Mr Low wins most prestigious honour for young tourism professionals in Asia Pacific. The 2008 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Face of the Future is Kenneth Low, Director Strategy, Asia Pacific for the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
Mr Low will receive his honour during the PATA Foundation Gala Dinner at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 6.
Based in Singapore, Mr Low, who just turned 35, is responsible for planning IHG's growth strategy in Asia Pacific, with a particular focus on the key markets of China (PRC), India and Japan. He joined IHG in November 2005 from Abacus International, where he was Head of Corporate Planning and Development.
Announcing the award, PATA President and CEO Peter de Jong said Mr Low was a high achiever who had risen rapidly though the management ranks of two highly successful travel companies. We were also pleased that along the way Kenneth found time to connect with PATA through our Young Tourism Professionals (YTP) programme," he said. Mr Low was chosen from an impressive shortlist of candidates from private and public sector organisations across the region.
"The calibre of entries gets stronger every year," said Mr de Jong. "Last year we were delighted to recognise a young entrepreneur from Vietnam, now this year a strategic planner in Singapore. With the enormous pressures on human resources in our industry, it is reassuring to see exceptional young professionals like Kenneth Low pursuing careers in travel and tourism."
Mr Low described the award as a great honour and a big surprise: "It has been a fantastic few years of association with PATA for me, not only as a participant at PATA events but also being involved in YTP programme." He added: "I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of my company and colleagues who share my enthusiasm for our region and our efforts to ensure a sustainable future for our industry."
Courtesy of IMEX (the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events), Mr Low will be offered complimentary registration and subsidised travel to attend IMEX 2008 or 2009 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Mission statement: "The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA's private and public sector members, we enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region."
Founded in 1951, PATA is the recognised authority on Asia Pacific travel and tourism. PATA provides leadership and advocacy to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 airlines and cruise lines, and hundreds of travel industry companies. In addition, thousands of travel professionals belong to dozens of PATA chapters worldwide. PATA is a not-for-profit organisation.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) of the United Kingdom is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 3,900 hotels and more than 585,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. IHG owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinentalR Hotels & Resorts, Crowne PlazaR Hotels & Resorts, Holiday InnR Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn ExpressR, Staybridge SuitesR, Candlewood SuitesR and Hotel IndigoR, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority ClubR Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.
The company pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The IHEI formed the foundations of the Tourism Partnership launched by the International Business Leaders Forum in 2004, of which IHG is still a member today. The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus.