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AEN emeritus


The individuals below have significantly contributed to the foundation and management of AEN who are no longer on the incumbent board. AEN does not exist without their contribution.



June 02, 2021


Albert has been the charter member and the vice chair of Asian Ecotourism Network, since its foundation. A graduate in Economics (Honours) from the University of London in 1977, Albert has been in the tourism industry for the last forty-three years. He founded the Borneo Eco Tours and the Sukau Rainforest Lodge, both winning numerous international awards including Asia’s Leading Green Hotel, Wild Asia Responsible Award, PATA Tourism Inspire Award, Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents. He is the founder of the non-profit Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST) which received the UNWTO Ulysses Award for excellence and innovation in tourism. Albert received a Fellow of the Edith Cowan University and serves as an adjunct lecturer and professor at the ECU and the University of Malaysia.

He has also served in various capacity in the tourism industry including Sabah Chapter Chairman of Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents; Chairman of the Sabah Tourist Association; Board of Advisors to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES); and Marketing Committee of the Sabah Tourism Board. Albert received the Special Minister’s award in 2019 at the Sabah Tourism Award Night. He is a keen photographer and a prolific writer and author with ten published books including the best-selling "Sabah-Land of the Sacred Mountain", "Journey through Borneo", "Saving Paradise-The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge" co-authored with Carol Patterson, and his latest book "A Souvenir of Sabah Malaysian Borneo". He has immensely contributed to the promotion and growth of ecotourism network in and across Asia. Wherein, he has justified the use of ecotourism as a tool for social entrepreneurship and poverty eradication /alleviation.

>>Read Albert's interview article by Sustainability Leaders



Jun 02, 2018


Xiaomei is the Operation Manager of Dragon Expeditions, the only Chinese member of Responsible Tourism Association in UK. Dragon Expeditions aims to explore the great outdoors in western Sichuan. Who earned rich experience of hosting national and international travelers (both adults and students) on trips and expeditions to remote and stunning mountain regions. In 2015 Dragon teams established a center for nature-based learning and community development called Yunhe (Forest School) on the plateau, as a platform for the global students to pursue, impart and exchange ideas of environmental awareness, responsible tourism and restore local unique diminishing culture and traditional ethics in Danba, Zhonglu from over mass rapid tourism development.
Xiaomei is the first Chinese winner of Rotary Foundation World Peace Fellowship and is working on the strengthening of Chinese local communities and grass-root NGOs, supporting their cultural and environmental conservation. Xiaomei has over 6 years of work experience in environmental protection and non-profit organization development. She has a passion for promoting nature education and workshops on community sustainable development.



Jun 02, 2018


Professor Sheikh Md. Monzurul Huq graduated in Geography (with a special focus on Recreation and Tourism Geography) from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Durham, England. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Geography and Environment and Dean of the Faculty of Law, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Previously he was the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. His fields of research interest are: Recreation and Tourism, GIS applications, Medical Geography, Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology. Professor Huq published more than 40 articles and chapters in various national and international journals and books. He presented more than 50 papers in various national/international seminars and conferences. He is married and father of two daughters.

Rajashree Ajith.jpg 2014-11-12-15:20:0


Jun 02, 2018


She is currently the Director at the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies,an autonomous institution under Tourism department of Government of Kerala, India. She has almost 20 years of experience in top level management in Government administration. She is a Post Graduate in Management, Computer Science, Human Resource Management and took PhD in Management from the University of Kerala. She has graduated in Civil engineering (B Tech). By being the Managing Director of KTDFC at the age of 28, she was the youngest ever Managing Director of a PSU under Government of Kerala. She has worked with various Government departments like Transport as well as Higher Education of the Government of Kerala as Chief Executive and now is in the Tourism Department. As an administrator she has achieved many goals and is highly regarded for her services towards the State in matters of development and in overall progress in related fields.


Under her leadership KITTS has become an affiliate member of UNWTO and member in the Knowledge Network of UNWTO. Because of the efforts taken by Dr.RajashreeAjith, KITTS is the Vice President of Affiliate Members of UNWTO in Asia Pacific Region. Moreover, KITTS has become the Kerala Chapter of Internatiional Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT). KITTS has also become an Organisational Premier Plus Member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) during her tenure. She is playing a key role in placing KITTS as a leading tourism educational institute at international level. 

iqrar.jpg 2014-11-11-16:5:17


Jun 02, 2018


Agha Iqrar Haroon is an international and national tourism consultant and has been working with national and international tourism organizations for the last 32 years. He started his career as a tourist guide at the age of 17 while working with Pakistan Tours Limited (PTL) that is subsidiary of Government of Pakistan. He formed Ecotourism Society of Pakistan (ESP) in 1997 and manned its team as president for 10 years. He formed The Region Initiative (TRI) in 2009 for connecting South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He is President of TRI.

Having Master degrees in Group Philosophy and History, he has been teaching group development, ecotourism and responsible tourism in state run institutions including Pakistan Austrian Institute for tourism and Hotel Management (PAITHOM) Swat and Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (ITEM) of Government of province of Punjab.  He is registered scholar for Ph.D in Anthropology. He worked as Consultant with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Ministry of Tourism Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Austrian Institute for tourism and Hotel Management (PAITHOM) and Regional Development Society, (RDS) Austria.


He had been on board of several international and national tourism bodies as member. His academic work and research papers are cited as the "reference" in many national and international publications including:

  1. ​Tourism and sustainability: development, globalization and new tourism. ISBN: 978-0-415-41403-6. Date of publication: 29th September 2008.

  2. Himalayan perceptions: environmental change and the welfare of the people who live in the mountains. Rector of the United Nations University. ISBN: 978-0-415-31798-6. The second issue of 2006.

  3. Local people and environmental issues: An Encyclopedia.ISBN: 0-313-32398-4.12/30/2003.



Jun 02, 2018


He started his career as a teacher in high schools and Universities in Sri Lanka from 1970-1979. Since 1975, he has been actively occupied in Sri Lanka Tourism holding of top management positions. He has been working as a Tourism Consultant for the, Tourism Resources Improvement Project (TRIP) and several other Ecotourism Projects initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and Japanese Bank for International Corporation (JBIC), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and several other public, private sector and international organizations. Presently, Palitha is the Managing Director of Sri Lanka Eco Tours, a model travel agency dedicated to promote genuine eco and sustainable tourism programmes in Sri Lanka.


Palitha is the founder President of Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF), the pioneer National Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka that was established 16 (sixteen fifteen years ago) At present he is the Director of the Research and Training Institute on Sustainable and Ecotourism, managed by Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation. He is also an external Board Member of the Faculty of Tourism Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka and a Visiting Lecturer in Ecotourism at the Travel and Tourism Institute (Hotel School) of Sri Lanka managed by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Palitha was the founder General Secretary of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET), the pioneer SME Tourism Association in Sri Lanka. At present, he is one of the Directors of Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET), ​



Jun 02, 2018


Bijaya Pradhan said ecotourism means the combination of culture, nature, and environment and with this three things combined together then there is a blend of Ecotourism which helps in the protection of the local culture, nature and the environment. It also helps in income generation for the local people of that particular area or region. He added that There is a high potential of Ecotourism Development in the Asian region, though back in his days in Nepal there were challenges to overcome, such as let the people know what Ecotourism means and what are the benefits once they go through it and also to convince the local as well as the central government, which is time consuming. Fortunately, in 1998, he talked with the Nepal Tourism Board and SNV - Kathmandu and came up with an idea of establishing Sustainable Tourism Network. He said by engaging with AEN, he could also engage in sharing his experience and knowledge with other companies, organizations, people, institutions, and would love to make the best destination in the world. For this, he added, we all have to join hands in developing a policy recognized or endorsed by the state government. Together we all can make the development of Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism here in the Asian region so we as an AEN member should come up



Jun 02, 2017


Gracie, aged 57 years when joined AEN, has 38 years experience in the hospitality, tourism, marketing, hotel and event management industry allowing her to bring forth valuable input and advice in entrepreneurial business management concepts, operational restructures as well as research and survey analysis for the related fields of hospitality, tourism and marketing. She holds a Masters in Business Administration (Preston University) and an MBA major in Tourism & Hospitality Management (Australian Institute of Business, Adelaide).  She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) majoring in event tourism (Victoria University, Switzerland).

Gracie was awarded in October 2014 the Darjah Utama Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak (PBK) by the state government of Sarawak for her contribution in tourism.



Jun 02, 2017


With a passion for his native region of Kerala in India and a concern for its unique river culture, Gopinath Parayil (Gopi) established the Nila Foundation in 2004. While exploring ways to create sustainable financial support for the activities of the foundation, he established The Blue Yonder (TBY), a pioneering Responsible Travel company, which is now working across several regions in India. The Blue Yonder has been recognized with several international awards for using tourism as a tool for positive change in destinations, including their innovative campaign, the "A to Z of Responsible Tourism," which helps to educate tourism businesses on how to understand and implement sustainable tourism best practices.

>>Read Gopinah's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

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