AHRA names new board of directors

Eugene Yap

The ASEAN Hotel & Restaurant Association (AHRA) has appointed a new board of directors at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually for the first time last Thursday.

The new office bearers will serve a term of service from 2021 to 2023. AHRA members unanimously elected Eugene Yap of the Hotel & Restaurant of the Philippines as the president for the second term, in another first for the association.

Eugene Yap

Yap said: “We are optimistic of a healthy recovery for the tourism and hotel industry with positive developments and deployment of vaccinations across the region. (South-east Asia) is an important market for not only the world, but also its very own member states, and this will be the key to our economic recovery for the next two years.”

Meanwhile, Ben Montgomery from Thai Hotels Association will take on the role of first vice president; Chenda Clais from Cambodia Hotel Association, as second vice president; and Hariyadi B.S. Sukamdani from Perhimpunan Hotel dan Restoran Indonesia (PHRI), as third vice president.

Assuming the position of secretary general is Margaret Heng from Singapore Hotel Association, while Christina Toh from
Malaysian Association of Hotels will be the honorary Treasurer.

The AGM was attended by members from nine countries, with each member country represented by respective national hotel and restaurant associations sharing situation updates, strategies as well as outlook of the tourism and hospitality industry for the year ahead.

Despite the pandemic’s devastating impact on the industry, AHRA said that it remains “strong and determined” in rebuilding the industry through sharing of resources and strategic collaborations across the region. Part of AHRA’s roadmap to recovery includes industry support events with focus on tourism safety and health, sustainability, human resources and productivity, as well as a regional hospitality conference set for 3Q2021.

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