Industry stalwart Alwin Zecha passes away, tributes pour in

Tourism industry veteran and founder of Pacific Leisure Group (PLG) Alwin Zecha passed away after suffering a cardic arrest on March 12 in Bangkok. Born in Sukabumi West Java, Indonesia on April 4, 1936, Zecha contributed enormously to the ASEAN travel & tourism industry through his close involvement with PATA, and helping to bring numerous PATA events such as the PATA Travel Mart and Annual Conference to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. In his career spanning over 50 years, Zecha founded PLG in 1961 and bulit up network offices across the globe and quickly gained a reputation as one of the leading DMCs worldwide.

Extending his tribute, Eckard Kremer, Group Managing Director. PLG said, “We lost a friend, mentor and our PLG father today. His legacy will live on.”

Al Merschen, Managing Director, Myriad Travel Marketing said, “To a man with zest of life, and a life well lived. Rest in peace my fellow AL.”

San Jeet, Honorary Vice Chairman, PATA India Chapter said, “A big loss for me personally and all of us here in India. The travel industry has lost an eminent statesman who guided us and more importantly held us all together. He will be missed, but his legacy of great work will stay in our hearts forever.”

Vikram Madhok, Honorary Treasurer, PATA India Chapter commented, “Sorry to see a true industry leader go. Alwin was an inspiration to many of us and I have lost a friend of more than 20 years since I became involved with PATA. When he spoke, people stopped to listen, such was his charm and persona.”

Narzalina Lim, Former Secretary, Department of Tourism (DoT) Philippines, said, “Alwin gave us words of encouragement, assuring us that we could put the Philippines back in the tourism map. He never stopped encouraging us and gave us every opportunity, through PATA to host many events to keep a high profile in the tourism world. We owe him a lot and we will miss him.”

Alison Cryer, MD, Representation Plus said, “We will all miss Alwin’s determination, positiveness and cheerful disposition. Nick and my thoughts are with you Gek and the children.”

“Alwin has touched so many people in the travel and tourism industry of the Pacific Asia region, including myself. He selflessly shared his experience and knowledge, and for me he was not only a business partner but also a mentor and a friend who led by example. He will be very much missed by all who knew him well, including those in PATA and Skal,” told Tunku Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, Group Executive Chairman, Melewar Group told TTG Asia.

Elly Hutabarat, Vice Chairperson, Industry Council, PATA, commented, “Alwin has introduced me to PATA more than 20 years ago and he continued ‘lecturing’ me about this great organisation since then. I and anyone of us in the tourism industry will miss him tremendously. Goodbye my brother, have a great journey back home. We will always remember and love you.”

While paying his tribute, Arjun Sharma, Chairman, Select Group and Member, Executive Committee, PATA India Chapter said, “The Sharma family is deeply saddened to hear the news. Zecha was a pillar of Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. I have had the pleasure of working closely with him in PATA. He had the capacity to think big and out of the box. We pray to the almighty for peace to the departed soul and strength to the family to bear this irreparable loss.”