BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) has appointed Jens Thraenhart as its new Chief Executive Officer.
A tourism veteran of 26 years, Thraenhart beat out 178 candidates from the around the world for the role. As a German-Canadian tourism practitioner, he is well versed in global tourism strategy and execution, having worked for the Canadian Tourism Commission (now Destination Canada) and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (now part of Accor). He most recently served as Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office for four consecutive two-year terms, during which he created the private-sector tourism board, Destination Mekong.
In addition, Thraenhart is considered an expert in China Outbound Tourism, having co-founded the award-winning travel technology agency Dragon Trail and authoring the China Travel Trends books in 2010 and 2021. He also chaired the China Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) while living in Beijing for five years. In addition to basic Mandarin, Spanish and Thai, he also speaks English, French and German.
Thraenhart’s other notable roles include second Vice Chair of the Affiliate Members Board of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He has also served on industry boards including PATA, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI) and the International Federation of IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT). He has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Travel and Hospitality three times, and was added to the Hall of Global Tourism Heroes in 2021. He is currently completing his doctorate thesis with a focus on strengthening tourism integration resilience via stakeholder collaboration at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
On his new appointment, Roseanne Myers, Chairman of BTMI, said: “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.”