Jens Thraenhart was appointed by the tourism ministries of Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China (Yunnan and Guangxi) to head the MTCO as its Executive Director. The MTCO is a collaborative effort between the six governments of the GMS countries to promote the Mekong region as a single tourism destination, and foster responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Jens Thraenhart is founder & president of Digital Innovation Asia (DIA), an initiative endorsed by the UNWTO, ASEAN, and PATA, as well as NTOs in Asia, building digital capacity from social to mobile in the travel and tourism industry in Asia Pacific, including innovative initiatives such as E-Tourism Asia Boot-Camps and Awards, as well as Blogger Match-Up.
He also founded China Travel Trends, as well as award-winning China digital marketing firm Dragon Trail in 2009, and has led marketing and Internet strategy teams with the Canadian Tourism Commission and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and has consulted for many global companies, most recently for Swire Hotels (Hong Kong, China), Dusit International (Bangkok, Thailand), and HMD Asia (Shinta Mani Hotel Siem Reap, Cambodia). While at the Canadian Tourism Commission, he founded the Canada-e-Connect Strategy Conference (2007), the Canadian e-Tourism Awards (2007), the Canadian e-Tourism Council (2006). Passionate about story-telling, he co-founded the Tips From The T-List book and blogging community (2007), and created Blogger Match-Up (2013), an innovative blogger outreach model to bring top digital self publishers and influential citizen journalists to Asia and match them up with travel and tourism organizations.
Educated at Cornell University with a Masters of Management in Hospitality, Mr. Thraenhart was recognized as one of the travel industry’s top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003, was listed as one of HSMAI’s 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005, and named as one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014. A UNWTO Affiliate Member (most recently part of the mission to DPRK), he has served on various boards, including HSMAI and IFITT, and is on the judging panel the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. As Chair of PATA China, he founded the Annual China Responsible Tourism Forum & Awards in 2011. A dual citizen of Germany and Canada, Jens now lives in Bangkok/Thailand.