Barbados Tourism Appoints Canadian Jens Thraenhart as CEO

Jens Thraenhart, CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Jens Thraenhart, CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

The Board of Directors of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. as appointed Jens Thraenhart as Chief Executive Officer of the island’s destination marketing agency, effective 01NOV.

Thraenhart is a German-Canadian tourism practitioner, has experience in global tourism strategy and execution, as well as leadership experience from North America to Asia. Previously, Thraenhart worked for the Canadian Tourism Commission (now Destination Canada) and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (now part of Accor), and most recently as Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, appointed by the six member governments in Southeast Asia for four consecutive 2-year terms.

During his almost eight years in office, he created various campaigns and initiatives, and created the private-sector tourism board Destination Mekong to foster public-private partnership collaboration. He is conversational in three languages, including English, French, and German as well as basic Spanish, Thai, and Mandarin. According to a press release, Thraenhart brings a depth of experience executing innovative technology solutions in tourism marketing. An expert in China Outbound Tourism, Thraenhart also co-founded travel technology agency Dragon Trail, authored the China Travel Trends books in 2010 and 2012, and chaired the China Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), while living in Beijing for five years.

He is the second Vice Chair of the Affiliate Members Board of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and has served on industry boards including the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI), and the International Federation of IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT), bringing stakeholder relationships in key target markets for Barbados tourism. Thraenhart has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Travel and Hospitality three times, was recognized by Travel Agent Magazine as one of the Top Rising Stars in Travel, and was added to the Hall of Global Tourism Heroes in 2021. An MBA graduate of Cornell University, he is currently completing his doctorate thesis with a focus on “strengthening tourism integration resilience via stakeholder collaboration” at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. says the new appointment is a signal of a new era for the organization, one that will see the BTMI transition to a more commercial marketing enterprise, which is reshaping its operations to better compete in the new pandemic era of global tourism.

Chairman of the BTMI, Mrs. Roseanne Myers confirmed the appointment. “The team at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc has done a great job of reopening markets, using their knowledge and experience and established trade relationships. We believe that coupled with Jens’ international tourism experience, proven track record in strategy execution and entrepreneurial perspectives, the BTMI will emerge from this period of the pandemic, a much stronger, high-performing destination marketing company that brings increased benefit to our industry and the wider economy. We undertook the challenge to find the best candidate for the CEO position to help shape the way forward, and we are exceptionally pleased to have done so, after a thorough and transparent process. We welcome Jens to the Barbados team.”

For more information on Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., visit its web site.

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