1 Dec, 2016
By Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire
Bangkok – Today marks the launch of the ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame (ATTHoF), the first global website to honour the achievements of the many industry veterans and stalwarts who elevated this robust and dynamic industry to its present heights.
Nothing like this has ever been done. It begins with an initial listing of 40 veterans, and will continue to grow as more entries are researched and added.
Most of the entries are from my home-base country, Thailand. That is apt because Thailand was really at the forefront of ASEAN Tourism for several decades. More entries are welcome from the other ASEAN countries (see listing criteria below).
It is my unique contribution to the 50th anniversary commemoration of ASEAN. As one of the ASEAN region’s longest serving travel trade journalists, I am proud to have covered this industry for 36 of the last 50 years, and seen it grow and prosper.
The growth of today did not materialise by chance. It was founded by great people with dedication, vision and commitment who saw the business and economic potential of tourism and created the conditions to harness it.
From ministers to hoteliers, tour operators to convention organisers, aviation experts to UN officials, legions of men and women crafted the policies and products, dismantled impediments and bottlenecks, and planned and executed major marketing campaigns in support of ASEAN tourism.
In a perfect manifestation of the over-arching ASEAN slogan, “One Vision, One Identity, One Community,” long before it was coined by ASEAN itself, they included Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Chinese, Malays, Indians, as well as Eurasians and expatriates from all over the world.
They championed the cause of ASEAN tourism unity with flair, charisma and strength of character. They collaborated and competed and very often, fought each other, but that was how synergy worked in those days.
The ASEAN@50 campaigns to be launched at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore in 2017 will focus on the future. But it is equally important to celebrate the past.
Too much focus today is on the “young generation”. But ask any of the “young generation” if they know any of the veterans pictured below, and the response will probably be a blank stare.
Yet, if the “young generation” has a job today, it is because of these people.
This project puts a human face on the history of ASEAN travel & tourism. No researcher or academic can do anything similar because none can claim to have personally known these stalwarts as closely as I did.
History teaches us what we did right and/or wrong. If museums become monuments to a country’s history and heritage, a “People’s Museum” does the same.
Sadly, the research process shows that the ASEAN tourism industry suffers from a huge historical deficit. ASEAN airlines, national tourism organisations and travel industry associations have scant records of their own past executives and office-bearers.
It is a shameful disgrace that a self-proclaimed “People Industry” has no regard for its own people.
By delving into my own background files and meticulous external research, I am slowly compiling details of these heroes and heroines.
I envision this to be the biggest and most comprehensive listing of its kind in the world.
Readers are invited to send in profiles of other veterans and stalwarts they may know and wish to see included.
I am adamant that this will NOT be a listing of only those who headed BIG companies or institutions. People from small & medium sized companies, academics, consultants, etc are particularly welcome.
Regardless of big or small, everyone who contributed to laying the foundations of ASEAN travel & tourism deserves to be recognised.
Criteria for inclusion
- Born before 1960
- Held a senior position in any company, organisation or association any year before 2000.
- Played an important role in building up some unique aspect of ASEAN travel & tourism.
Each listing must include:
- Name & title:
- Date and Place of birth:
- Professional career:
- Marital and family status:
- Date of passing (if relevant):
- Please accompany each nomination with one or more photographs.
For further information and inquiries please email me : email@example.com