Pictured from top left: Rochelle Turner; Jacqueline Kuehnel; Cathy Ritter; Elke Dens; Dr Manal Kelig.

The Travel Foundation has appointed five new trustees, with its first board members based outside of the UK.

The global tourism NGO has also appointed its first representatives from destination management organisations, “reflecting the organisation’s evolved focus in recent years”.

It now has 12 trustees, including chair Helen Marano, founder of  travel and tourism consultancy Marano Perspectives, who was appointed in December.

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) for the Middle East and North Africa region
  • Jacqueline Kuehnel, business development director at VoX International
  • Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office
  • Rochelle Turner, head of research and insight at MaCher USA

Marano said: “These high calibre new additions enrich and strengthen the oversight and insights that our board can provide, to meet the Travel Foundation’s evolving needs.

“The passion of all our trustees, and their readiness to give up their time and wisdom to the cause, is genuinely appreciated and heralded.”

The first meeting of the new trustees was held last week and Marano said it was “filled with ideas and new connections to achieve our urgent focus for 2021 and beyond: supporting destinations and small businesses to build back better as tourism restarts on a new path”.

The Travel Foundation said growing its board of trustees is part of its wider drive for greater diversity and representation.

Jeremy Sampson, chief executive of the Travel Foundation, said: “A better future for tourism relies on all of us creating a more inclusive and equitable environment, and our organisation is developing plans to more effectively represent diverse stakeholder groups.

“This is just a starting point and we have work yet to do. I welcome these respected voices to our extended team and know they will be part of helping us think through how to better embody this philosophy in all that we do at the Travel Foundation.”

The Travel Foundation said it remains open to expressions of interest from new trustee candidates, and urged applicants to contact Sampson directly.