Afro Asian Union (AFASU) announced the appointment of Dr. Jens Thraenhart Member of the AFASU Golden Awards Committee.
and Member of the AFASU Executive Board.
The African Asian Union AFASU appoints Strategy Consultant and Entrepreneur Dr. Jens Thraenhart, 2nd Vice Chair of the Affiliate Menders of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), founding partner of strategy consulting firm Chameleon Strategies, and outgoing CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. in the Caribbean, and former Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office in Southeast Asia.
In November 2021, Dr. Jens Thraenhart was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the official national tourism organization of the island nation of Barbados in the Caribbean. Previously, for nearly eight years, he served as the Executive Director at the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) owned by the governments of Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and PR China, and founded private sector led regional tourism board, Destination Mekong. He served on the Board of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and was past Chair of PATA China. In 1999, he founded tourism strategy and marketing consulting firm Chameleon Strategies, an Affiliate Member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Jens Thraenhart bio:
Dr. Jens Thraenhart is the Founding Partner of bespoke strategy consulting firm Chameleon Strategies, the 2nd Vice Chair of the World Tourism Organization’s UNWTO Affiliate Members, former Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, the founder of private-sector-led tourism marketing organization Destination Mekong, a Board Member and former Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the outgoing Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing, Inc. (BTMI).
In November 2021, Dr. Jens Thraenhart was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the official national tourism organization of the island nation of Barbados in the Caribbean. BTMI is responsible for promoting Barbados as a sustainable tourism destination and the ultimate Caribbean vacation island by implementing marketing strategies that help the responsible development of tourism. In just a little more than a year of leading the national tourism marketing organization of the Republic of Barbados, he has been recognized as someone who has been showcasing the island nation on the global map, from Africa to Europe to North America, and Latin America. With impressive short-term successes from winning the Green Destinations Award in the category of climate change and the environment, the launch of an innovative employee engagement program, a data and performance measurement process, and strong recovery numbers coming out of the COVID pandemic, he has the skills and expertise to guide destinations worldwide to balanced, inclusive, and high-yield tourism transformation. Under his leadership, the organization has rebuilt tourism by staging world-class BTMI-owned events such as the Food and Rum Festival and Run Barbados, the largest marathon in the Caribbean. His unique video blog, showcasing the island destination, going into communities, visiting small businesses, and learning from Barbadians about the history and culture of the destination set him on a path to leadership success.
Previously, in 2014, the six governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, PR China, Thailand, and Viet Nam) extended his contract for four consecutive terms to lead the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office as Executive Director. He developed the private sector-led regional tourism board, Destination Mekong in Southeast Asia, and was credited for establishing several innovative initiatives, including the Experience Mekong Collection, the collaborative campaign platform Mekong Moments, the Mekong Mini Movie Festival, and the MIST innovation and startup program.
Before his nearly eight-year tenure at Mekong Tourism, based in Bangkok, Thailand, he spent five years in Beijing, PR China, where he co-founded the award-winning travel technology and marketing agency Dragon Trail, and published the China Travel Trends books and website.
Previously, he has led marketing and digital strategy teams with Destination Canada and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. In 1999, he founded consulting agency Chameleon Strategies, an affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since 2008. He has consulted for tourism ministries and hotel and travel companies all over the world, with a focus on strategy, sustainable development, marketing, and digital transformation.
Educated at top-ranked academic institutions, Dr. Thraenhart completed his doctorate degree in tourism and hospitality management (DHTM) from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a thesis in tourism resilience, an MBA-accredited Master of Management in Hospitality degree (MMH) from Cornell University, and a joint Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University Center 'Cesar Ritz' at Brig, Switzerland. Dr. Thraenhart was recognized as one of the travel industry’s top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003, one of HSMAI’s 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005, one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014, honored as one of the Global Travel Heroes in 2021, and recognized as one of the top 10 Most Influential Leaders in Travel and Tourism in 2022.
Active in global tourism, he serves as the 2nd Vice Chair of the UNWTO Affiliate Members Board (World Tourism Organization), sits on the boards of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Barbados International Airport (GAIA), the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), and Destination Mekong, and is part of the prestigious Sustainable Tourism Expert Panel (https://sustainability-leaders.com/panel/), He served as an Executive Board Member of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI), Executive Board Member of the International Federation of IT in Travel & Tourism, and Board Member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and past Chair of PATA China.
Passionate about the opportunities and value that travel and tourism can bring to be a force for good, and an active advocate to foster climate resilience, Dr. Thraenhart is an advisor of the Climate Friendly Travel Club. As founder of the Destination Film Forum, he is also a big proponent of the power of storytelling, having been recognized as one of the top 10 Most Influential Leaders in Travel in 2022 by Travel Vertical, ranking first in the category of Creativity and Brand Storytelling (https://thetravelvertical.com/2022/06/22/results-the-most-influential-leaders-in-travel/, and served on the Jury of the Cannes Lion International Film Awards in 2022. Passionate about innovative marketing, for the past 10+ years, he has curated creative campaigns on his blog Tourism-Campaigns.com.
Dr. Hossam Darwish, President of the African-Asian Union AFASU, said that he is proud and happy that Dr. Jens Thraenhart joined the working team of the AFASU union.
Dr. Jens Thraenhart is an international tourism expert who he has been knowing closely for over 15 years, as they worked together in Egypt several times on developing e-tourism conferences, fist in 2008. They have also participated together in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as lecturers in the Riyadh International Tourism Fair in 2012, and in e-tourism conferences in Lebanon. This past collaboration confirms that Dr. Jens Thraenhart is a great addition to the Afro-Asian union AFASU.
Dr. Adel Al-Muslimani, CEO of the AFASU union, said that he welcomes Dr. Jens Thernhart as a member of the Executive board of the union and a member of the AFASU Golden Awards Committee and wishes him success.
Major General Hossam Badr El-Din, Executive Vice President of the union, added that he is happy to have Dr. Jens Thraenhart joining the union, and that he is confident that the number of members joining the Afro-Asian union AFASU from the continents of Asia and Africa will increase, due to the great experience and relationships of Dr. Jens Thraenhart.
Dr. Jens Thraenhart expresses his excitement of joining AFASU by congratulating the leadership of the founding team in having the foresight of the potential in the collaboration of African and Asian nations in the sharing and cooperating in tourism for mutual understanding, peace, sustainability, and climate resilience.
Dr. Hossam Darwish, President of the Afro-Asian Union (AFASU), explained that AFASU is an international union with offices and members in numerous Afro-Asian countries. It originated from the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization, (AAPSO) which was conceived at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia under the name of the Non-Aligned Movement, led by the three leaders Nasser, Tito, and Nehru. Currently, AAPSO and AFASU consists of 90 African and Asian countries and holds memberships in the United Nations, World Trade Organization, UNCTAD, Arab League, and the African Union.
AAPSO is currently globally headed by Prof. Dr. Helmy El-Hadidi – the former Minister of Health in the Arab Republic of Egypt, and it is under the financial and administrative supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.