|November 28, 2007, New York, New York - At the American
Tourism Society 2007 Annual Meeting and Conference held in the Lower Silesia
region of Poland the ATS Board at the recommendation of the Nominating
Committee elected David Parry Chairman of the Board, and Phil Otterson
The newly elected ATS leaders succeed Alexander W. Harris CTC as Chairman
and Michael Stolowitzky as President. In recognition of Harris's long service
as a founder of the 20 year old organization and his leadership over the
years, the Board unanimously voted to elect him as a Life Member and Honorary
Chairman of the organization. Both Harris and Stolowitzky will continue
to serve the organization as members of the Board of Directors.
Also elected to the expanded Board of Directors were: H.E. Akel
Biltaji of the Kingdom of Jordan, Donna Flora of The American
Express Co., Knut Haenscheke, of EH Marketing , Mirko A. Ilich CTC
of Traveling Times, Helena Novak of General Tours World Traveler,
Jan Rudomina of American Travel Abroad, David Spinelli of Vacation
.com, and Robert Whitley of USTOA.
David Parry, is Chairman of the Washington-based Academic Travel Abroad.
As newly elected Chairman of ATS he said, "The American Tourism Society
is moving in new directions with it's dynamic new Strategic Plan in place.
We played a role in the transformation of the Eastern European and USSR
tourism industry, and recently we have been active in organizing meetings
in the Middle East. Continuing to introduce underserved and often
unknown regions to the North American market will be an important initiative.
ATS is broadening its focus and reach. A tourism curriculum is being developed
to facilitate tourism training and education in our Council areas.
Over the past 20 years ATS has brought the world together and I intend
to carry on that tradition."
Phil Otterson is Executive V.P. of External Affairs for Tauck World
Discovery. On becoming president of ATS he said, "The American Tourism
Society is especially well-positioned going forward with the ATS vision
as it continues to emphasize our altruistic past yet also highlights five
new strategic priorities that will take us into the future. One of the
most exciting is the development of educational curriculum that will be
provided to students as well as tourism and government professionals in
our member-country transformational destinations through the newly formed
ATS Tourism College."
|Newly elected ATS Board of Directors from Left: Don Reynolds, Knut
Haenschke, Jan Rudomina, David Parry, Stephen Barneby (Deputy Consul General,
US Consulate, Krakow, Poland), Robert Whitley, Phil Otterson, David Spinelli.
Missing Donna Flora and Helena Novak, Alex Harris, Michael Stolowitzky
and H. E. Senator Akel Biltaji. Photo credit Rory Boland
New ATS Strategic Plan
During the meeting in Poland, Phil Otterson discussing ATS's new Strategic
Plan, said, "Our objective was to develop a plan that would build the future
of the organization based on the success of the past." The Plan features
membership development, new partnerships, education, marketing and media
"The Plan affirms the same vision of its founders, including Alex Harris,
but has researched other travel and tourism organizational models to update
ATS for the industry today," Otterson further explained, "The five goals
of the Initiatives will be met by ventures such as sponsorships, financing
and partnerships, email communications and e-newsletters, and education
of government entities and officials about the economic impact of developing
tourism in ATS member countries."
This Strategic Plan comes as ATS has attracted great interest as a
result of its high profile conferences in destinations that are in a growth
pattern - Hungary, the Czech Republic, Jordan and Israel and now the lower
Silesia region of Poland. ATS now has an established track record of utilizing
its senior government tourism connections and the extensive expertise of
its collective membership in promoting and developing destinations. Since
ATS members together do over four billion US dollars worth of transactions
a year and are moving more than three million travelers annually, their
influence is obvious.
At the Wroclaw Conference, ATS also launched its new Tourism College.
In keeping with the ATS policy that the organization gives back something
to the destinations where it meets, Tourism College will take place for
one day at each meeting, focusing on groups that would benefit from education
In summarizing the significance of the new strategic plan for ATS,
Don Reynolds, Executive Vice President, said, "We recognize the tremendous
changes taking place in international tourism and ATS wants to anticipate
our members' needs in responding to these changes. We are using the new
Strategic Plan as a guide for the next three years." Reynolds also paid
tribute to the key contribution that Hank Phillips made in the short time
since he was retained by ATS for the specific purpose of creating a Strategic
Plan. "But most significant," Reynolds noted, "is Alex Harris's presence
and continued leadership as a Life Member and Honorary Chairman, which
represents the continuity and vision of our mission."
A video on the history of ATS was screened for the first time at the
meeting in Poland. The four-minute video was produced by Sandy Dhuyvetter,
host and producer, TravelTalkMedia, specifically for the World Tourism
Award Ceremony at World Travel Market in London, November 12, 2007.
About ATS - Bringing the World Together
The American Tourism Society (ATS) was established in 1989 by a group
of US tourism industry executives. It is a nonprofit, nonpolitical
travel industry organization whose membership includes tour operators,
hotels and resorts, international airlines, cruise lines, Government Tourist
Offices, meeting and incentive planners, travel agents, tourism educators
and public relations and marketing firms dedicated to promoting, developing
and expanding high-quality, reliable travel between North America and the
ATS destination areas: the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean
/ Red Sea Region and Russia. ATS holds meetings and trade showcases hosted
by different destination countries each year. Its website is www.americantourismsociety.org.
For more information on The American Tourism Society: 149 Madison Avenue,
suite 602, New York, NY 10016, USA - Phone 212.893.8111, Fax 212.893.8153;