Keynote speaker: Richard Bangs

Richard Bangs, an entrepreneurial pioneer in travel, digital media, e-commerce and other frontiers, is one of the fathers of modern adventure travel. He has spent 30 years as an explorer and communicator, and has led first descents of 35 rivers around the globe, including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in Southern Africa. A prolific author, filmmaker and sought after speaker, he has published more than 1000 magazine articles, 19 books (including “Quest for the Sublime” and “Quest for the Kasbah”), produced a score of documentaries and has lectured at the Smithsonian, the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club and other notable venues. His book “The Lost River: A Memoir of Life, Death and the Transformation of Wild Water,” won the National Outdoor Book Award in literature, and the Lowell Thomas Award for best book. He produced and hosted the critically acclaimed PBS series “Richard Bangs’ Adventures with Purpose” and is currently executive producer and host for “Richard Bangs’ Quests” airing on PBS stations nationwide. He serves on an array of technology, travel and environmental boards.

Keynote speaker: Andrew McCarthy

Andrew McCarthy is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler. He has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, to name a few. The Society of American Travel Writers named him their "Travel Journalist of the Year" in 2010, and in 2011, the North American Travel Journalists Association awarded him their Grand Prize. His recent travel memoir, The Longest Way Home, became a New York Times bestseller, with the Financial Times of London naming it one of the Best Books of 2012. Despite all this he is perhaps best known as an actor, having appeared in dozens of movies, including such iconic films as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire and Less Than Zero.

Manuel Butler, ETC President

Manuel Butler has been CEO of the Spanish Institute for Tourism since January 2012 and was elected President of the European Travel Commission (ETC) 11th April 2013. Mr Butler has extensive experience in Western Europe, North America and Latin America, acquired for more than 25 years working in management positions, both in the public and the private sectors. He has been Tourism Counsellor at the embassies of the United Kingdom and Germany and at the Consulate in Miami, where he boosted Spain as a cruise destination. Mr Butler is member of the Executive Committee of the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero (ITH), of the Organising Committee of the international tourism fair in Madrid (FITUR), and the Board of Directors of Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA).

Eduardo Santander, ETC Executive Director

Educated in Spain and Austria, Mr Santander is a native of Cádiz, Spain, and holds a PhD in Sports Science and an MBA degree. He has also been a guest lecturer on tourism marketing at International Business Seminars in a number of US Universities. In addition to his mother tongue, Spanish, he is fluent in English, German and Italian. He began his career in diverse companies from the tourism industry in Innsbruck, Austria and has a broad experience in marketing and sales. Previous to ETC he was the Managing Director for Europe of Mountain News - Vail Resorts Inc. (Innsbruck / Denver).

Eugenio Magnani, Director for North America, Italian Government Tourist Board

Eugenio Magnani has been working in the tourism industry for over 20 years. He started off as the Director for the UK and Ireland regions of the Italian Tourist Board. After seven years, he moved on to the North American region, where he created the Italian Travel Promotion Council (ITPC). Magnani was soon sought out by the European Travel Commission, where he served as the Chairman of the US Operations Group. At this point, Magnani’s established position in European Tourism Sector led him to his role as Director General of the Italian Government Tourist Board from 2005-2009. During his tenure as Director General, Eugenio headed a number of successful and innovative tourism campaigns. The most notable campaigns were “Italia Opera Unica 2006”, “Italy for Life 2007” and “Italia Much More 2009/2010”. Currently Mr. Magnani is  the Director for North America of the Italian Government Tourist Board after serving from 2009 to 2011 as the Director of the “Italia Brand Marketing Unit” for the Minister of Tourism.

Jan W. Rudomina, Chair of ETC’s US Operations Group

Jan Rudomina, the Chair of ETC’s US Operations, has more than 30 years of experience in the international travel industry. Originally from Poland, Rudomina relocated to the United States in 1987. Since 2002 he has been leading Polish National Tourist Office in North America and in 2010 was elected Chair of ETC’s US Operations Group. Rudomina’s experience spans both Europe and the United States, giving him a clear perspective on the needs and offerings of both markets. His most extensive experience is in marketing and sales for large travel businesses, including several prominent student travel organizations.

Jan has served on the advisory committee for the International Student Travel Conference in Zurich. He also served as Vice President and Treasurer of the American Tourism Society in New York. He holds master’s degrees in business management and engineering from both Polish and U.S. universities, thus compounding his knowledge of the two continents.

Carlos Vogeler, Regional Director Americas, UNWTO

Venezuelan born Carlos Vogeler has been the UNWTO Regional Director for America since 2008. Vogeler’s international tourism experience is as relevant as it is diverse. He graduated with a degree in Administration of Tourism Companies from the University of Navarra and decided to continue his education with a postgraduate course in Administration of Companies. His executive experience was acquired while working at international tourism companies like as Pulmantur, Hotelworld, and Wyndham Worldwide. Carlos served as Deputy General Director while at Pulmantur, General Director at Hotelworld, and was a Global Strategist for Wyndham Worldwide.

With such experience, Vogeler has a firm foundation in the dynamic between US travellers and European continent.

Tom Jenkins, Executive Director, ETOA

Thomas Jenkins is the Executive Director of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA). The ETOA was created as a representative for European inbound tour operators. It’s crucial in protecting the interests of an industry that handles 6-7 million inbound tourists each year. Overseeing such an immense influx of travelers is a testament to Jenkins’ expertise.

Before joining ETOA in 1997, Jenkins was the European Manager of American Express. During his tenure, he maintained a corps of 350 Tour Managers operating throughout Europe.

When it comes to mass media, Tom Jenkins has often been the man to call when it comes to tourism expertise. He has appeared on BBC TV, CNBC, CNN and GMTV.

Jenkins has also advocated more tourist access to historic cities, initiated a Europe-wide coach safety code, and for lead a campaign that successfully blocked changes to the EU VAT. Said legislation would have threatened 5,000 tourism jobs in Europe.

James Ruggia, Executive Editor Destinations TravAlliance

James brings a refined passion for words and destination marketing to the mix. His sensibility is grounded in broad cultural experience and tastes. He started his career as editor of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project Newsletter in 1980. There he was honored to work with some of America’s finest poets and writers including Kenneth Koch, Ted Berrigan and Allen Ginsburg. At the same time, he began writing travel as a freelancer.

His first travel assignment was for the in-flight magazine of Pan American Airlines, Pan Am Clipper. Since then, he’s been fortunate enough to travel in more than 90 countries. His early writing focused on two destinations, Turkey (he lived there for 18 months) and Guatemala. In 1988 he joined Travel Agent Magazine and began writing about the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East. In 1991, he received the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Journalist of the Year Award.

Already known for his well-informed views of the interconnected global community we live in, James joined the Performance Media Group (now TravAlliance) in 2005 and has covered Asia, Europe and the Middle East ever since.

David Bahlman

David is the Director of Destination Marketing Strategy and Suppliers at Orbitz Worldwide. He is responsible for working with the Orbitz Worldwide global partner marketing team to oversee strategy with destination marketing organizations. In addition he manages the airline, car rental, and cruise suppliers verticals in North America. He is charged with delivering successful on-line campaigns that will drive positive results in lead generation, production and brand awareness. He came to Orbitz Worldwide after serving Governor Ehrlich and the citizens of the State of Maryland as Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Tourism Development at the Department of Business and Economic Development for 4 years. His 18+ years of experience in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry include Senior Leadership roles in the Hotel and Restaurant Sectors in Washington, DC. He graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a degree in Resource Economics.

Geri Jacobs, Director North America, Tourist Office for Flanders

Geri Jacobs is the Director of the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels for North America.

With her background in Brand Strategy and Consumer Psychology, her goal is to turn Flanders into a strong destination brand.

She believes it's key to understand what people want and to provide meaningful and memorable experiences in the destination that tap into those needs.

Iuliana Alunas Policy Officer, Tourism Unit, European Commission

Iuliana ALUAS has been working as a policy officer in the European Commission since 2007. She joined the Tourism Unit in Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry in 2008, after having worked for a short period in the Directorate-General Economic and Financial Affairs.

Amongst others, in the Tourism Unit, she ensures the overall coordination with regard to the implementation of the Commission’s 2010 Communication on tourism “Europe, the world’s no. 1 tourism destination in the world - a new political framework for tourism in Europe”. She is responsible for the relations with the European Travel Commission (ETC), as well as with other international tourism organisations, in particular, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Last but not least, she contributes to the implementation of the international tourism communication campaign, "Europe – Whenever you’re ready" (http://europa.eu/readyforeurope), launched by the European Commission in 2012 to enhance the profile and image of Europe as a tourism destination in overseas markets.

Rochelle Turner, Research Manager, WTTC

Rochelle Turner joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) as Research Manager in September 2012. Her responsibilities include planning and executing policy and economic research studies that feed recommendations to governments. Rochelle has a background in consumer and market research and has conducted research in or for the travel industry for nearly 15 years. Prior to joining the WTTC, Rochelle was the Head of Travel Research at Which?, the UK's consumer organisation. She currently sits as an independent representative on the UK's CAA Air Travel Insolvency Protection Advisory Committee (ATIPAC) as an independent member.

Rochelle holds a BA in Anthropology and Economics from the University of Manitoba, Canada, an MSc in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey and an LLDip from the College of Law, UK.

Ms. Stefanie Gallob,
Project Manager Research & Development
European Travel Commission (ETC)

Stefanie has started working as project manager in ETC’s research and development department in 2012. Her main responsibilities include collaboration on ETC’s research programme, focusing on three research targets: provision of latest trends on European tourism, creation of profound market knowledge on ETC’s key markets (Brazil, Canada, China and USA) and knowledge sharing through handbooks of ‘best practice’.
Before moving to Brussels in September 2012, Stefanie acquired her Master degree in Tourism and Leisure Management at the IMC Krems University of Applied Sciences, Austria which fostered her taste for international knowledge exchange and travel. Prior to her engagement with ETC, Stefanie gathered working experience in both the public and private tourism sector throughout Europe.

Terry Dale, President, USTOA

Terry Dale is an integral part of improving travel industry standards and maintaining consumer advocacy. Terry joined USTOA in 2010. Before jumping on board with USTOA, Dale was the acting President of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Prior to his tenure at CLIA, Dale served as executive vice president of NYC & Company. Dale’s additional tourism experience is founded in his time as CEO of the Greater Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau and president of the New England Society of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. It’s this confluence of experience that makes Terry Dale an essential expert when it comes to the realities of the travel industry and its respective tour operations.

Steven Paganelli, Head of Destination Marketing, TripAdvisor

Joining TripAdvisor in January 2013, Steve spearheads innovative ways to connect DMOs with TripAdvisor’s 65 million monthly users, supports a seasoned sales team, and works to forge strategic relationships with industry organizations.

Steve has over two decades of Travel Industry leadership experience including the launch of a successful digital agency serving destinations, service as the President & CEO of two DMOs, and various management roles with a conference center. Among others, his work has been recognized by HSMAI, DMAI, NTA, ABA, and the Northeast Economic Development Association.

Having served on numerous Industry boards including Destination Marketing Association International, Steve is a Certified Destination Marketing Executive Certification (CDME).

Jose Manuel de Juan, Chair of ETC’s Canadian Operations Group

Mr. José Manuel de Juan has been Consul in charge of Tourism Affairs and Managing Director of the Tourist Office of Spain In Toronto since September 2011.

He joined Turespaña, the National Tourist Organization of Spain, in 1995, and before being in charge of promoting Spain as a tourist destination in Canada, he held similar positions and responsibilities in Dublin, Miami and Oslo.

From 2002 to 2006, as Head of International Promotions of Turespaña in Madrid, he was responsible of the Marketing Campaign of Spain around the world.

Mr. De Juan was born in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, and has a Degree in Mathematical Sciences by the Universidad Completense, Madrid.

David Redekop, Principal Research Associate, Conference Board of Canada

If anyone knows about the expectations and patterns of Canadian tourists, it’s David Redekop. As the Principal Research Associate at Canadian Tourism Research Institute, David is responsible for the production of regular reports on Canadian outbound leisure travel. David leads bi-monthly surveys of Canadians and their outbound leisure travel intentions and motivations. In addition to the survey, Redekop must use his data to annually produce a five-year outbound travel forecast for over 50 destinations.

Since joining the Conference Board of Canada in 1988, David has developed a plethora of travel industry models and surveys. These surveys are designed to help the travel industry measure the current and future performance of outbound leisure travel.

Jeff Element, President, The Travel Corporation Canada

After graduating from the University of Toronto, Jeff Element immediately entered the travel industry as a financial analyst for Rider Travel. He followed that up with almost 15 years at Insight Vacations, where he began as an accountant and moved his way up to Controller. It is this industry specific financial experience that makes Jeff an authority on where the tourism money goes. With this knowledge, it’s not hard to strategize how even greater profits can be gained. For the last 17 years, Jeff has served as President at The Travel Corporation Canada. It is here where he was able to ply his previous industry skills while taking on non-financial tasks; tasks that contributed to his profoundly well-rounded experience in tourism.

Brad Ford, President, Contiki Holidays Canada

Brad Ford has worked in travel and media for over 10 years. Ford has fostered a rich career, as he has worked under a number of roles. Some of those roles have been senior business development, sales, and marketing. Bread is currently President of Contiki Holidays, the leading tour operator for young travellers aged 18-35. Contiki specializes in European tours and offers budget packages that appeal especially to the aforementioned youth market. In a world where the 18-35 market is becoming increasingly fickle, Brad Ford’s knowledge and proficiency proves to be increasingly valuable.

Adeline Peikham-Hsieh

From a multicultural background, Adeline started her airline industry as Revenue Management Analyst with Air France. After being promoted to Revenue Management, she managed the Americas market, the Caribbean & Indian Ocean and French Domestic Market.

In 2003, Adeline opted to join the Air France Commercial team in Canada as District Sales Manager for Central and Western Canada. As the Joint-Venture between Delta, Air France, KLM and Alitalia was implemented in 2010 in Canada, Adeline took on her present role as General Manager Canada Sales in 2012 as Delta Air Lines employee, representing the 4 airlines.