-profit organisation. Find out more at www.PATA.org.