The AEN 2020 International Board Line-up. The board comprises 28 members from 17 countries and a province.

MASARU TAKAYAMA

JAPAN || CHAIR

Masaru Takayama (Mr.) is a community-based ecotourism consultant with expertise in energy conservation, green building, natural sciences, and experience in the outdoors activities especially with marine environment. He founded the world’s first ecolodge association, Japan Ecolodge Association (ECOLA) which later grew into the Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN), the authority in promoting authentic ecotourism in the region supported by the Thai Government under the Prime Minister’s Office, Designated Areas Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA).  Masaru serves a number of key positions in organizations both home and abroad pertinent to ecotourism and sustainable tourism. He is the founding chair of AEN and the Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies (JARTA). He also serves as the ecolodge advisor to Asia Pacific Tourism Exchange Center; auditor and advisor to the Green Destinations standards and Travelife; trainer at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC); member of the board of directors at Ecotourism Japan; visiting researcher at the Taisho University. Masaru also served as an evaluator/judge of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, the World Legacy Awards, National Geographic, Wild Asia’s Responsible Travel Award. At home, he is the founder and owner of ‘Spirit of Japan Travel’, a responsible travel and tour company in Kyoto and a pioneer in converting the legendary 80-year-old Shunyoso, a Japanese national cultural property into a community-based tourism facility incorporating sustainability.

 

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

Albert is charter member and the vice chair of Asian Ecotourism Network. 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".

 

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

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

Alan Wong is the Dean and Professor of China Hospitality and Tourism School, and the founder and expert consultant for G&D Tourism, Hospitality and Educational Consulting. He has an MPhil and PhD from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  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. He also received the SHTM Service Excellence Award of 2017. Albert serves as an advisor and consultant to Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, the China Ecological Civilization Research, Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Coordinators (HARTCO). A prolific author of various published papers and articles in different hospitality, educational and management journals, his recent interests are in ecotour guiding, ecotourism as a tool for poverty alleviation and sustainability in hospitality industry. Albert is a certified GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) trainer, a Green Destination auditor/advisor and provides sustainable ecotourism training in Hong Kong and other ASEAN countries.

>>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.

SUPAPORN PRACHUMPAI

THAILAND || SECRETARY

Supi is a charter member and secretary to the Asian Ecotourism Network. She is also the Vice President of the Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA).  She has actively engaged in developing GSTC-based sustainable tourism standards for supply chains in Thailand with several trainings and workshops, in cooperation with the Thai government, non-profits, and international tourism organizations.  Supi has been instrumental in winning the PATA Gold Award for CSR-Map Project. She currently manages the the Royal Silk Holidays and the Country Lake Nature Lodge in partnership with Travelife working towards sustainability in tourism.

 

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. 

SAMIR THAPA

NEPAL || MEMBER

Samir is an entrepreneur and an educator of the hospitality. He is Nepal’s first Certified hospitality educator in Nepal and the founding partner and director of the American Hospitality Academy IHMS of USA with several other hotel management schools running across the USA, Nepal, South Africa, Philippines, Turkey, India and Bhutan. He served as the president of  Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE) which is the World`s Largest Hospitality & Tourism Educator`s umbrella organization. He is a visiting faculty of Tourism schools in various universities located in USA, UK, Turkey, South Africa, India,

Malaysia, Philippines, China, Sri Lanka and The Netherlands. Currently, Samir runs three Tourism & Hospitality Management colleges, a Business Management College, and two High schools in Nepal. He is also involved in horticulture and livestock farming, domestic aviation, logistic management and beautification products.

 

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

Gana is an advocate of sustainable tourism and leads the non-profit Sustainable Tourism Development Centre to strengthen a network of sustainable tourism practitioners and principles in Mongolia and neighbouring regions. He has a PhD focusing on developing tourism as the core engine of competitive economic diversity, supporting local livelihoods and conservation of nature and culture across the country. His scientific papers and articles on tourism development and sustainability were published by the UNWTO and other international journals. Orn has over 25 years of expertise and experiences in tourism in general and ecotourism working in Mongolia and overseas including Asian and Eastern Europe. He is currently the governing board member of the Asian region at the World Association of Travel Agencies (Switzerland), national advisor to the Tourism and Sustainability of Mongolia, governing board and director to audit committee of MIAT (Mongolian National Airline) and the President of Mongolian Tourism Federation.

 

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

Mihee Kang (PhD) is a research professor at the Seoul National University, studying topics related to protected areas management and sustainable tourism. She received her doctorate at Seoul National University in 1999 and became the first PhD 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

Johnny Orn is a Khmer environmental conservationist and a sustainable ecotourism developer inside protected areas of Cambodia with a focus on community livelihood projects. He led a local non-profit, Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation based in Siem Reap, which won the Gold World Responsible Tourism Award and the Country Sponsor Award from the Royal government of Cambodian. Orn has over twelve years’ experience developing alternative livelihoods, cultural and natural tour guide training and curriculum development for training of trainers. He has actively participated in numerous ecotourism and protected area projects in Cambodia, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, etc. and different seminar in sustainable development within protected areas and alternative projects for the grassroots. Orn is passionate about nature and birdwatching, and travels locally and internationally to promote and connect ecotourism people and birders around the world.

 

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.

BOBOI COSTAS

PHILIPPINES || MEMBER

Joselito Costas organized the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association in Cebu and developed the Aloguinsan River Eco-cultural Tour which turned fishermen and their families into community tourism champions and won 5 global awards in ecotourism: the 2015 United Nations Inspire Award in Community Tourism, the 2017 ASEAN Award in Community Tourism and a three-peat win as Top 100 Global Sustainable Destinations in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Through his company Grassroots Travel, he has trained local communities, local government units, private companies, resorts, hotels, tour guides, and tour operators on ecotourism and sustainable tourism strategies across the country and around the Asia-Pacific region. He sits as Board of Director of Eco Exploration, Philippine Parks and Biodiversity and the Bangkok-based Asian Ecotourism Network. The Department of Tourism awarded him the Philippine National Tourism Award (KALAKBAY) in
2003. In 2015, the University of San Carlos awarded him the Most Outstanding Alumnus in the
field of Community Service. He was a University of California Berkeley Beahrs Environmental
Leadership Fellow in 2016, the same year he was recognized by Philippine Airlines as one of the Inspiring Filipinos. He was the Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer from 2016 to 2019.

INTHY DEUANSAVANH

LAOS || MEMBER

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 KIAN

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 ARTAY ARBAY

INDONESIA || MEMBER

Evi Aryati Arbay is an Indonesian author, photographer, and ethnographer of the indigenous people and culture for Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan and Africa. For over nineteen years, Evi has documented the daily lives of people through books and photo essays capturing the diversity of culture and expressions of life. Her best-sellers include Dani, the Highlander – a book about the Dani tribe of the Jayawaijaya mountain range in New Guinea and Baduy Locked in Time. She is a recipient of several national and International Books for Professional Awards and photography awards including the Best book in Asia Pacific Cersion Eska Frog Award.

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.

CT WU

TAIWAN || MEMBER

CT Wu started his nature adventures in 1985 while living and working in Indonesia. He later  joined the Wild Bird Society of Taipei (WBST) as a volunteer after relocating back to Taiwan in 1991 where he began leading oversea birding tours. In 1995, established the Natural Kingdom Inc Eco-tour company aiming to bring local people connect to some of the most popular natural hotspots around the world. He was actively involved in the founding of the Taiwan Ecotourism Association and eco tour projects for Taiwan aborigines launching thewulai Ecotourism & Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge. Currently, C T Wu is one of 20 board members of Taiwan Ecotourism Association (TEA).  

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