The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced the appointment of Mario Hardy as its next Chief Executive Officer, effective November 1, 2014.
Mr Hardy is currently the Chief Operations Officer of PATA, a position he has held since January 15th of this year. He was approved to succeed Martin Craigs as the CEO by the PATA Executive Board at the last Executive Board Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in September 2014. Mr Hardy’s appointment will be endorsed by the full PATA Board at the next Annual Meeting.
Through the end of November, Mr Craigs will fulfill obligations made as CEO at various speaking engagements that have been confirmed, including the Brisbane Global Cafe – Tourism’s New Frontiers on Thursday, November 13, 2014, ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Commenting on his new appointment, Mr. Hardy said, “I am humbled and honored that the PATA Executive Board has entrusted me to take the Association to its next stage of transformation. I have been an active member of PATA since 2009 and I believe that by bringing further engagement with youth the Association will have a long lasting future."
Mr Hardy is an entrepreneur and serial angel investor with close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience.
He is also the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PATA Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a mission to contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of heritage and support for education.
Prior to PATA, Mr Hardy worked 14 years for UBM/OAG, a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector, and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.
He began his career with People's Express Airlines in 1985, before joining Canadian Airlines in 1987 where he spent 12 years in a number of sales, marketing and operational roles, leading to his appointment in a senior management role heading the Group Sales & Charter division in 1997.
Mr Hardy has a BSc from the University of Montreal, a Public Relations Certificate from L'École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal and an International Trade Certificate from the O'Sullivan College of Montreal. He is a true global citizen who lived on 3 continents, 7 countries and has over 10 years experience working in Asia. A seasoned traveler with a goal of visiting over 100 countries engaging with local communities, he is passionate about travel, innovation, design and technology. Mr Hardy can often be found reading FastCompany, TechCrunch, Mashable, or National Geographic; watching TED Talks; or searching for the latest innovations on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.