AN INNOVATION FESTIVAL
BY WORLD TOURISM FORUM LUCERNE
15 – 16 Nov 2021 | Andermatt, Switzerland
A resounding success
In the two-day Innovation Festival in Andermatt, Switzerland, 47 speakers shared their insights and visions of MOVING FORWARD with 250 on-site participants and many more online.
Here are the highlights and takeaways from the event.
WTFL Innovation Festival 2021
Take home message
President and CEO World Tourism Forum Lucerne
Martin Barth is the president and CEO of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne, promoting tourism globally with heads of state, ministers, chief executives, investors, academia and the next generation. As a practitioner turned researcher and professor turned entrepreneur, Martin continues to consult for various organizations in the tourism industry and is an Alumni of the St. Gallen University, Switzerland. Martin is married with one son named Seraphin.
CEO & Founder Aptamind Partners
Aradhana Khowala is a global authority in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries with two decades of experience across 70+ countries. Aradhana is not only the CEO and founder of Aptamind Partners, but also a board member of WTFL and chair of the Red Sea Project Saudi Arabia. In 2014, she was featured as one of the 50 most Influential Next Generation leaders in the industry.
Professor University of St. Gallen
Gudrun Sander is a professor of Business Administration with a special emphasis on Diversity Management at the University of St. Gallen. Gudrun is a well-known and passionate expert in the field, directing the Research Institute for International Management and the Competence Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. With her team of dedicated experts, she supports companies on their D&I journey.
Christine Demen Meier
Managing Director Les Roches
Dr. Christine Demen Meier combines over 20 years of entrepreneurship experience in hospitality and is currently the managing director of the renowned Les Roches Hotel School. Christine is a member of the Innovation Council of Innosuisse, supporting science-based innovation projects for the industry and society at large. She holds a PhD in Management Science from Caen Normandy University.
CEO Indian Hotels Company Limited
Puneet Chhatwal is the Chief Executive Officer at the Indian Hotels Company Limited with over three decades of leadership experience at acclaimed global hotel groups. Puneet is a graduate of both the Delhi University and ESSEC Paris. He was rated one of Europe’s 20 extraordinary minds in Sales, Marketing and Technology and won the prestigious Carlson Fellowship.
CEO Deutsche Hospitality
Marcus Bernhardt is the CEO of Steigenberger Hotels being responsible for 6 brands with the goal to establish Deutsche Hospitality as one of the top 3 hotel groups in Europe. Marcus has experiences with leading people in 140 countries across multiple industries. He is member of several advisory and supervisory boards holding a MBA from the business school in Zurich and San Francisco.
Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer
Shannon Guihan is the Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer for The Travel Corporation, being responsible for the groups intention to make travel matter. Hailing from Newfoundland, Canada, Shannon started as a sea kayak guide at 16 and has worked in tourism development and delivery since. She is guided by the belief that sustainability is critical to the resiliency of our industry.
Hassan Kadbi is the CEO of Hapimag, managing 56 different resorts − by the sea, in the mountains and in Europe’s major cities. Hassan's astonishing career started out as a dishwasher in the hospitality industry, working his way up in various well-known international hotel chains such as Hilton and Concorde. He holds a degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management and loves cooking.
Founder and CEO Globalance Bank
Reto Ringger is an entrepreneur being active at the junction between the financial markets and sustainability. As the founder and CEO of Globalance Bank, Reto is specialized in sustainable investments and has launched the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Zurich and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome.
Naomi MacKenzie is the co-founder of KITRO, a Swiss startup dedicated to reducing food waste in the hospitality sector. Driven to leave a positive footprint, Naomi tries to bring back the value of food. She holds two Bachelors in Business and Hospitality Management and has various experiences, ranging from dance instructor to finance coordinator. A true multi-talent.
Founder Global Himalayan Expedition
Paras Loomba is the founder of Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), taking travelers to the remote villages of Himalayas to provide local communities with access to clean energy and education. His initiative has been instrunmental in electrifying 131 Himalayan villages, impacting over 60.000 lives. GHE’s work has been awarded by UNWTO and highlighted by the BBC and National Geographic.
Director PETRAF Ltd
Peter Fankhauser is a seasoned international executive with unique business development and M&A experiences. As the former CEO of Thomas Cook, Peter has tested every water going from high growth to corporate restructuring. He is an honorary professor at the University of St. Gallen and a mentor for startups, who loves to develop people into leaders.
CEO TUI Cruises
Wybcke Meier is the CEO of TUI Cruises with various strategic experiences in marketing and sales in leading companies within the tourism industry. Starting out as a travel agent, she worked herself up to being member of the management board and management director. In her free time, the Helgoland native loves to do yoga.
CEO Hotelplan Group
Laura Meyer is the CEO of the Hotelplan Group with broad international experiences. Laura has been working at McKinsey for many years, as well as being Head of Digital Distribution & Analytics at UBS. Her interest in digital and data, combined with a never-ending curiosity, helps her to push the boundaries of her industry. She holds a Master degree in law, is married and has two children.
Member of the European Parliament, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Dinesh Dhamija is the founder of ebookers.com, one of the leading European online travel specialists and pioneers in travel e-commerce. Dinesh has seen it all from building a Nasdaq listed company, to graduating from Harvard Business School, to being listed in the top 100 Philanthropy leaders worldwide (Indiaspora). He has worked and lived in 14 countries and loves to do yoga in his free time.
Partner btov Partners
Andreas Goeldi is an Internet technologist, serial entrepreneur and startup investor with over 25 years of experience. Andreas co-founded and helped build several global technology startups in e-business services, social media analytics and video marketing. He holds degrees from MIT and the University of St. Gallen, as well as four U.S. patents. He lives with his family in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Chair Orascom Development Holding
Samih Sawiris is chair and CEO of the Orascom Development Holding (OHD) establishing OHD as the leading touristic town developer in Egypt and the Middle East. With the prestigious award-winning El Gouna town on the Red Sea, Samih laid the foundation stone for OHD. He holds a diploma in economic engineering and pushes projects to offer affordable housing all across Egypt.
Senior Fellow Stanford University
Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a professor at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. Niall is an award-winning and best-selling author of fifteen books, as well as an Emmy-winning filmmaker for his series "The Ascent of Money". He is married to the women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali and has four children.
Teo Ah Khing
Founder & Chairman Desert Star Holdings
Teo Ah Khing is an acclaimed architect, entrepreneur, businessman, racehorse owner and breeder, Philanthropist, educator and thinker. He has founded and continues to chair a portfolio of companies, lifestyle and hospitality facilities.
Teo has also been an advisor to Heads of States for two decades and mostly recognised for his master planing nation building projects.
Teo has used his platform to create and support social programmes, charities, scholarship programmes and educational/vocational programmes.
MD Twenty14 Holdings
Adeeb Ahamed is a prominent hotelier and serial entrepreneur, who owns several iconic properties across Europe, Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Adeeb recently joined WTFL's Advisory Board as key solutions architect of the Forum's Think Tank to solve the biggest challenges the industry is facing today. He has won several awards, including the Global Business Leader Award from NDTV.