BTMI appoints new CEO

After an intensive and rigorous global search, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and its Board of Directors have confirmed the appointment of Mr. Jens Thraenhart as Chief Executive Officer of the island’s destination marketing agency. This new appointment will take effect from November 1st, 2021.

Mr Thraenhart, a tourism veteran of 26 years, emerged as the top candidate from an initial pool of 178 candidates of qualified professionals from around the world.

Chairman of the BTMI, Mrs Roseanne Myers confirmed the appointment while citing the new CEO’s experience in international tourism and proven track record in strategy execution and entrepreneurial perspectives. She said these would make the BTMI “…a much stronger, high-performing destination marketing company that brings increased benefit to our industry and the wider economy”.

She said that the BTMI undertook a rigorous process of selecting the best candidate for the position, and it had achieved this via a thorough and transparent process.

About The CEO: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Jens Thraenhart’s  25-year experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry covers positions in operations, marketing, business development, revenue management, strategic planning, and e-business. One of Jens’s early career points was starting and operating a successful food company, an experience that sharpened his entrepreneurial edge. He has also managed a New York-based Internet leisure and travel company and an independent luxury golf resort in Germany. He has been the CEO of Chameleon Strategies since 1999, and in 2008, he was a co-founder of the award-winning China digital marketing firm Dragon Trail. He has also worked with marketing and Internet strategy teams within the Canadian Tourism Commission and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. In 2014, Jens Thraenhart became the Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), a venture jointly operated by Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China (Yunnan and Guanxi).

Thraenhart has an MBA-accredited Masters 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. He was recognized as one of the travel industry’s top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003.

Listed as one of HSMAI’s 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005, he was also named one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014. He is a UNWTO Affiliate Member, PATA Board Member, and past Chair of PATA China.

Barbados Tourism

Barbados is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean among North American and European tourists. Because of its economic and social stability, the island enjoys a relatively high standard of living and boasts of a high literacy rate among its citizens. As tourism begins to rebound in Barbados, more and more tourists are flocking to the island. According to the latest data from the island’s tourist board, July 2021 recorded over 10,000 air arrivals. That figure was the highest registered number of arrivals this year and represented a significant increase compared to July 2020. Officials say the trend suggests a “positive turn for the industry” ahead of the 2021/2022 winter season. The United Kingdom contributed 34.4% of business activity for the hospitality industry, behind the United States, which at 43.3%, accounted for a more significant chunk of the market. Also, KLM airlines recently returned to Barbados after a period of over two decades. According to Craig Hinds, who is the outgoing interim CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, “Barbados has and continues to weather this COVID-19 storm, but while this period has been difficult for the industry, the BTMI is so pleased to see the recent sprouts of positive growth.”