Destinations - Rediscover the World

Keynote speech by Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of European Travel Commission
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Eduardo Santander is the Executive Director of the European Travel Commission (ETC), an association of National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) created in 1948 to promote Europe as a tourism destination. In this role, Mr Santander steers ETC’s activities aimed at building the value of tourism for the countries of Europe through cooperation in sharing best practices, market intelligence and promotion. Under his leadership, ETC has extended its membership to private organisations and academia with the launch of the Associate Membership Programme and developed a long-term strategic partnership with the European Commission for the promotion of Destination Europe in long-haul markets.

Mr Santander has over 15 years of experience in tourism marketing, brand development, business consulting, advocacy and public affairs gained in diverse private companies and public institutions from the tourism and hospitality sector. Educated in Spain, USA and Austria he holds a PhD in Sport Sciences and an MBA degree with a focus on Hospitality and Recreation Industry Management.

Mr Santander is a passionate advocate of freedom to travel, smart connectivity and sustainability in tourism and beyond.

Video greeting by Roger Dow, President and CEO of U.S. Travel Association

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Roger Dow is president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association, the Washington, D.C.-based organization representing all segments of travel in America. His efforts have resulted in major legislative victories, including securing pandemic-related relief for the hard-hit travel industry, establishing and renewing Brand USA, the highly effective national travel and tourism promotion program, and procuring funds to maintain America’s treasured national parks.

Most recently, Mr. Dow launched The Dow Report, a regular video series that features conversations with prominent CEOs across the industry about their leadership throughout the pandemic. For his efforts to unify the travel industry and increase its effectiveness on Capitol Hill, Mr. Dow has received multiple honors and awards.

Panelist - Neale Herridge
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Neale is one of Australia's most experienced Travel Industry executives. ATS Pacific is one of the regions largest Inbound Operators that with operations in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

ATS Pacific is the specialty Inbound division of the larger Publicly Listed Helloworld Group  and in his role as General Manager - Neale has contact with clients from all over the world, major airlines, and over 6000 supplier partners in the region. ATS Pacific liaises with Government on border policy and all other matters that affect the industry during this challenging time.

Panelist - Alexandra Wolframm
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Alexandra Wolframm is responsible for European and Legal Affairs at the German Tourism Association (Deutscher Tourismusverband - DTV). In this role, she represents the interests of the association towards the European institutions and is responsible for its European and international networking as well as for the monitoring of legal issues and legislative initiatives at national and European level. DTV was founded in 1902 and has since been committed to successful tourism development in Germany.

As the umbrella organisation of local, regional and national tourism organisations, DTV represents the interests of its members and the German tourism industry towards policymakers and authorities, provides impulses, connects actors with each other and promotes future-oriented quality tourism in the travel destination Germany.

Alexandra Wolframm has a vocational training as a lawyer and many years of professional experience in the fields of politics and tourism. Before joining DTV, she worked for the German Travel Association (DRV) and for the German Federal Parliament.

Panelist - Julio Jiménez

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Julio Jiménez is an executive advisor at the Ministry of Tourism of the Government of Spain. He has coordinated the design of the Tourism Sector Modernization and Competitiveness Plan linked to the Next Generation EU funds as well as also different tourism recovery programs in response of the COVID-19 crisis. He has also worked in the Ministry for interregional cooperation in Spain, as well as in the European Parliament. He is a senior civil servant at the Spanish Public Administration and he has also practiced as public attorney.

Panelist - Kristiina Hietasaari
Kristiina Hietasaari, Visit Finland

Kristiina Hietasaari was appointed as Senior Director of Visit Finland in January this year. She has worked in the tourism industry for ten years, first at the Finnish Tourist Board (MEK) and then at Visit Finland as the Director of Travel Business Development being responsible for the development and co-operation of the Finnish tourism industry. Visit Finland is responsible for promoting travel from abroad to Finland. Main functions include marketing and communications activities in international markets to boost Finland’s image of an attractive and interesting travel destination. The mission is also to support and increase international business of Finnish tourism companies and regional tourism organizations throughout Finland. Visit Finland implements the national tourism strategy in Finland under the guidance of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and is part of Business Finland, a government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion.