Jens Thraenhart, Thailand

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

I have known and worked on various projects with Jens on and off for over 10 years.

He has an extraordinary capacity to connect with people from across sectors and roles and make ‘inclusiveness’ into something which is practical and tangible.

He is just as comfortable and sincere working with government officers, champions of industry and grassroots NGOs; and somehow manages to find an authentic way to facilitate a smooth line of communication and mutual understanding between these stakeholder groups, going beyond stakeholders’ ‘hard-wired’ positions of antipathy (and sometimes historic antagonism). In his role at MTCO, Jens has consistently succeeded to champion responsible tourism and sustainable tourism agendas, bringing visibility and benefits to SMEs and communities, and diplomatically weaving progressive agendas into high-level public-private partnerships.

Jen’s balance and craft of diplomacy across stakeholder groups is extraordinarily difficult to achieve; and especially difficult to achieve with sincerity and concrete results.

During his time as Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, Jens has continually delivered creative ideas and reached for input and collaboration. He does not get despondent when people are too busy to get involved and he always lets you know that there is always another time and opportunity.

The guy really is an inspiration and makes very difficult facilitation seem pretty effortless. He deserves recognition. There has been no lobbying behind this nomination. It’s sincere, from my professional appreciation of a leader towards partnerships for positive change in tourism.

Welcome as a Tourism Hero!

Nominated by Peter Richards of Tourlink Project.