Special Recognition Awards

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Pilar-Laguaña

The PATA Special Award, recognising an individual’s extraordinary efforts as an exemplary ambassador on behalf of the Association, was presented to Pilar Laguaña, Director of Global Marketing at the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB).

Pilar Laguaña has been the Director of Global Marketing for GVB since 1987. As a seasoned tourism marketing executive she is responsible for overseeing the Bureau’s Marketing Department and its overseas marketing representative offices. She has been an active member and passionate supporter of the Association for many years and received the prestigious PATA Award of Merit in 2009. She is also Chairwoman of PATA’s two-time award-winning Micronesia Chapter.


Special Award

PATA is delighted to honour Mr Ratchadet Suksin with a PATA special award recognising his service to the community. Mr Suksin is the Corporate Director of Training, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand.

The PATA Special Award recipient, Mr Ratchadet Suksin was instrumental in initiating the successful programme of “4 Cs: Centara Career Creation for Children” campaign of Centara Hotels and Resorts. The programme has provided career development opportunities to underprivileged and disabled students through a five-month training programme intended to enhance their knowledge and skills in hospitality services. The students are given a full-time job opportunity after the completion of the programme. The initiative aims to expand the workforce base, targeting Thai juveniles who have the potential to become new workers within the hospitality industry.

Mr Ratchadet Suksin said, “What I have remained so proud of working in hospitality and tourism is that I have an opportunity to continue developing people in this industry and see them grow in their career, particularly those who are the underprivileged members of the society. It is always an ecstatic moment to see them happy with their better life and better quality of their family back in their hometown. In the future, together with the continuous support from my team, I will keep on developing and creating more quality workforce for the growth of the hospitality industry.”

“Apart from the schools with which I’ve been in touch, I am sure that there are much more schools of the underprivileged juvenile who have had a lack of opportunity. I will try to access those schools and bring them to join this education and development programme. My job is not only to train them and educate them but I also try to give them the inspiration to work and become successful in the hospitality industry. The greatest pride that I have in my career as Corporate Director of Training is the moment that I see people developed and inspired. Last but not least, I would like to convey my true appreciation to PATA for valuing my developmental role in this industry,” added Mr. Suksin.

Prior to join Centara Hotels and Resorts, Mr Suksin was Deputy Dean in Academic Affairs, Dhurakij Pundit University, Thailand. He received a Master of Arts in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages, University of New South Wales, Australia and a diploma in Hospitality Management from William Blue International Hotel Management School, Australia. A national of Thailand, he can speak English, Japanese and Mandarin.

Mr Suksin is set to receive the honour at the Association’s next Dinner and PATA Awards Presentation during the PATA Board Meeting and 2014 AGM on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Chimelong Hengqin Bay Hotel, Zhuhai, China.


Ms Fiona Huang Hao, a senior student of Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), won PATA’s Tomorrow’s Tourism competition.

The competition, which was launched in September 2010, challenged undergraduate students from PATA member schools to come up with new ways of measuring tourism, taking into account its wider impact on the environment and community at large. The aim was to get students to think beyond the typical success indicators of arrival figures and tourism receipts. Working on their own or in a small team, students were required to create a five-minute video presentation outlining their ideas, and accompanied by a written synopsis.

Three finalists were selected and invited to present their ideas to a panel of judges at the 60th Anniversary and Conference in Beijing, April 9-12, 2011. Fiona’s presentation stood out and won the votes of the judges. She received a financial award and was able will to take part in a debate with PATA life members and selected industry professionals at the Plenary Four of the PATA 60th Anniversary and Conference.

Other Tomorrow’s Tourism finalists included Yunliang Zhao, Yichen Yan and Rui Qian, representing the Shanghai Institute of Tourism; and Mridu Sahgal and Vinay Kumar from the Heritage Institute of Hotel and Tourism, Agra.