A familiar name among the Southeast Asia travel agent community,
ASTINDO (Indonesian Travel Agents Association) head Pauline Suharno has
been unanimously voted by Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA) members
to become the new president of FATA from 2022 to 2024.
succeeds outgoing FATA president K.L. Tan, who is also the president of
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents. Chhay Sivlin,
president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, is FATA's new deputy
president and Michelle Taylan, president of Philippines Travel Agencies
Association, has been elected secretary general.
As she looks to her new two-year presidency at FATA, which consists
of Associations of Travel Agents from ASEAN member countries, Suharno
hopes to bring the alliance closer together and advance the cause of the
travel agent community.
The past two years have severely tested the travel industry,
therefore helping travel agents digitalise and adapt is one of the key
aims for FATA under her leadership, Suharno tells Travel Weekly Asia.
"Most brick-and-mortar travel agents are SMEs, so we hope FATA can
assist them to improve on product innovation and technology adoption,
expand their foreign offerings and engage overseas consumers," she says.
While acknowledging that FATA has a challenging task at hand, Suharno
sees a key mission in fostering the team spirit among members and align
the vision and missions geared toward reviving domestic and
"We have to be consistent in order to pump up members’ spirit and
assist them to reactivate the business. ASEAN travel agents as a close
community should hand in hand work closely, not just on paper or in