30+ Travel Industry Leaders to Follow in Europe for Inspiration
Between reopenings, vaccination rollouts, and shifting traveler sentiment, there's a lot going on right now.
We decided to put together a list of top industry leaders in destination and travel marketing across Europe and the UK. Follow these individuals on social media to stay up to date on relevant destination marketing news, get fresh ideas and inspiration for your next project or campaign, and get a sneak peek into what's next.
Whether you're looking for the latest on place branding, sustainability, visual marketing, or want to be a better leader, this list will help you fill your network with powerful ideas.
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Destination marketing thought leaders
The following individuals' views and work in travel and destination marketing are authoritative and influential. Follow them for guidance, knowledge, and insight on cutting-edge ideas and ways to push the industry forward.
Signe Jungersted | @Signexina on Twitter
Signe is one of the most innovative voices in the tourism industry. She is the CEO and Founder of Group NAO and the former Director of Development at Wonderful Copenhagen. She also coined the term localhood to represent a new harmony between visitors and locals. And (fun fact) it was the inspiration for CrowdRiff's own @mylocalhood initiative.
New report by @group_nao on potential of transforming Copenhagen’s old power plant to a powerhouse for green tech innovation alongside new science & tech museum. Report commissioned by @byoghavn, Danmarks Tekniske Museum, supported by @Industriensfond https://t.co/fGGcn9plr4— GroupNAO (@group_nao) March 5, 2021
Jeremy Sampson | @jeremy_sampson on Twitter
As CEO of The Travel Foundation, Jeremy works to help the travel industry better manage its impact and improve local livelihoods. He is also chair of the Future of Tourism Coalition, whose goal is to spark a movement that will place destination and community needs at the center of tourism's future. Jeremy also is a part of the Global Sustainability Tourism Council (GSTC) and MEET Network. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter for news and perspectives on tourism, conversation, and sustainability.
Laura Aalto | laura-aalto on LinkedIn
Laura is the CEO of Helsinki Marketing, which is owned by the City of Helsinki. Follow Laura for leading ideas on sustainability, the power of local-first storytelling, and how to make your destination an attractive place to live, work, and visit.
Petra Stušek | @spetra on Twitter
As the CEO at Ljubljana Tourism and President Of The Board at European Cities Marketing ECM, Petra has a lot of insider tips on the current status of the European tourism industry.
Guy Bigwood | @guybigwood on LinkedIn
Guy is the Managing Director of the Global Sustainability Movement. For the past 15 years, he has been delivering consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, corporations, and associations step up, scale, and speed up their sustainability programs and practices. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter for insights on sustainable tourism, smart cities, branding, and more.
Rosanna Covacich | rosannacovacich on LinkedIn
Rosanna works with futuristic filmmakers, spatial designers, and a collective of cultural correspondents to define new realities for places around the world. She's currently working with clients like Google, LendLease, and HB Reavis. Follow her for insights on how to create well-designed environments and cultural experiences.
Elke Dens | @elkedens on Twitter
In addition to her role as Marketing Director at VISITFLANDERS, Elke works with the European Travel Commission, The Travel Foundation, and The Impact Travel Alliance. She tweets a lot of topics of place branding, tourism marketing strategies, and making travel better for all.
Miguel Gallego | miguel-gallego on LinkedIn
Miguel is the Head of Marketing & Communication at the European Travel Commission. ETC recently launched a campaign #CuriousEurope, which is all about how Europe is a place that incites curiosity through shared history, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. They used CrowdRiff's Localhood to showcase different experiences across borders to attract travelers when the time is right.
Great opportunity! #RestartTourism https://t.co/JwXg7YYFF6— Miguel Gallego (@MiguelGALLEG0) March 22, 2021
Niall Gibbons | niall-gibbons on LinkedIn
Niall has been the Chief Executive at Tourism Ireland for the past 11 years. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter for tourism news and advice with a focus on Ireland.
Helen Marano | helen-marano on LinkedIn
Helen's vast experience with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the World Travel and Tourism Council help her develop plans and solutions that promote responsible industry growth.
Jack Delf | jack-delf on LinkedIn
Based in Montenegro, Jack is heavily involved in regional economic growth and conservation tourism development throughout eastern Europe.
Sandra Carvao | sandra-carvao on LinkedIn
The second on this list to represent UNWTO, Sandra deserves recognition for her experience and knowledge sharing in market intelligence and competitiveness in the travel sector across Europe.
Inga Hlin Palsdottir | @ingahlin on Twitter
Formerly the Director of Visit Iceland, Inga is an expert in place branding, tourism strategy, crisis communications, and sustainability, especially when it comes to the Nordic countries.
Alessandra Priante | @AlexPriante on Twitter
Alessandra is responsible for the vision and strategy for the Regional Department for Europe, supporting the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) ability to see its mandate to promote responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism. Follow her for her thoughts on tourism policy-making and strategic thinking.
Women in #tourism in #europe represent 53% of tot workforce. We can & must do more! #SDG5 has to be a top priority for all #governments & #private sector! #InternationalWomensDay @UNWTO @UN_Women @CinziaContiAnsa @SkyTG24 @EmmaWatson @KerstiKaljulaid @ritabmarques @KellyCraighead pic.twitter.com/tadVLw1Ho6— Alessandra Priante (@AlexPriante) March 8, 2021
Alexander Herrmann | alexander-herrmann on LinkedIn
As the Director, UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, Alex is well-networked within the European destination marketing scene. He shares a lot of updates on real-world issues relevant to the European travel community.
Maja Pak | majapak on LinkedIn
Slovenia is making headlines with its sustainability initiatives, and as the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja is at the forefront.
Destination marketing practitioners
If you want a constant stream of fresh, exciting ideas for your next project or campaign, keep an eye on what the individuals in this section are up to. From destination marketing strategies to their work around branding, PR, and content creation, they're sure to inspire you.
Jasper Broekhuis | @jasperbroekhuis on Twitter
Jasper is a creative who is always full of ideas, with never-ending curiosity and a strong passion for travel, digital, and brands that have a mission. He has been the Social Media Manager at Visit the Netherlands since 2016. He consistently shares information on European affairs, startups, and social media, as well as happenings at Visit the Netherlands.
Begin januari hebben we de 100.000 volgers op het #Instagram account @visitnetherlands behaald. Om dit te vieren hebben we een #portretserie gemaakt van Nederlandse content makers die hun verhaal delen over de plaatsen in #Nederland https://t.co/8zge7QF12i— NBTC Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme & Congressen (@NBTC) February 17, 2021
Sarah Pitt | sarah-pitt on LinkedIn
Sarah is responsible for social media and digital at Visit Luxembourg. As a media and communications professional with over eight years of experience in the UK and Luxembourg, follow her for insightful updates on digital marketing and destination management.
Davida Wulff-Vanderpuije | davida-wulff-vanderpuije on LinkedIn
Davida is a destination marketer, freelance travel writer, and co-founder of the Black Travel Alliance, a non-profit organization founded to support Black travel content creators around the world and increase their representation in the travel industry. Follow her for content on diversity in travel and insight on the UK media and tourism landscapes.
Linn Totland | linntotland on LinkedIn
As the head of B2C Marketing at Fjord Norway, Linn specializes in marketing strategy, business development, and branding. If you're interested in the tourism happenings of this beautiful Nordic country, Linn is someone you don't want to miss.
Sanne Olsen | sanne-lykke-olsen on LinkedIn
Sanne is an experienced marketing, communication, and content production manager with 12+ years of experience working in the leisure travel and tourism industry. She's currently the Digital Marketing and Communications Manager at Wonderful Copenhagen.
Diogo Paciência | diogo-paciencia on LinkedIn
Diogo is responsible for social media for the European Travel Commission. He works with Miguel to execute projects for CrowdRiff's Localhood. Check out his LinkedIn to follow his journey at ETC.
Alice He | @AliceHe_ on Twitter
It's well-known that China is a hot source market for inbound travelers. Alice runs the official Weibo & WeChat accounts & social campaigns for Edinburgh Tourism and shares a lot of great ways to connect with Chinese travelers.
LOVE this video we made for the #YearoftheCoo Happy Chinese New Year!! 新年快乐🧧Check out https://t.co/fJqmUHisCt to see the full list of online events, promotions, outdoor installations & walking trails to celebrate #CNYEdinburgh https://t.co/biS8bO2bIv— Alice He (@AliceHe_) February 12, 2021
Carine Hawkins | @CarineHawkins on Twitter
Carine is the Communications Manager for Sharing Cities, a €25 million pan-European smart cities program delivered by the Smart London Team at the Greater London Authority. Follow along for her take on smart cities throughout Europe.
Natalie Swinburne | natalie-swinburne on LinkedIn
Recognized as one of Tomorrow Travel Leaders "30 Under 30" for 2020-21, Natalie is currently focused on helping Malta recover from the pandemic by engaging the travel trade.
Soraya Gabriel Minguito | sorayagabriel on LinkedIn
Soraya is a Senior PR and Communications Manager specialized in travel, culture, and leisure. Currently at Tourism Ireland, she works to grow and improve media visibility and word-of-mouth opportunities for destinations and cultural initiatives.
Ursula Petula Barzey | @UrsulaBarzey on Twitter
Ursula Petula Barzey is the founder of Moxee Marketing, a London-based digital marketing agency that works with travel and lifestyle brands to develop and implement their content marketing and social media strategy to increase their website traffic and ultimately leads/sales.
She is also the founder of the award-winning digital platform and blog Caribbean & Co. It features the best cultural and food adventures, places to stay, and live/work opportunities in the Caribbean region. Established in 2014, Caribbean & Co. has won five travel media awards!
Stephanie Parker | @bigwsmallp on Twitter
Stephanie was named the Best British Travel Blogger 2019 at the British Travel Awards, which has enabled her to work with travel partners and tourism boards from across the world to create unique and inspiring content that promotes destinations in innovative and engaging ways.
NEW BLOG POST!— BigWorldSmallPockets (@bigwsmallp) March 20, 2021
Full Guide to Visiting Malham Cove, Yorkshire#forwhenwetravelagainhttps://t.co/86Tbed62cn#BWSP #uktravel #escapetheeveryday #ukstaycation #visityorkshire #traveluk
Alex Wellman | @WellmanAlex on Twitter
Although American by birth, Alex currently resides in Estonia and leads the marketing and communications team for the country's first in the world e-Residency program. The program empowers entrepreneurs around the world by offering them a government-issued digital ID card that provides access to a range of public e-services in Estonia.
Alicia Fajardo | @alicia_famar on Twitter
Alicia is a tourism advisor advocating for a @Better_Tourism future and founder of @turismoreset, a community that was set up at the beginning of the pandemic with the aim to advocate for more regenerative tourism. They've received support from more than 1200 entities and individuals from 35 different countries and created a mass of influence around the future of tourism.
Journalists, analysts, and researchers
Keep an eye on the following for the latest news, updates, and analysis on destination marketing in Europe.
Caroline Bremner | @CarolineBremner on Twitter
Caroline is the Head of Travel and Tourism Research at Euromonitor International. She's highly involved in the European travel research community and shares relevant and reliable information from multiple sources.
Today we released our Sustainable Travel Index @ITB_Berlin, available for download. Here are the movers & shakers for starters. Thank you to all friends & partners for your invaluable help & advice @Euromonitor @greenviewing @travelTF #sustainablefuture https://t.co/zXTATbBowS— Caroline Bremner (@CarolineBremner) March 12, 2021
Peter Jordan | @GenCTraveller on Twitter
As Head of Insights for TOPOSOPHY, Peter analyzes challenges and opportunities for destinations faced with climate change, urbanization, tourism growth, and the need for social cohesion.
Clemens Költringer | clemens-költringer on LinkedIn
Clemens' primary job is with the Vienna Tourist Board, but he also is heavily involved in academia and tourism industry research with European Cities Marketing and various universities. If you're interested in the link between academics and the tourism industry, you'll want to be following Clemens.
Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström | @LolaAkinmade on Twitter
Lola is a freelance writer, author, speaker, editor, photographer, consultant, and above all, an idealist. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Image Collection and she offers a Black female traveler's perspective in her work.
Milena Nikolova | milena on Twitter
Having worked in industry in addition to obtaining her Ph.D. and achieving academic success, Milena shares insights into applying human behavior to the travel arena.
Did we miss someone? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us!
Header image credit: @hudsonhintze
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