Dr. Jens Thraenhart
Dr. Jens Thraenhart, the Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), has been leading efforts to promote Barbados as a sustainable tourism destination and a top Caribbean vacation spot since his appointment in November 2021. In his first year, he has achieved numerous successes, including hosting a Sustainable Tourism Stakeholder Forum, which resulted in Barbados being recognized as the winner of the Green Destination Award in the category of Climate Change & Environment. Barbados was also featured in a documentary by Sustainable Travel International called "Sustainable Travel - Where Next," making it one of only ten destinations worldwide to be included.
Dr. Thraenhart's achievements go beyond just promoting sustainability. He has implemented innovative initiatives such as a new employment engagement program, a data and digital strategy, and a financial budgeting and performance measurement process linked to corporate and staff key performance indicators (KPIs). His previous experiences include being the Executive Director/CEO of Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), where he established the private sector-led regional tourism board, Destination Mekong. He also founded the Destination Film Forum and initiated the Global Alliance of Social Enterprises in Travel (GASET).
Dr. Thraenhart has provided strategic advice to global companies in the travel industry and has been recognized for his contributions. He holds a doctorate degree in tourism and hospitality management, an MBA-accredited Master of Management in Hospitality, and a joint Bachelor of Science degree from prestigious universities. He has been honored as one of the travel industry's top 100 rising stars, one of HSMAI's 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel, and one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality, among others.
Dr. Thraenhart is actively involved in various industry organizations and serves as the 2nd Vice Chair of the UNWTO Affiliate Members Board. He is also on the boards of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Barbados International Airport, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and Destination Mekong. He has held leadership positions in organizations such as the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association, International Federation of IT in Travel & Tourism, and Pacific Asia Travel Association. He is also part of the prestigious Sustainable Tourism Expert Panel and the Jury of the Cannes Lion International Film Awards.
Dr. Jens Thraenhart's passion for sustainable tourism, innovative initiatives, and strategic leadership has earned him recognition as one of the most influential travel leaders in the industry. Under his leadership, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. continues to promote Barbados as a sustainable tourism destination, implement innovative programs, and make a positive impact on the travel industry.
Jens joined the Sustainability Leaders United community as an interviewee during his role as CEO of the Mekong Tourism initiative. Most recently we had the pleasure to interview him again, as CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (the interview is part of a special spotlight on destination Barbados).
Dr. Jens Thraenhart
A Conversation with Jens Thraenhart on Destination Barbados
Discover the vision of Dr. Jens Thraenhart, one of the most influential voices in sustainable tourism. As the CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., he’s leading the way in driving sustainable tourism in the Caribbean region. In this interview, he presents the Be Bajan concept, a smart combination of place brand development and community-centered travel promotion. Join us as we catch up with Dr. Thraenhart and learn from his innovative approach to responsible travel. The interview is part of our sustainability spotlight series on Barbados, showcasing the destination’s vision, action, and changemakers.
Earlier: Jens Thraenhart on Responsible Tourism Marketing and Sustainable Destination Development in the Mekong Region
Published February 2020
Discover how Jens Thraenhart, CEO of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, is driving sustainable tourism in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China. In this interview, Jens shares how he works with tourism ministries to create a tourism model that fosters economic growth, creates livelihoods, and alleviates poverty by supporting small, responsible travel businesses. He also discusses challenges his team has had to overcome and how the MekongStories concept has helped showcase sustainable tourism champions in the region. Join us for this insightful conversation with one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism champions and changemakers.