The AEN 2019 International Board Line-up. The board comprises 28 members from 17 countries and a province.

MASARU TAKAYAMA

JAPAN || CHAIR

Mr. Masaru Takayama founded the defunct Japan Ecolodge Association (2005-2017) and Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies (JARTA) in 2018 to promote ecotourism and responsible tourism in Japan. Working as a ecotourism consultant, sustainable tourism auditor/advisor for Green Destinations and Travelife, and responsible tour operator ‘Spirit of Japan Travel’ in Kyoto, Masaru serves a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad pertinent to ecotourism and protected areas. His latest passion is Shunyoso, a Japanese national cultural property converting into a responsible inn and a restaurant in a beautiful island of Awaji.

 

COMMITMENT

The biggest reason why I have come to found AEN with my colleagues is to first, identify the existing ecotourism projects and organizations throughout Asia and second, promote them to the rest of the world with an external audit/benchmarking structure that works in Asia through one window, AEN. The information we receive and share should not be limited in English and other main languages, but also should be made available in Asian local languages. I will exert my utmost effort writing a new chapter in sustainable Asia with AEN.

>>Read Masaru's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

ALBERT TEO CHIN KION

MALAYSIA || VICE CHAIR

A graduate in Economics (Honours) from the University of London in 1977, Albert Teo has been in the tourism industry for the last thirty seven years. A keen photographer, he has trekked over 1,000km in Borneo, published ten books including the best selling Sabah -Land of the Sacred Mountain, Journey through Borneo, Saving Paradise-The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge authored with Carol Patterson and the latest book, A Souvenir of Sabah Malaysian Borneo.

 

His companies Borneo Eco Tours and Sukau Rainforest Lodge have won numerous international ecotourism awards including Asia’s Leading Green Hotel at the 17th World Travel Award 2010 and the 2012 SKÅL International Sustainable Development in Tourism Award for Tour Operator at the 73rd SKÅL International Congress in Korea. http://www.borneoecotours.com/about-us/awards.php

 

Albert is presently focusing his energy on developing social entrepreneurship through his community/environment foundation, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies or BEST Society. www.bestsociety.org . In 2014, BEST Society received the UNWTO Ulysses Award for excellence and innovation in tourism in NGO category at Madrid, Spain.

Albert has served in various positions in the tourism industry including Sabah Chapter Chairman of Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents MATTA, Chairman of Sabah Tourist Association 1985/86, Board of Advisor of The International Ecotourism Society TIES, USA, Marketing Committee, Rural Tourism product development committee of Sabah Tourism Board. Albert was also a member of the finalist selection committee for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards of World Travel and Tourism Council WTTC for five years.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to contribute to the promotion and growth of ecotourism network in and across Asia and use ecotourism as a tool for social entrepreneurship and poverty eradication /alleviation.

>>Read Albert's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

SUPAPORN PRACHUMPAI

THAILAND || SECRETARY

Thailand is rich of nature and culture which deserve to be used in a sustainable way, the same to all countries in Asia and other countries on earth. Being in tourism business, we do consume lots of natural and cultural resources for our benefit , hence it is our responsibility to conserve for the next generations by creating awareness to all stakeholders and put it into practice. As President of Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) in 2002-2006 and Vice President from 2010 till now, I have actively joined force with our members in developing GSTC-based sustainable tourism standards for supply chains in Thailand with several trainings and workshops, in cooperation with our government, NGOs and international tourism organizations.  Our CSR-Map Project  (2009-2010) won PATA Gold Award in 2010 in education and training category which proofed successes for our hard work and efforts.  Under my management are Royal Silk Holidays since 1987 and the Country Lake Nature Lodge since 2000, the company receives Travelife Partner status which indicates our working concept and quality of work towards sustainability.  

 

COMMITMENT

It’s my honor also to join the Asian Ecotourism Networks recently on behalf of TEATA to co-operate with friends in ecotourism business to exchange knowledge and promote ecotourism within Asia and worldwide. 

ARY SUHANDI

INDONESIA || VICE CHAIR

Executive Director of the Indonesian Ecotourism Network (INDECON http://www.indecon.or.id) since 2002, Ary Suhandi earned his degree in biology at the National University (Jakarta, Indonesia). Considered a “Ecotourism enthusiast” by the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism , Ary has been a leader of nature-based tourism in Indonesia since 1987. His work has involved establishing and supporting ecotourism, community-based tourism, and conservation education programs in 15 of Indonesia’s 36 provinces.

Ary’s career history includes tourism enterprise development, program management, site monitoring and evaluation, field research, and tour operations for international agencies including Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, the Asian Development Bank, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan). As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in nature and community-based tourism, Ary has served on the selection committees for international tourism awards administered by National Geographic Travelers (USA), and the World Travel and Tourism Council (UK).

 

COMMITMENT

Promote ecotourism development in Indonesia and increase people's respect on others, culture, and living environment.

>>Read Ary's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

ALAN WONG

CHINA & HONGKONG || VICE CHAIR

Dr. Alan Wong received his PhD from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2008. He is currently teaches there for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. His main research interest is in leadership in the hospitality and tourism industry with the cross-cultural perspective. He also interested in researching tour guiding and ecotour guiding. He is an Honor Advisor of Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Co-ordinators (HARCOT) and he runs different workshops for tour guides in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region. He is also an Honor Advisor for The Tai Po Environmental Association and Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong. Lately, he initiated a Service Learning subject in the university, entitled “Ecotourism in rural and developing regions” which provided an excellent opportunity to educate young people on the ecotourism principles as well as helping different local communities. In 2002, Dr. Wong received the first Teaching Excellence Award from SHTM in recognition of his superior classroom teaching and significant contribution to the enhancement of teaching and learning. Alan is committed to contribute in promoting ecotourism through education and training to young people and different stakeholders in the ecotourism context.

 

For Alan, ecotourism means as a kind of responsible travel and environmental friend. It should be educational and contribute to the local community as well. He sees that there are challenges and opportunities for the future of ecotourism and tourism in Asia overall. The trend for ecotourism and tourism demand are growing, even much faster than general tourism as tourists are more aware of the environmental issues. In Hongkong, he explained that one of the key challenges to implement ecotourism is lack or insufficient government support. Another key issue is the destination image of Hong Kong as a shopping paradise and other city life activities. It is difficult to change tourist mindset for coming to Hong Kong ecotourism activities, despite Hongkong has plenty potential for ecotourism development and good ecotourism products. (See Alan’s paper on the Ecotourism in Hong Kong for reference)

 

Alan engages with AEN communities to make Asia a better and more sustainable place to visit by helping with his expertise to provide more training to government officials and industry practitioners to manage and organize better or sustainable products. For example the training for ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation (AFoCo)/AFoCo LANDMARK PROGRAM TRAINING COURSE ON FOREST-BASED ECOTOURISM in Malaysia in Nov/Dec 2015.  Lastly, New Zealand, Australia and China, travel and reading, Chinese food are his favorite places to visit, things to do, and favorite food.

>>Read Alan's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

 

Zane Smith

New Zealand || STRATEGY & MARKETING DIRECTOR

Zane’s Eco and Adventure Tourism career has spanned more than 20 Years. Starting as a teenager in New Zealand’s Adventure Tourism sector he found his passion for the environment had a strong voice in the interpretation of natural history, ecology, culture and environmental science. During the 1990’s and the early 2000’s Zane owned and operated SME adventure tourism companies in New Zealand and travelled widely working in Adventure Tourism operations around the world. In 1997 he aptly named his white-water rafting company ‘eco rafting’ and used the rafting journey to bring out the stories of nature's surroundings. He has been actively engaged in bringing the theory of Ecotourism to practice and thus working in the tertiary education sector for the past 20 years in tandem with his operational workload. This work has taken him many places and had him involved in a variety of tourism and education operations in Australia, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, China, Philippines, Malaysia, USA, Hawaii, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Chile and Scotland. Zane is a dedicated communicator and shares his enthusiasm openly for sustainable tourism across all sectors. He operates a tourism consultancy, a professional development retreat company and finds time to teach Ecotourism & environmental sciences at Tai Poutini Polytechnic in New Zealand.  He holds a Masters in Science (Entrepreneurial Leadership) from Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.

COMMITMENT
To assist AEN’s scope in future development and the inclusion of a wider geographical and international view on Ecotourism, bringing ideas, experiences, and insights to the AEN governance team, doing so by bringing my practical and academic skills to the table.

SAMIR THAPA

NEPAL || MEMBER

He is an entrepreneur with an International level exposure in terms of Academic achievement and Professional experience in the Hospitality Industry for last 15 years, presently serving as a Executive Chairman of Silver Mountain Group.

 

First Certified Hospitality Educator of Nepal  & Founding Partner & Director of American Hospitality Academy of USA which has got Seven Hotel Management Schools running in USA, Nepal, South Africa, Philippines, Turkey, India and recently opened a school in Bhutan. Board of Director, Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE) of Asia-Pacific)

 

For Samir Thapa, ecotourim means to save the nature by promoting and creating the awareness of ecology of Livinghood. It is directly related to the human life and how it is existing because of eco system of the world. He see that Asia is very much rich on its natural resources of ecology with vast diversion of each region. mso it's very important to save it and in the meantime to promote it. This continent is very fragile due to lack of awareness and education, we really need to promote it without exploring it. The challenges to implement ecotourism in Nepal is keep the ecology intact by creating the awareness and maintains the rich cultures of people because this country has diversified in geography with cultures and languages. The literacy rate is not high so there is very high chance to exploration. Also in the name of development, we are not thinking in details to save it's natural essence. 

 

Samir engages with AEN communities to make Asia a better and more sustainable place to visit by sharing the best common sustainable practice and experience of Ecotourim trends have to be must among all. AEN could be the connecting point for all these communities and play a vital role to exchange the model to another community via its members in various regions. His favorite place is always Nepal to visit all different Mountainous regions where large numbers of communities are based on ecotourism and its century practice to save it.

 

Let's to explore here and would love to see the Amazon forest of Malaysia. Anything organic food as a by product of Ecotourism would be great for me.

 

SUSAN SANTOS DE CARDENAS

PHILIPPINES || MEMBER

Specializing on Sustainable Development projects - Tourism, Hospitality, Events, with Corporate and Community Social Responsibility (CSR) at grassroots application. A savvy hotelier with more than 20 years experience managing sales, marketing, operations, events and personnel for startup and established hotels, eco lodges, tour operators, travel agencies, lifestyle events and publications, in the Philippines, Singapore & Peru.

 

Volunteer-works for Local Government Units (LGUs) and NGOs in the Philippines for Sustainable Development: good governance, poverty alleviation, food security, disaster preparedness and management. Key note speaker & presentation specialist; Resource person for Capacity Building & Training workshops for Sustainable Tourism product development and promotion; Best Green Hotels practices and Sustainable Events management.

 

COMMITMENT

I support AEN in education and capacity building of not only its members but also the host communities, and the promotion of sustainable ecotourism in the region and beyond, confirming that it is our responsibility as Tourism stakeholders to achieve sustainability and resilience in these times of global warming and climate change.

>>Read Susan's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

TONY CHARTERS AM

AUSTRALIA || MEMBER

Tony has over 20 years experience in tourism planning, development and management. He was a founding director of Ecotourism Australia and has served continuously on the Board since 1991. He has also served on the Board and Executive of The International Ecotourism Society for many years. An environmental scientist and urban and regional planner by profession, Tony entered the tourism industry after a senior executive career in World Heritage Area and protected area management. He has worked variously as tourism operator, policy developer and tourism agency executive director.

 

Principal of Tony Charters and Associates, he advises leading industry operators and government on planning, destination development, sustainable management and tourism investment. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) by the Governor-General for his services to the ecotourism industry, nature-based recreation and environmental education. 

 

>>Read Tony's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

 

 

DAMBA GANTUMUR DAMBA

MONGOLIA || MEMBER

He has started his tourism career on tourism academic works since 1995 and then has established one of leading tourism companies in Mongolia, “Active and Adventure Tour Mongolia”. After his professional education on tourism and sustainability completed in the Netherlands, Wageningen University and Konstanz University, in Germany, he focused on developing as tourism would be the core engine of the competitive economic diversity, supportive local livelihood and conservative natural and cultural resources of the country. “Sustainable Tourism development Centre” NGO is leaded by him together with other leading practitioners of the country whose mission is directed to strengthen its contribution for designing, monitoring, evaluating, and improving sustainable tourism practices and principles in Mongolia and neighborhood regions. He has wide range of experiences on working with international aid organizations such as GIZ, UNDP, World Bank and USAID on tourism and development missions not only in Mongolia also in Russia, China, Kirgizstan, Nepal, Cambodia and so on. Several of his articles regarding with tourism development and sustainability have published by UNWTO and International tourism research books and journals.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to support the ecotourism development would be the bridge among Asian nations where their natural and cultural resources are unique and diversified by collaborating on the competitive entrepreneurs whose passion directs to support the sustainable livelihood practices.   

MIHEE KANG

SOUTH KOREA || MEMBER

Dr. Kang is a research professor at Seoul National University, researching topics related with protected areas management and sustainable tourism. She received her Ph.D. degree at Seoul National University in 1999 and became the first Ph.D. in the field of ecotourism in South Korea. She serves as an executive board member of Ecotourism Korea and as a consulting fellow of Ecotourism Consulting Committee organized by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. She is appointed as a GSTC trainer and the first Country Representative for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council(GSTC). She has actively participated in numerous ecotourism and protected area projects in Korea and abroad such as Australia, China, Indonesia, etc. She published many articles and books including the first ecotourism book in Korea titled “Ecotourism: Guidebook for Alternative Development and Management of Ecologically Sensitive Local Area” and the recent one titled “Opportunities and Challenges of Ecotourism in ASEAN Countries”. She was also the winner of “UNESCO 2000 Young Scientists Awards”.

 

>>Read Mihee's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

SOULINNARA RATANAVONGS

LAOS || MEMBER

Soulinnara is a young professional who graduated her Master Degree in Hospitality Management from Paris, France. She started her career as independence consultant for a small hotel in Vientiane Capital before moving to Agoda Hotel Reservation Online Company as a Market Executive fro Business Development Sector. After working for Agoda for a year, she found out that to develop tourism industry, we have to start by developing human resource, so she applied for a teacher position in Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (Lanith). Now she works at Lanith as a core team teacher specialize in Food and Beverage Service Operations along with administrative work. As Lanith is one of the organizations that pay attention to Responsible Tourism, Soulinnara has spent sometimes to translate GSTC Booklet into Lao language by the supporting of Lanith Team and providing that booklet to students, private and public sectors in the tourism prospective. In 2014, she won a prestigious award from Pacific Asia Travel Association under the title “PATA Face of The Future” as the recognition of young professional who shows highly interest and support to Tourism Industry. 

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to contribute to promote Ecotourism in Laos with real understanding of what is Ecotourism and how we can apply it into Lao tourism as a whole. 

>>Read Soulinnara's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

KARMA TSHERING

BHUTAN || MEMBER

Karma works as a freelance consultant for the company he founded called Eco-Call (www.ecocalling.com) specialized in tourism planning and management besides others. He previously worked for the Government of Bhutan as a specialist for Nature recreation and ecotourism under Department of Forests and Park services. He started his career in the conservation sector as the National coordinator for the Tiger Conservation Project. It was during those years of conducting tiger surveys which further affirmed his conviction that addressing community concerns was a critical link to conservation. He completed his masters in resource management from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and obtained his Doctorate from the University of Sydney looking at community based tourism as a positive force for the protected areas of Bhutan. Through his many years of experience both in the field and in planning he takes a practical approach to conservation and a firm believer of incentive based conservation. He has been instrumental in promoting community based eco-tourism within the extensive network of Bhutan’s protected areas. With the rapid urbanization of Bhutan he shares great concern in the future development of Bhutan’s tourism. He is a passionate conservationist and remains hopeful that tourism will be the most important sector in Bhutan to make significant contribution to the country’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness. He also serves as an evaluator for the Nat Geo Unique Lodges Program. Besides his work he enjoys engaging himself in social work to help the underprivileged.

>>Read Karma's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

VICTOR YU

TAIWAN || MEMBER

Victor Yu is the President of Ecotourism Taiwan which established in 2014. He has been the CEO of Chinese Wild Bird Federation(BirdLife Partner in Taiwan) for 10 years since 2002. He is still a board member of CWBF. He has also been the Secretary General of Taiwan Ecotourism Association in 2011 to 2014. He is an Ecotourism consultant to an Ecotourism project of Taiwan Forest Bureau. He is a Lecturer of university level certified by Ministry of Education, Taiwan and an Environmental Educator certified by Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration.

Victor holds a Master degree on International Relations in The American University, Washington DC, USA in 1988 and an MBA at National Taiwan Sports University in 2008.

 

He has a wide range experience on adventure and ecotourism. Most of all, he is an avid birdwatcher. He has dedicated much effort on promoting Taiwan birdwatching tourism as well as wildlife conservation. He has been one of the organizers of the Taipei International Birdwatching Fair for 6 years which started in 1999. He has organized many events regarding wildlife conservation, birdwatching tourism and ecotourism, the first International Conference on Birdwatching Tourism in Taiwan in 2009, Taiwan Ornithological Forum in 2007-2010, International Conference on Wildlife Tourism and Conservation in 2012 and 2013 in Taiwan, International Conference on Wetland Conservation, Education and Tourism in 2014, International Conferences on Water-based Tourism in 2014 and many others. He is the main organizer of an annual event, Taiwan Birdathon since 2012. He is also one of the founders and an Executive Committee of Asian Bird Fair which started in 2010. He has been invited by The Department of Ecotourism of Taiwan Tungnan University as a guest lecturer teaching courses of Ecotourism, Nature Interpretation and Environmental Ethics since 2012. Currently he is working with Wild Bird Society of Japan on Green Holiday in Taiwan, working with SEN Travel on Voluntourism in Taiwan, and several international tour agents on birdwatching tours and ecotours.

 

COMMITMENT

I 100% support AEN and would like very much to dedicate my experience and effort for the growing of sustainable tourism in the region and to the world. I believe NGOs should wisely use their knowledge and expertise to help tour business gaining profit from ecotourism in order to maintain the environment, community livelihood and tour business sustainable.

Johnny Orn

CAMBODIA || MEMBER

Sambovannak ORN known as “Johnny ORN” is a conservationist and a sustainable ecotourism developer inside protected areas of Cambodia with 8 different communities across two landscapes. He served as a Managing Director of a local NGO called Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation based in Siem Reap and a consultant for community based ecotourism for last 5 years of his career life. He has actively participated in numerous ecotourism and protected area projects in Cambodia and abroad such as Malaysia, China, Indonesia, etc. and different seminar in sustainable development within protected areas and alternative projects for the grassroots. He lead his last organization to win the Gold World Responsible Tourism Award in “The Best Contribution to Conservation” and the “Country Sponsor Award” from the Royal Government of Cambodia.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to share my experience in ecotourism development and its benefit as a model to all Asian countries where there are rich natural heritage and culture and to support both conservation and people.

Kazuhiro Arai

JAPAN || MEMBER

Following a degree in national park management from Lincoln University New Zealand and a master’s degree in tourism from Hokkaido University in Japan, Kazuhiro (Kazu) established Daisetsuzan Nature School in 2001. The school is based in Daisetsuzan National Park in Japan and provides eco tours, environmental education, and nature conservation programmes with the concept of “conservation by users”. Kazu tries to create a system of “wise use” with the local community towards a sustainability management.

 

Kazu is also a board member of Ecotourism Japan, and works as a Japanese GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) project member and a GSTC trainer, as well as a board member of WIN AINU (World Indigenous Network-AINU) which encourages AINU culture to be handed down for the future generation.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to promote sustainable tourism in Japan through ecotourism practice as a tool for community development. I am interested in developing effective methods of encouraging tourists and locals to be happily responsible with their respect on others, culture, and environment. These should be achieved by many types of communications that are fun and neat rather than just putting signs up.

CT Wu

TAIWAN || MEMBER

CT Wu had started the nature adventure since 1985 while lived and worked in Indonesia. In 1991, CT Wu joined to the Wild Bird Society of Taipei (WBST) as a volunteer after relocated back to Taiwan.

 

In 1992, the very first leading oversea birding experience to Nepal and successfully organized four Borneo birding tour. In 1995, built up the Natural Kingdom Inc Eco-tour company aim to bring local people to visit the most popular nature hot spot around the world as Masai Mara, Amazon river, Pantana wetland.., and etc…

 

In 2000, he became the member of TIES and participated the initiation of Taiwan Ecotourism Association.

 

In 2008, he has involved with a project to develop Eco-tour for Taiwan aborigines (Indigenous peoples in Taiwan), and launched the official Facebook", 【wulai Ecotourism & Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge】in 2009.

Currently, C T Wu is one of 20 board members of Taiwan Ecotourism Association (TEA) and try to devote to deliver the Eco-beauty of the world.

Boboi Costas

PHILIPPINES || MEMBER

Joselito Costas organized the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association and developed the Aloguinsan River Eco-cultural Tour in 2009. The association won the 2015 Tourism InSPIRE AWARDS for Best Community-Based Tourism Initiative given by the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the United Nations Environment Programme and the European Union. The same project also landed in the TOP 100 SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL DESTINATIONS in 2016 and 2017, and was awarded the 2017 ASEAN Award for Best Community Group in Ecotourism.

Philippine Airlines recognized him as one of the Six Inspiring Filipinos for 2016. The Department of Tourism awarded him the Philippine National Tourism Award (KALAKBAY) in 2003 for his “exemplary service and commitment to excellence in his field.”

He is the founder of Grassroots Travel and is at present the designated Tourism Officer of the Cebu Province Tourism Office.

Inthy Deuansavanh

LAOS || MEMBER

President of:

Khopchaideu Restaurant, Suntara Restaurant

Inthira hotel                                                                            www.inthira.com

Greendiscovery Adventure & Eco tour                      www.greendiscoverylaos.com

Partner Elephant Conservation Center                      www.elephantconservationcenter.com

Local partner Asian trail                                            www.asiantrails.travel.com

BOD of LATA (Lao Association of Travel Agents)

BOD LNCCI (Lao National chambers of commerce and Industry) 

Neeracha Wongmasa

THAILAND || MEMBER

President of Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA)
Bangkok, Thailand (2017-2018)
To create a dynamic network that promotes sustainable tourism practices in Thailand
through collaboration and partnership among all sectors both locally and globally.
 Phunacome Resort Company Limited, Loei, Thailand (2008 – Present)
GREEN Awarded ECO Luxury Boutique Resort in Dansai, Loei, Thailand
www.phunacomeresort.com
Owner and Managing Director
 Global Holiday Company Limited, Bangkok, Thailand (2002 – Present)
Thai Tour Operator and Travel Agent Company
www.globalholidayth.com
Owner and Managing Director
 Lecturer and Speaker on the topics of community-based tourism in aspects of
development, management, and marketing towards the self-sustainable tourism
concepts to many associated networks such as Andaman CBT Cluster and other CBT
villages in Thailand, Thailand Tourism Council, The Thailand Community Based Tourism
Institute (CBT-I), and other academic school and universities.
 Lecturer and Speaker on the topics of GREEN Hotels in aspects of development,
management, and marketing towards the GREEN self-sustainable tourism concepts to
many associated networks such as Dansai and Loei communities and many other CBT
villages in Thailand, as well as other academic school and university groups.

Claire Ellis

AUSTRALIA || MEMBER

Dr Claire Ellis is currently Chair of Ecotourism Australia, is committed to good governance and is keen to see ecotourism play a stronger and more effective role in lifting the profile and importance of quality tourism across the region and globally.

  

Claire has worked for over 35 years in tourism starting out running her own small charter expedition cruise company in Asia, then working for other tourism operators, in State Government, as an academic and researcher and most recently as a consultant. She now runs her own consulting company, based in Tasmania and working across Australia, and increasingly overseas, on a range of tourism, regional and volunteer projects. Her work focusses on the development of destinations as well as new product and tourism experiences, ensuring they are developed to create sustainable long term outcomes for communities and the wider region.

 

She also undertakes work in the volunteer sector and is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Tasmania.

Mallika Jasmine NAGURAN

SINGAPORE || MEMBER

Mallika Jasmine Naguran is an experienced practitioner with specialisation in the environment,
research and communications. She has expertise in business sustainability, social responsibility,
marine conservation, environmental audit, impact assessment and environmental management.
Her work experience includes policy formulation and planning, strategy development, business
and sustainability integration, monitoring and measurement of performance, reporting and
communications. To raise awareness on sustainability, she contributes articles to Gaia Discovery
online publication and writes commentaries for newspapers.

Jennifer Chan Kim Lian

MALAYSIA || MEMBER

FDr. Dr Jennifer Chan Kim Lian is a Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management at
the Faculty of Business, Economics and Accountancy, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Currently,
she is the Director of Borneo Tourism Research Centre; Professorial Chair Holder in the field
of Tourism and Human Capital Development 2017 - 2018; International Visiting Professorial
Fellow, Royal Institute of Singapore, Honorary President of the Royal Institute of Tourism
and Royal Institute of Educators, Singapore; Advisory Committee Member of the World
Gastronomy Institute, Spain. Professor Jennifer is an experienced tourism and hospitality
researcher, consultant, and academician with professional experience in the field concerned.
Her research focuses on sustainable and responsible tourism, human resource development,
consumer behaviour, service experience, qualitative and mixed methods research.

Yujun Zhang

CHINA || MEMBER

Dr. Zhang Yujun, who earned PhD in Forest Planning at Tottori University in Japan, is currently professor in Department of Tourism Management at Beijing Forestry University. Dr. Zhang is also a director of the Center for Ecotourism Development Research in Beijing Forestry University, a member and deputy secretary-general of Ecological Tourism Committee of Ecological Society of China and the Technical Committee on Wetland Protection of Standardization Committee of China. In addition, he is an executive director of Forest Park subdivision of Chinese Society of Forestry and Forest Tourism subdivision of China National Forestry Industry Association, and a director of Beijing Tourism Society. Additionally, he is an editorial board member of Tourism Tribune and Chinese Ecotourism Magazine.

Evi Aryati Arbay

INDONESIA || MEMBER

She became emerging Indonesian Author and Ethnographer since she published Dani The Highlanders, Book about Dani Tribe who live in Jayawijaya mountain range in New Guinea which be Hits book in 2014, Book of Baduy “ Baduy Locked In Time” as her duit book with Indonesian Top Neurologist Hardiono D Pusponegoro and others special request book for private companies and government institutions in Indonesia

She awarded for some National and International for Professionals Books Award and Photography Awards, likes The Best Book in Asia Pacific Version Eska Frog Award in Netherlands 2014, Honorable mention in PX3 Paris 2014  and @Moscow International Fotos Award (MIFA) 2014. The 3rd Winner SIENA Award for Professional in Italy 2015 then selected to represent Indonesian Women Photographers in Pil’Ours Festival in France 2016 with others Professional women photographers from 14 countries. Join exhibition in Indonesia, Turkey and France Also already held some solo photo exhibition in Indonesia, Japan and Italy.

Hiran Cooray

SRI LANKA || MEMBER

Renowned as a trendsetter and influencer in Sri Lankan tourism, Hiran Cooray contributes an immense mixture of passion, honesty, integrity and tenacity to the industry. Carrying on the legacy of his father, the late Herbert Cooray, Hiran is the current Chairman of Jetwing Symphony PLC which comes under the Jetwing family of hotels and will be the brand’s vehicle for future investment and growth in the leisure sector. He is also the Chairman of The Lighthouse Hotel PLC, long known as the beacon of the South. Jetwing is a family owned company which counts a storied history of over 4 decades. His achievements are numerous and much acclaimed, being educated at the prestigious St. Joseph’s in Colombo and going on to graduate from the University of North Carolina and having followed a General Mangers course at Cornell University. Hiran has represented Sri Lanka on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) as Chairman from 2010/12, President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (2005/8); and
was appointed an Alternate Member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics 2017-2021. Hiran is currently the immediate past president after serving for the second term as President of Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka 2014-2016.
Hiran also served on the Board of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (2014-2016), having already served as a board member of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) from 2010-2014. Hiran has also been a Member of the Board of Small Luxury Hotels, from 2007-2014. In addition, he holds over 50 directorships in various hotels and related companies – making him a much sought after speaker/panelist at tourism related international forums.

Mohit Aggarwal

INDIA || MEMBER

Asian Adventures June 1994 to Present
Owner and CEO
Developed Asian Adventures into an iconic name that promotes conservation of environment and responsible tourism through the expeditions and trips it offers across the Indian subcontinent.
Grew the organization into an all-encompassing entity, not only in terms of destinations spread across geographically but also the genres of travelling.
Coordinated with a dedicated team to help the organization reach new heights. The growing age of the establishment has only brought three elements in abundance namely promising ideas to add new dimensions to travelling, aggressiveness to serve each client in the best possible manner and maintaining highest standards of quality and commitment. The travel solutions offered carry transparency, uniqueness and an incredible experience in the end.
Established eco-lodges to promote responsible tourism at destinations like Sundarbans National Park, Gir National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Corbett Tiger Reserve, Doon Valley, Pangot, Jageshwar and Abbott Mount. Asian Adventures is now the largest ground operator in India of bird tourism.

SRILAL MITHTHAPALA

SRI LANKA || MEMBER

Srilal Miththapala has over 25 years of wide experience in the hospitality industry. With a first degree in Electrical Engineering, and then embracing the hospitality industry, his career commenced with hands-on experience in operations, managing Sri Lanka’s leading 200 room 4-star Resort Hotel in Sri Lanka  He then gradually moved up the ladder into leading group operations overlooking 4 resort hotels, and strategic business management, marketing and development. 

His last 10 years in the private sector was as CEO of Serendib Leisure Management, which had a portfolio of 4 popular resort hotels under its management. He is credited with transforming one of the group’s hotels, Hotel Sigiriya, into a well-known eco-friendly hotel, during his tenure as CEO.  For his efforts he was awarded the Green Jobs award in 2008 by the Government of Sri Lanka. Srilal has also had a considerable exposure in the international hospitality arena, participating and presenting papers in many international symposiums, workshops and travel fairs, particularly in the Asia Pacific Region.

He was the President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), the main private sector national tourism organization in Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2010. After working in the Private Sector, he led the very successful EU funded SWITCH ASIA  ‘Greening Sri Lanka Hotels’ project administered by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce which was Sri Lanka’s main tourism sustainability platform. The project was adjudged as the best EU SWITCH ASIA project in South Asia and was showcased at the EU in Brussels.

Now retired, he engages in various consultancy assignments in Sustainable Tourism Development, Environment & Wild Life. He has worked with many private sector organizations, including MDF (the contracting arm of the Australian DFAT program), You Lead (a contracting arm of USAID) and the World Bank in Washington.

Srilal has also been a visiting guest lecturer at the Plymouth University UK and Monash University Melbourne on Sustainability themes. He has been the key note speaker at several eco-tourism and sustainable tourism forums. He is a fellow of both the Institute of Electrical Engineers UK, and Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality UK. During his free time he now pursues his passion of enjoying wild life and the environment.

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