University of Hawaiʻii Regent Chuck Yim Gee has been named to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gallery of Legends for his lifetime achievement in establishing an important human legacy for the worldwide travel industry through education, training, and research. PATA bestowed this extraordinary honor on Gee at its 63rd Annual General Assembly in Zhuhai, China on May 18, 2014.
In its announcement, PATA noted, “The Gallery of Legends honour is not awarded every year and, as a rule, not conferred on a living person. Dr. Gee will be joining other pioneers and visionaries who have helped to define and shape the development and growth of travel and tourism in the AP region in their respective fields—airlines, hotels, architecture, culture and environment, aircraft design, literature, theme parks, as well as human resource development.
“As a pioneer in tourism education, Dr. Gee will be joining such prominent names as Juan Trippe, founder of Pan Am; Thomas Cook, travel pioneer; Conrad Hilton, hotel entrepreneur; Sir Edmund Hilliary, environmentalist; James Michener, novelist; Joseph Sutter, father of the 747 series of aircrafts; Walt Disney, ‘imagineer;’ and others whose name plaques are mounted on the PATA Gallery of Legends exhibit located in the central breezeway of the Honolulu International Airport.”
Gee served as dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management from 1976 until his retirement in 1999. Gee has received numerous awards, including the Award of Excellence for Tourism Education from the National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China, Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Presidential Award and Grand Award for Individual Educational Accomplishment, Academy of Tourism Organizations’ NOAH Award and Travel Industry Association’s America Hall of Leaders Award. The State of Hawaiʻi honored him as State Manager of the Year in 1995 and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1999 named him one of the 100 people who made a difference for the State of Hawaiʻi during the 20th Century. In 2011, Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou presented Gee with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding professionals’ contributions to Taiwan’s tourism industry. He joined the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents in 2009.
UH Board of Regents Chair John Holzman said, “What a pleasure it is to see Chuck named to the PATA Gallery of Legends. Chuck just keeps bringing honor to our community as a UH leader, donor, regent, and now as a pillar of his profession and our most important industry. His induction into the PATA Gallery of Legends is testimony to the wisdom he has accumulated and shared during a life of extraordinary service and achievement.”
Interim President David Lassner said, “It’s an incredible source of pride when a member of the UH community is honored at the very pinnacle of his profession. We couldn’t be prouder of Chuck being recognized as a Legend alongside other absolute giants of tourism.”
PATA, whose birthplace was in Hawaiʻi in 1951, serves as the leading voice and authority of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region. PATA has 41 chapters and thousands of members around the world. Its membership includes 90 government, state and city tourism bodies, nearly 50 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, as well as hundreds of private sector corporations. PATA’s mission is to enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to-from-within the region.