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 March 18, 2015
Academic Dr Helena Lo Wins 2015 PATA Face of the Future

 The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced that Dr Helena Lo is the recipient of the most prestigious honour for young tourism professionals in Asia Pacific -- the 2015 PATA Face of the Future award. Helena is Director of Pousada de Mong-Há - the Educational Hotel of Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), Macau SAR.

Mr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA stated, "On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate Dr Helena Lo on winning the 2015 PATA Face of the Future award. Her outstanding contribution to the responsible development of travel and tourism, specifically in the area of Human Capital Development, is especially relevant today. With the rapid growth of the tourism sector in the Asia Pacific region, Human Capital Development will be one of the greatest challenges for the travel and tourism industry. Her experience and insight will be most welcomed to the PATA Chairman in inviting her to join the PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer."

Helena said, "I truly feel honoured and privileged to receive the prestigious PATA Face of the Future award. PATA's long-term commitment to developing a sustainable Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry is well admired by myself since I joined IFT as a student. At IFT, we incorporate environmental initiatives into our hotel operations and our curriculums, where our students start at a young age to recognise the related importance in ensuring a sustainable development in the industry as they graduated into an increasingly low-carbon economy."

"I am grateful that my contribution over the years has been acknowledged with PATA's Face of the Future award. This award gives me more energy and enthusiasm to further contribute to training future tourism talents. I think my greatest achievement is to see my students achieving great careers after graduation; many of them pursued postgraduate degrees and have taken up prestigious positions in the tourism and hospitality industry. When they pay me visits and update me about their career that is when I feel the achievements in my career too."

Helena added: "I look forward to more collaboration between academics and industry practitioners, where researchers provide important implications for practitioners, whilst the industry opens opportunities for future research. This provides a platform to leverage greater cooperation and coordination between different stakeholders, for the sake of a sustainable development in the industry locally and internationally."

A native of Macau SAR, Helena is Director of Pousada de Mong-Ha (the Educational Hotel of Institute for Tourism Studies Macau - IFT), an award-winning hotel training facility. She received a Doctorate degree in Business Administration, a Master degree in Education, and a Bachelor degree in Tourism Business Management. Her research interests include human resources and green hotel management. Helena has a wealth of experience in the hotel industry, including almost 14 years with Pousada de Mong-Ha, overseeing its operations and development. She works closely with industry practitioners and maintains a network with the Macau hotel industry.

The 2015 PATA Face of the Future Award will be presented at the Association's Conference Dinner Reception and PATA Awards Presentation during PATA Annual Summit 2015 on April 24 at the Hong Zhu Shan Hotel in Leshan, China.