Executive Director at Mekong Tourism & Founder at Digital Innovation Asia
Jens Thraenhart has over 25 years of international travel, tourism, and hospitality experience, spanning positions in operations, marketing, business development, revenue management, strategic planning, and e-business. Early in his career Jens’s entrepreneurial edge was sharpened with him founding and operating a successful food catering company, starting a New York-based Internet leisure travel Internet company and managing an independent luxury golf resort in Germany.
In 2014, Jens Thraenhart was appointed by the tourism ministries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China (Yunnan and Guanxi) to head the Mekong Tourism Coordinating (MTCO) as its Executive Director. In 2013, Jens Thraenhart founded Digital Innovation Asia (DIA), an initiative endorsed by the UNWTO, ASEAN, and PATA, as well as NTOs in Asia, building digital capacity. 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.
Educated at Cornell University with an MBA-accredited Masters of Management in Hospitality from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, and a joint Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University Center ‘Cesar Ritz’ at Brig, Switzerland, 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, and founding 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 between Beijing/China and Bangkok/Thailand.