2019 Update: Soulinnara Ratanavong, PATA Face of the Future 2014

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PATA is now accepting submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2019 until February 28, 2019. Read the details here >>

PATA recently checked in with Ms. Soulinnara Ratanavong, PATA Face of the Future 2014 to learn about how her career has developed since winning this prestigious award. Ms. Ratanavong was then working as a teacher and trainer at the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH) in Lao PDR, where she now works as a Head of Finance Office and Academic Support.


PATA: “Ms. Ratanavong, greetings from PATA! What are some of your most memorable experiences as PATA Face of the Future?”

SR: “My most memorable experience as PATA Face of the Future was the chance to travel the world and explore the tourism industry on a greater stage.”


PATA: “Is your current life anything like what you had imagined during your time as PATA Face of the Future?”

SR: “No. It is way more than what I would have thought.”


PATA: “You have made great advancements at LANITH in the five years since you were PATA Face of the Future. What does a regular day or week look like for you in your current position?”

SR: “My regular day looks like roller coaster, as we work with many counterparts: private and public sectors, donors, and students. Unexpected event can occur at anytime so I have to be prepared to handle those tasks.”

A regular work day in Ms. Ratanavong’s job (second from right)

PATA: “How has being PATA Face of the Future helped you along your career path?”

SR: “Being the Face of the Future was about extending my network and the greater network that I acquired during my time as Face of the Future has helped me along my career path. I benefited from the knowledge and experiences of those leaders in the tourism industry who I met during my trips.”


PATA: “How do you feel that tourism will evolve in the future?”

SR: “As we all know, tourism is a fast growing industry and I believe that it will continue to grow together with technology because of the high demand of customers who want more experiences. We will need to figure out how to handle such a fast evolution in an effective way.”


PATA: “Which skills do you believe are increasingly important for tourism professionals to have?”

SR: “Technical skills are essential but nowadays hoteliers are looking for someone who can master soft skill, such as communication, customer service, problem solving, leadership, and etc. So I believe that we all have to practice these skills in order to answer the needs of the industry.”


PATA: “What is one thing that you wish you could change about the tourism industry?”

SR: “I would want more responsible tourist and service providers.”


PATA: “What advice can you give for younger professionals in their careers?”

SR: “Love what you do, do it with all you have, pay attention to every detail, and that career will reward you.”


PATA: “These are great insights, Ms. Ratanavong. Thank you for checking in with us!”

Ms. Ratanavong (right) in attendance of PATAcademy

To highlight PATA’s commitment to human capital development, the Association annually presents a special Face of the Future award and prize to an exceptional ‘rising star’ in the industry. All recipients of this prestigious award have exhibited initiative and leadership in the advancement of tourism as well as demonstrating commitment to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific travel industry in line with PATA’s mission.


PATA is now accepting submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2019 until February 28, 2019.

Read the details here >>