THESE LUMINARIES ARE DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE TOOLS AND CREATIVE APPLICATIONS TO HELP THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY FLOURISH
In an industry filled with entrepreneurs, creative operators and talented marketers, there are a few who not only keep their finger on the pulse of the travel business but also are a driving force behind the heartbeat of their niche. These Titans of Tourism help guide and shape our industry in numerous ways, from supervising associations and building communities, to developing innovative tools and creative applications for existing practices. Leisure Group Travel has sought out six such Titans and asked them to share with us their insight on the changes and trends within their organizations and how it affects our industry at large.
Click on the photo or link to read each titan’s forecast article.
Managing Director, Jordan Tourism Board North America; Chair of the Board of Directors, Tourism Cares
Malia is the Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board in North America (JTBNA), began handling tourism for the Jordanian government in the U.S. as tourism attaché in Washington in 1995. She was a key participant in creating the country’s first tourism office in North America, which was launched in 1997. She has been responsible for opening the North and South American markets for Jordan tourism. She helped with opening the Russian and the Chinese markets and has been instrumental in increasing revenue to Jordan through her marketing expertise. She is very passionate about sustainable tourism and helped in the creation of the Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan. Malia moved to the US in 1990 and handled the press for the Jordan Information Bureau.
Malia currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors Tourism Cares; member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA) Board of Directors; TCS World Travel Innovation Board; Petra National Foundation (PNF) Board of Directors, USTOA’s Destination for Destination Co-Chair and serves on The Destination Task Force Board.
Director General, WYSE Travel Confederation
For the past nine years as Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation, David has led the Amsterdam-based team in representing and advocating the youth, student and educational travel industry. During his tenure as Director General, WYSE Travel Confederation has expanded upon its legacy of producing essential market research and industry events, and supporting top-notch youth travel organisations worldwide.
Prior to becoming Director General, David was an active board member of STAY WYSE and chairman of WYSE Travel Confederation. He brought a wealth of experience in both the youth travel and hospitality sectors, having served for six years as COO and Deputy Director of a London based non-profit social centre with student accommodation. He also worked at some of the best hotels in Europe including Grosvenor House, The Waldorf and the George V in Paris before becoming General Manager of several of the UK’s top country house hotels.
President and CEO, US Tour Operators Association
Terry Dale is the president and chief executive officer at USTOA. Among Dale’s responsibilities at USTOA are developing the association’s strategic marketing initiatives, leading the association’s government advocacy on issues affecting tour operators, and working with other travel and tourism industry decision makers to identify mutual challenges and opportunities. With the distinction of being the third president in USTOA’s 50-year history, Dale also serves as a key ambassador and spokesperson for USTOA.
Under Dale’s leadership, the association has seen significant growth in the profile of and attendance to the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace, which brings Active Tour Operator Members together with Associate Members in meaningful and engaging dialogue and events.
Chief Customer Officer at Groups360
Tim is the Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, Groups 360. Groups360 was founded in 2014 with the goal of simplifying and transforming the ways meetings are booked.
The Company’s search engine, GroupSync, using its proprietary matching algorithms designed specifically for meeting planners, has helped place thousands of events at the right venue, saving planners time and money. The Company’s price predictor tool delivers improved transparency, reducing time and effort required to book meetings for both the hotel and the planner.
President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association
As president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Geoff Freeman is the leading advocate for the $1.1 trillion U.S. travel and hospitality industry.
In this role, Freeman is charged with ensuring the industry’s full recovery from COVID-19, positioning the industry to seize emerging opportunities in a post-pandemic market environment and further establishing travel as a vital economic force in the United States.
Freeman is a seasoned association CEO with a proven track record of building successful organizations that unite member interests, grow member value, increase revenue and unlock growth opportunities. Prior to joining U.S. Travel, Freeman was president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, the trade association for America’s $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer products industry. During his tenure, Freeman launched a strategic campaign to transform the association into a powerful, modern advocacy organization aimed at driving growth and delivering sound regulatory and legislative outcomes that benefit industry leaders and consumers. During his tenure, Freeman grew membership by 35 percent and boosted total revenue by nearly 50 percent.
President and CEO of the United Motorcoach Association
Scott is the President & CEO of the United Motorcoach Association, the essential resource for education and advocacy in the professional bus and motorcoach industry, giving our members the tools to build successful businesses. He leads UMA to protect and promote the interests and welfare of privately owned common carriers of passengers by motorcoach.
Prior to joining UMA in 2021, Scott was President & CEO of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). Like the motorcoach industry, the moving industry consists of thousands of smaller, family businesses, where their passion for their work was magnified by the deep connection they felt to their company.
A graduate of Princeton University, Scott lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and three daughters.
Ted Clements is the CEO of WeTravel
As WeTravel’s CEO, Ted Clements brings a customer-centric approach to fintech and B2B SaaS, with a focus on solving operational pain-points in the travel industry.
As former COO and acting CEO of FareHarbor, he was part of the team that led FareHarbor, a B2B SaaS business serving day tour operators, to a successful acquisition by Booking Holdings. He joined WeTravel in January 2023, bringing his expertise and client-focused mentality to WeTravel’s global team. He and his family are based in Amsterdam, WeTravel’s headquarters, where they enjoy spending time outdoors and exploring the world — especially through geology, one of Ted’s passions.