Bangkok (Thailand) – October 30, 2014 – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mario Hardy as its next Chief Executive Officer, effective November 1, 2014. Mr Hardy is currently the Chief Operations Officer of PATA, a position he has held since January 15th of this year. He was approved to succeed Martin Craigs as the CEO by the PATA Executive Board at the last Executive Board Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in September 2014. Mr Hardy’s appointment will be endorsed by the full PATA Board at the next Annual Meeting.
Through the end of November, Mr Craigs will fulfil obligations made as CEO at various speaking engagements that have been confirmed, including the Brisbane Global Cafe – Tourism’s New Frontiers on Thursday, November 13, 2014, ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia.
PATA Chairman Scott Supernaw said, “The Executive Board is delighted that Mr Hardy has accepted this CEO appointment. In the short time he has been COO he has proven himself to be an effective and motivating leader. His management skills and creativity are what PATA needs to move the Association forward and regain its’ position as the leading organization providing sustainable and profitable travel and tourism services for our members.”
Commenting on his new appointment, Mr. Hardy said, “I am humbled and honored that the PATA Executive Board has entrusted me to take the Association to its next stage of transformation. I have been an active member of PATA since 2009 and I believe that by bringing further engagement with youth the Association will have a long lasting future.”
Mr Hardy is an entrepreneur and serial angel investor with close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience.
He is also the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PATA Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a mission to contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of heritage and support for education.
Prior to PATA, Mr Hardy worked 14 years for UBM/OAG, a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector, and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.
He began his career with People’s Express Airlines in 1985, before joining Canadian Airlines in 1987 where he spent 12 years in a number of sales, marketing and operational roles, leading to his appointment in a senior management role heading the Group Sales & Charter division in 1997.
Mr Hardy has a BSc from the University of Montreal, a Public Relations Certificate from L’École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal and an International Trade Certificate from the O’Sullivan College of Montreal. He is a true global citizen who lived on 3 continents, 7 countries and has over 10 years experience working in Asia. A seasoned traveler with a goal of visiting over 100 countries engaging with local communities, he is passionate about travel, innovation, design and technology. Mr Hardy can often be found reading FastCompany, TechCrunch, Mashable, or National Geographic; watching TED Talks; or searching for the latest innovations on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 90 government, state and city tourism bodies, nearly 30 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 57 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 43 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney, Dubai, London and New York. Visit www.PATA.org.