President of MATATO chosen as the PATA Face of the Future 2018
President of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) Abdulla Ghiyas has been chosen as the PATA Face of the Future 2018. The honour is one of the most prestigious of its kind, open to young tourism professionals in the Asia Pacific region.
Mr. Ghiyas is an enthusiastic, energetic tourism professionals mostly known for his roles in the recognition of Small Medium Enterprises in the industry over the past few years.
Mr. Ghiyas is also a serial entrepreneur who is engaged in multiple leading travel business and startups. He is the Deputy Managing Director of Inner Maldives Holidays, one of the largest inbound and outbound travel agencies in the Maldives. Additionally, he is the Director of Ace Travels Maldives as well as Spence Maldives, which are joint ventures with the conglomerate of Aitken Spence PLC, Sri Lanka.
“I would like to congratulate Mr. Ghiyas on winning the 2018 PATA Face of the Future award.”Said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
"His clear commitment to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region is highlighted by his more than 10 years of service with MATATO and his many other activities and partnerships in the industry. In addition, his unique experience and insights will be a welcome addition to the Executive Board.”
With 14 years of experience in the tourism and travel industry, Mr. Ghiyas was the youngest Board Directors of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) from 2014 to 2017. He was named among the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Maldives in 2010 by the Junior Chamber International (JCI), for his role in the management of Inner Maldives Holiday.
“I am truly overwhelmed and humbled to have been recognised with the prestigious PATA Face of the Future award. This award is for the hard-working team at MATATO and Inner Maldives Holidays, and every dreamer out there for believing that there is always room for thinking bigger, pushing limits and imagining the impossible,” said Mr. Ghiyas.
“Today we are living in an era of ever evolving challenges and changes. The role of youth and students across the globe is being redefined and I believe younger generations can play a vital role in travel and tourism. I look forward to working together with PATA and other travel industry stakeholders to further the role of youth and inspire them in joining this movement.”
As the 2018 PATA Face of the Future, Mr. Ghiyas will have extensive exposure at the PATA Annual Summit 2018 which is to be held from May 17-20 in Gangneung, Korea (ROK). He will be one of the speakers at the PATA Youth Symposium, be interviewed by BBC World News Presenter & Producer Sharanjit Leyl at the one-day conference and be one of the debaters at the UNWTO/PATA Leaders Debate. Mr. Ghiyas will also be invited and welcome to join the 2018/2019 PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer.
MATATO is considered the leading NGO in the Maldives with the association associated with various activities such as advocacy, lobbying, training and workshops, FAM trips, loan schemes via different financial institutions, recognition programs such as Awards, travel conferences and forums, publications and more. In 2017, the association organised numerous destination stands and road shows exhibiting Maldives and its brands in 14 countries around the world.
Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 25 international airlines and airports, 108 hospitality organisations, 72 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.