Dr. Jens Thraenhart

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.

Jens Thraenhart has over 25 years of international travel, tourism, and hospitality experience, spanning positions in operations, marketing, business development, revenue management, strategic planning, and e-business. Early in his career Jens’s entrepreneurial edge was sharpened with him founding and operating a successful food catering company, starting a New York-based Internet leisure travel Internet company and managing an independent luxury golf resort in Germany.

In 2014, Jens Thraenhart was appointed by the governments of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and PR China (Yunnan and Guanxi) to head the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) as its Executive Director / CEO for four consecutive contract terms, and established the private sector led regional tourism board Destination Mekong. In 2008, he co-founded award-winning China digital marketing firm Dragon Trail, and has led marketing and Internet strategy teams with the Canadian Tourism Commission (now Destination Canada) and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (now Accor).

With a doctorate degree in tourism and hospitality management (DHTM) from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, an MBA-accredited Master of Management in Hospitality 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 and recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Travel Leaders in 2022. He serves as the 2nd Vice Chair of the UNWTO Affiliate Members Board (World Tourism Organization), Executive Board Member of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI), Executive Board Member of the International federation of IT in Travel & Tourism and was Board Member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and past Chair of PATA China.


The preliminary purpose of tourism is to improve the lives of residents and support the sustainability of the environment, social structures, and cultures. There are usually many stakeholders from the public and private sector involved. Governments enable tourism by providing policies and infrastructures. The private sector invites visitors to experience a destination and available products and services. There are very few destinations that, by nature, have a structure that offers benefits to residents and visitors.

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