Flori-Anne dela Cruz, the youth representative to the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) Board of Directors, is today named as the 2019 PATA Face of the Future. This is the most prestigious honor open to young tourism professionals in the Asia Pacific region.
Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate Flori-Anne on winning the 2019 PATA Face of the Future award. Her commitment to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region and her views on how travel and tourism can contribute to a more sustainable and socially responsible industry will be a welcome asset to the 2019/2020 PATA Executive Board.”
As the 2019 PATA Face of the Future, Flori-Anne will be one of the debaters at the UNWTO/PATA Leaders Debate during the PATA Annual Summit 2019 from May 9-12 in Cebu, Philippines. She will also be invited to join the 2019/2020 PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer.
“To be recognized with the prestigious PATA Face of the Future award is truly an honor. I will be forever humbled by this recognition. Today’s society has access to numerous opportunities with just a click of a button. With this, we should utilise technological innovations to lead an ambitious and proactive role in shifting the tourism industry to become more sustainable, accessible, and culturally sensitive,” said Flori-Anne. “Through collaborative efforts, we need to seek out ways on how we can accomplish this vision in the most effective and resourceful manner. I look forward to an exciting and interesting venture with PATA and other industry stakeholders in seeking out these ways.”
Flori-Anne was recently appointed by the newly elected Honourable Governor of Guam, Lourdes Leon Guerrero, as the youth representative appointed to the GVB Board of Directors. She is currently employed as a marketing specialist at ASC Trust, the largest provider of retirement plan management services in Micronesia.
Her aspirations for the future of travel and tourism can be expressed by the acronym GUAM (Going Green, Understanding Cultures, Appreciating Diversity, and Making Travel Accessible for All). These visions can best be achieved through the concerted efforts of not just all travel and tourism stakeholders but in collaboration with other industries. Furthermore, cultural awareness of the traveller and a shift in the visitor mindset is needed for better understanding and appreciation of the diversity and uniqueness of each destination. Her quest for sustainable tourism fits perfectly with the expectation of what an ideal destination and industry should aspire to become. Flori-Anne has shown willingness to not only step up and take recognition to this need, but also to become part of the solution at a very young age.
Flori-Anne graduated this past December with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and International Tourism and Hospitality Management from University of Guam. Prior to that, she received her Associate degree in Travel and Tourism Management in Guam Community College.