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PATA honours Billep, Cooray and Thirlwell with Awards of Merit

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 19 April 2004

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today presented the PATA Award of Merit to three travel industry leaders, during the 53rd PATA Annual Conference on Jeju. The award is reserved for individuals who have consistently contributed to PATA and the PATA chapter network over an extended period.

The first 2004 Award of Merit went to Universal Travel Systems President, Mr Klaus Billep. For 40 years, Mr. Billep upheld the highest standards of professionalism in his career with and for PATA. He organised the first chapters’ out-of-country workshops, including bringing 300 agents to Korea (ROK) in 1965. In addition, he conceived the Southern California PATA Pacific Showcase, which was a successful event for 22 years.

The second 2004 Award of Merit went to Mr. Hiran Cooray of Jetwing Travel in Sri Lanka. Mr. Cooray, as PATA Sri Lanka Chapter Chairman since the year 2000, led the Chapter to a 2003 PATA Award of Excellence. PATA has also benefited from Mr. Cooray’s spirit of volunteerism – he currently sits on the Sustainable Tourism Committee, Industry Council and PATA Travel Mart Advisory Committee.

The third 2003 PATA Award of Merit went to Mr. Tony Thirlwell, who was previously Chief Executive of Tourism New South Wales and Managing Director of the Australian Tourist Commission. Mr. Thirlwell has contributed at the highest levels to Australia’s travel and tourism industry. He has also worked tirelessly for PATA in the capacities of Board Member and Government Committee Chairman.

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