Travel Foundation welcomes five new trustees – and new perspectives

Five new trustees join the existing seven board members

Leading global tourism NGO the Travel Foundation is growing its trustee team by five as it seeks to bring a broader range of experience and perspectives to its work. The charity has appointed board members from outside the UK for the first time, as well as its first representatives from destination management organisations, reflecting the organisation’s evolved focus in recent years.

The five new trustees are:

  • Elke Dens, Marketing Advisor for Visit Flanders and Chair of the Marketing Group at the European Travel Commission;
  • Dr Manal Kelig, Co-Founder of Gateway To Egypt and Great Wonders of Egypt, and Executive Director of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) MENA Region;
  • Jacqueline Kuehnel, Business Development Director at VoX International;
  • Cathy Ritter, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office; and
  • Rochelle Turner, Head of Research & Insight at MaCher USA

The appointment of this new cohort brings the total number of trustees to 12, including Helen Marano who chairs the board and oversaw the appointments.

Growing the board of trustees is part of the Travel Foundation’s wider drive for greater diversity and representation across all aspects of its work. For instance, the flagship Future of Tourism initiative, formed last year by a coalition of six NGOs including the Travel Foundation, recently created an inaugural Advisory Committee to help guide its activities. Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, described how inclusion is an issue across the tourism sector and something he will continue advocating for:

More information on the new trustees

Rochelle Turner


Rochelle is Head of Research & Insight at MaCher USA, a Certified B Corp that uses data and academic insight to design and manufacture thoughtful, customised and responsibly produced products that get brands noticed. She has also been VP of Research & Sustainability at World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

“Over the years the Travel Foundation has been doing incredible work in building linkages so local people and destinations can benefit more equitably from tourism. I look forward to joining this journey by bringing my knowledge and expertise in monitoring and interpreting consumer trends to ensure the communities served by these efforts will thrive from the social as well as economic benefits of tourism.”

Cathy Ritter

cathy-ritterCathy is Director of the Colorado Tourism Office, leading a $16.5M tourism promotion program and spearheading initiatives such as the Care for Colorado Coalition. She is Chair of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) and sits on the Executive Committee of the US Travel Association. A journalist by training, she has worked in non-profits and formerly headed Illinois’ tourism office.

“It is an honor to support the Travel Foundation in its mission of driving global tourism sustainability. I’m looking forward to cross-pollinating its innovative thinking with ideas emerging in the state of Colorado and elsewhere in North America. Finding ways to identify and address impacts is absolutely essential to securing the future health of the world’s biggest industry and ensuring that it delivers maximum benefits for destinations that welcome visitors.”

Jacqueline Kuehnel

Jacqueline-KuehnelJacqueline is Business Development Director at VoX International. She is an expert in leisure travel strategy and has founded a range of consulting services focused on business development, CSR strategy, climate change, and sustainable tourism.

“I cannot think of a better time to join the board of the Travel Foundation! It is an honor to be part of an organization whose thought leadership and actions drive the imperative of making tourism a meaningful and long-lasting force for good. I hope my commercial and sustainability experience will contribute towards helping develop the economic and social fabric of communities, while protecting and improving the environment of the places people love to visit.”

Dr Manal Kelig

Manal-KeligManal is one of three co- founders of Gateway To Egypt for tourism research & travel marketing and Great Wonders of Egypt for responsible & sustainable travel. In addition to her private operation, Manal is also the MENA region Executive Director of Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Manal focuses on expanding the reach and impact of her work through developing and facilitating networking and professional growth opportunities with various travel organizations, media contacts, tourism boards and their representatives at all levels. Manal consults regularly for many leading development organizations on tourism development projects, cultural heritage preservation and community involvement in tourism. Manal has founded different community projects such as TEDxCairoWomen, women entrepreneurship competitions and women mentoring events.

“Joining the trustees board at the Travel Foundation is a great opportunity to proactively collaborate and engage in creating a more inclusive and sustainable future for the tourism industry. I share with the TF team the commitment to support the sector’s recovery and leverage its economic and social impact.”

Elke Dens

Elke-DensElke is Marketing Advisor for VisitFlanders and Chair of the Marketing Group at the European Travel Commission. She’s also a voluntary member of the board of Impact Travel Alliance, the largest community of social and eco-conscious travelers in the world.

“Like the Travel Foundation I strongly believe that travel can improve the world by providing meaningful experiences for travelers, and a positive net value to a place’s environment and community. As a destination marketer I believe that, to guarantee added value for places and people, we will need to make some fundamentally different choices. And it’s clear we cannot do it alone. It will be through collaboration and innovation that we will safeguard travel for future generations. This is why I join forces with the Travel Foundation.”

The seven incumbent trustees, all of whom remain in service, are:

  • Helen Marano (Chair), founder of Marano Perspectives.
  • Rodney Anderson, over 40 years civil service experience, latterly Director, Marine and Fisheries at Defra.
  • Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director at easyJet Plc.
  • John de Vial, Director of Financial Protection at ABTA.
  • Debbie Hindle, Chief Executive, Travel at Four Communications.
  • Noel Josephides, Chairman of Sunvil Holidays.
  • Alistair Rowland, Group CEO at Blue Bay Travel and Chairman of ABTA.

The Travel Foundation remains open to expressions of interest from new trustee candidates (CVs can be submitted directly to the CEO).

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