Recognising the Future of Pacific Asia Travel and Tourism

Manager - Health, Hygiene and Sustainability
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts

Sangeetha Liyanapathirana

"The journey to this achievement was challenging and took a lot of hard work, but it's a testament to the power of perseverance. I am thankful to my team and mentors from Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, who believed in me, and to my family, who encouraged me. This award fuels my commitment to fostering sustainable and responsible tourism practices. With every step forward, I aim to leave a positive impact and inspire others to explore the beauty of our world mindfully. The path to progress continues, and I'm excited for the road ahead."

Sangeetha Liyanapathirana is Manager of Health, Hygiene and Sustainability at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts. Joining in 2016 as a Health and Hygiene Executive, she was recognised for her remarkable commitment and she now plays a lead role in Health and Safety communications for the hospitality group.

She's deeply committed to inspiring the future generation through organising educational sessions for aspiring hoteliers and collaborating with the John Keells Foundation in the 'Pasal Diriya' programme to reduce child malnutrition, ensure higher school attendance, and create a positive impact on overall learning. She recently received a Silver Award from John Keells Holdings, showcasing her commitment to positive change within the larger conglomerate.

To highlight commitment to human capital development, PATA annually presents a special award and prize to an exceptional ‘rising star’ in the industry.

All recipients of this prestigious award have exhibited initiative and leadership in the advancement of tourism as well as demonstrating commitment to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific travel industry in line with PATA’s mission. This award is known as the PATA Face of the Future.

About PATA Face of the Future

Reasons Why You Should Enter:

Benefits of Participating:

  • Recognition as the PATA Face of the Future 2023 including the use of a corresponding brand identity logo

  • Full sponsorship for participation at PATA Travel Mart 2023

  • Speaking opportunity at the PATA Youth Symposium during the PATA Travel Mart 2023 to share your story about your passion and journey to success (Can be replaced with Virtual PATA Youth Symposium)

  • Opportunities to speak at other PATA events or partner events on behalf of PATA

  • Global media exposure via PATA’s far-reaching communication channels

  • Build your profile as a mentor for the PATA Youth Mentorship Programme to develop young tourism professional students in the region

    • Speaking and Mentoring opportunities at PATA Youth webinars and other youth events

  • One blog post on PATA Blog about your passion and journey to success 

  • Seat on the PATA Board to represent the youth community of PATA

    • Aged 18-35 as of May 15, 2023

    • Working for a PATA member organisation in good-standing as of May 15, 2023 or is undertaking postgraduate travel and tourism studies at a PATA member educational institution

    • Exhibited initiative and leadership in the implementation of local, regional and/or international tourism initiatives (including research projects)

    • Demonstrated commitment to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific travel industry in a spirit compatible with PATA’s mission

    • The candidate him/herself OR a third-party person may submit the nomination.

    • No entry form is required. Simply submit a nomination letter, along with the nominee’s latest resume, contact details and bio write up with photo (JPG format, 300 dpi resolution, maximum 500KB total file size), in soft copy only (DOC or PDF file; maximum three pages).

    • Submit a video (up to three (3) minutes in length) of the nominee speaking, detailing the nominee’s experiences to date and aspirations for the future of travel and tourism. Movie clips shot on smartphones or tablets are acceptable.

Please email the entry, clearly labelled ‘PATA Face of the Future 2023 Nomination’, to Eunkyu Chun at

by Jul 31, 2023.

PATA Face of the Future 2023 Key Dates:

Call for Entries:

Extended Submission Deadline:

May 15, 2023

Jul 31, 2023


Awards Ceremony:

Early September

At PATA Travel Mart 2023

Meet the 2021 PATA Face of the Future!

Surayyal Hizmi

Lecturer at Lombok Tourism Polytechnic and Lecturer Advisor of the PATA Lombok Tourism Polytechnic Student Chapter

I am very grateful to receive such a prestigious honour. It is something that I never expected, so thank you so much for this recognition. The real winner of this award is not me but the many people who encouraged me, such as my family and my students who work hard to always support me. This achievement is for them and the many people who have contributed their lives and effort towards sustainable tourism and making this world a better place.

Past PATA Face of the Future

  • 2016

    Danny Ho, Executive Pastry Chef, Hotel ICON, Hong Kong SAR

  • 2015

    Dr Helena Lo, Director of Pousada de Mong-Há – the Educational Hotel of Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), Macau SAR

  • 2014

    Soulinnara Ratanavong, Teacher/Trainer at the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (Lanith), Lao PDR

  • 2013

    James Mabey, Senior Director of Development, Marco Polo Hotels, Hong Kong SAR

  • 2012

    Justin Malcolm, General Manager, Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, & Chairman of the PATA Chiang Rai Chapter, Thailand

  • 2011

    Tavalea Nilon, Miss Samoa 2010, Samoa

  • 2010

    Toney K Thomas, Programme Director & Senior Lecturer of the School of Tourism, Events & Recreation, Taylor’s University College, Malaysia

  • 2009

    Andrew Nihopara, Marketing Manager, South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Fiji

  • 2008

    Kenneth Low, Director Strategy – Asia Pacific, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Singapore

  • 2007

    Tran Trong Kien, CEO, Buffalo Tours, Vietnam

  • 2006

    Shikher Prasai, Managing Director, Natraj Tours & Travels, Nepal

  • 2005

    Sally Hollis, Manager, Tourism Council of Western Australia, Australia

  • 2004

    Silvia Sitou, Head of the Research & Planning Department, Macau Government Tourist Office, Macau SAR

  • 2003

    Vivek Sharma, Sales & Marketing Manager – Eastern USA, SITA World Tours, United States

  • 2002

    Mayur (Mac) Patel, Founder,, Australia

*All stated positions are as of year obtaining their award.

For further information, please drop us an email.