BANGKOK, Thailand – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and PATA Hawaii Chapter, in cooperation with the Hawaii State Department of Transportation–Airports Division, organized the installation ceremony of name plaques in the PATA Gallery of Legends at the Honolulu International Airport. The ceremony was conducted to honor Walter Elias Disney, founder of Walt Disney Company and Disneyland, and General Chalermchai Charuvastra, founder of the Tourist Organization of Thailand, for their significant contribution to the development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
Walter Elias Disney is being recognized for his outstanding contribution to travel, tourism, and the world of leisure attractions. He was a true innovator in every sense of the word and has drawn a global audience into a world of imagination and boundless creativity through his art and countless films. Highly regarded as the father of animation and one of the pioneers of the television and motion pictures industry, Walt Disney transformed the entertainment industry into what we know of it today.
General Chalermchai Charuvastra is being honored for his vision and efforts in pioneering tourism across the Asia Pacific region. Often noted as the “father of modern tourism” in Thailand, he worked towards encouraging investments for the development of secondary destinations outside of the capital city. He is a legendary figure in the Thailand tourism industry.
A special message from the Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, was conveyed to the attending dignitaries at the event, and certificates acknowledging the individual work of General Chalermchai Charuvastra and Walter Elias Disney in the world of tourism, were presented. Todd Apo, director of Public Affairs, Aulani-A Disney Resort & Spa Ko Olina, accepted the award for Walt Disney, while Chuck Y. Gee, PATA Life Member and long-time friend of the general, accepted the award for General Chalermchai Charuvastra. Gloria Henderson, director, PATA Executive Board, sponsored US$2,500 for Walt Disney’s plaque and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) sponsored US$2500 towards General Chalermchai Charuvastra’s plaque; both the plaques were graciously transported by United Airlines and Continental Airlines as a gesture of support toward PATA.
The PATA Gallery of Legends is located at the Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii and was conceived by former PATA president, Pierre Doley. The gallery displays bronze plaques that commemorate the outstanding achievements of individuals in the field of travel and tourism. Other honorees in the PATA Gallery of Legends include Juan Trippe (1993), Thomas Cook (1994), Conrad Hilton (1995), JRD Tata (1996), William Mullahey (1997), Sir Edmund Hilliary (1998), LW “Bill” Lane (1999), James Michener (2000), George “Pete” Wimberly (2001), Sir Hudson Fysh (2002), F. Marvin Plake (2003), and Joseph F. Sutter (2005).