United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations
C.E.O & Senior Advisor ( Retired)
BIRGER BÄCKMAN has a long career spanning over 50 years in the travel and tourism industry, holding managerial positions at airlines, travel agencies, tour operators and cruise companies in Finland, Sweden and Germany before joining UFTAA as C.E.O 1997 to retirement in 2005 , continuing as Senior Advisor to the Board until 2009. He is still active as an independent industry consultant.
Mr. Bäckman has served in numerous committees and working groups within the industry both nationally, regionally and internationally. In 1989-90 he was World President of AISC with 24,000 members in the tourism industry and 1988-1992 he was Chairman of the Helsinki International Travel Fair (MATKA) - the largest travel fair in the Nordic countries.
A Finnish national, he graduated from Helsinki University as Master of Political Science (M.Pol.Sc,) with degrees in Political science, Macro economy, Sociology and Social Politics as well as exams in International law.
For his contribution to the tourism industry Mr. Bäckman has received “Medalla al Merito Turistico” from Spain and is Cavaliere dell’Ordine “Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”. In 1977 he received the “Premio della Solidarieta” from the Italian Centre of Art and Culture.
Israel Travel Agents Association
YOSSI FATAEL has for twenty-five years been a leader in the travel industry in Israel, both as an entrepreneur and within Israeli travel associations. He is currently Managing Director of Israel Tourist and Travel Agents Association, as well as Managing Direector of SHAAL-Supporting Services for Travel Agents Ltd. The commercial company is a subsidiary of the Israel Tourist and Travel Agents Association. At the inernational level he is Member of the Passenger Programme Global Joint Council (PAPGJC, formerly known as The Global Consultative Committee [GCC]), which is an official and permanent body of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and UFTAA (Universal Federation of Travel Agencies). Since 1994 he has also been the representative of Vietnam Airlines in Israel.
Since 1992 Mr. Fatael has been the owner and manager of the travel agency “Ornitours Travel and Tourism 1976 Ltd”, which specializes in Commercial Accounts. In this capacity he established a branch of Ornitour in Hanoi (Vietnam), which specialized in marketing incoming tourism to Vietnam.
Mr. Fatael holds a Bachelor of Social Science, from Tel Aviv University. Prior to receipt of that degree in 1986 he studied Mathematics and Computer Science at Hebrew University (Jerusalem).
Tralliance, the .travel Registry
BYRON HENDERSON has worked with the .travel Registry since August 2003 and has played a key role in developing policy, preparing the initial proposal to ICANN and developing the management and database structures for registration and authentication. Since May 2009 he has been Managing Director of Tralliance, overseeing all aspects of the Registry.
Before he joined the .travel Registry, Byron served as Vice-President, .Coop Operations for the dotCoop top level domain. At dotCoop he was the senior executive coordinating the technical and non-technical development and launch of the TLD.
Prior to working with dotCoop, Byron worked in the academic and business fields with an emphasis on technology and online community. He holds a law degree and has taught in two Canadian law schools and practiced corporate law in Canada as well as acting as a technology and education consultant with the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Defense and the United Nations Development Programme. From 1997 to 1998 he was a Visiting Scholar with the Advanced Technology Group of Apple Computer, Inc.
Intra-Asean Travel Committee
Asean Tourism Association (former President)
TUNKU ISKANDAR has led a number of national and international travel and tourism associations including: ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) – Chairman, Intra-ASEAN Travel Committee & President; Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) – Immediate Past President; Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA) – President; Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) – Chairman; Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation (IOTO) – Chairman; and the National Tourism Council of Malaysia (NTCM) – Founder Chairman.
He has been a Board Member of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and a Trustee of the National Art Gallery, Malaysia. He is a former President of SKAL International Kuala Lumpur and of The Rotary Club of Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
He also serves on the Boards of Directors of several public-listed companies. He is Group Managing Director of Melewar Group Berhad; Group President of the Mitra Group of travel agencies, Pacific World Travel (M) Sdn Bhd and World Express (M) Sdn Bhd, and Chairman of Sistem Sewa Kereta Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Avis Rent-A-Car licensee for Malaysia.
He holds a Master of Science Degree in International Marketing of the University of Strathclyde, UK. He is also Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK), the Institute of Business Administration (UK), the Institute of Administrative Management (UK) and the Institute of Marketing Malaysia. In 1984, he received the “Triple-A” Alumni Achievement Award from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines.
Tunku Iskandar was awarded the Darjah Setia Negeri Sembilan (DNS) in 1987 and was conferred a “Dato’ Seri” when he was awarded the Darjah Seri Paduka Tuanku Ja’afar Yang Terpuji (SPTJ) in 1989.
European Tour Operators Association (ETOA)
THOMAS JENKINS is the Executive Director of the European Tour Operators Association, an ssociation formed to represent the interests of European inbound tour operators who are collectively responsible for handling six to seven million inbound tourists each year. Currently a member of the Standing Committee of the European Commission on Tourism and New Technology and the Steering Committee of the European Tourism Industry Network, he has also held positions on the Industry Committee on the Euro and on the European Parliamentary Intergroup on Tourism. In the UK he chairs the Council of Travel and Transport, the British Tourist Authority Development Committee and the ETC Forum.
Prior to joining ETOA in 1997 Mr. Jenkins was European Manager with American Express, maintaining a corps of 350 Tour Managers operating throughout Europe. After graduating in English & History from Bristol University, he conducted Postgraduate Research at the Courtauld Institute, London University.
ASHWINI KAKKAR has wide experience across various industries, but the travel business is his primary passion. He has been honored with numerous awards by travel trade organizations. He was bestowed the Ordre National du Merite by the French Government in 2007, in recognition of his contribution to promoting Indo-French relations. He is also the Chairman of VIA Ltd., a leading player in the mobile ticketing and e-travel space.
President & Chief Executive Officer
United Motorcoach Association
United States of America
On May 4, 1998, Victor S. Parra was appointed to his current position of President and Cheif Executive Officer of the United Motorcoach Association. Mr. Parra has over 30 years of association management experience. Prior to joining UMA, he served as CEO for several high tech associations representing companies in the electronic messaging/electronic communications, the computer graphics and cable television industries. During his tenure as CEO of the Electronic Messaging Association, Mr. Parra helped negotiate critical international treaties affecting copyright material and control of electronically-delivered, intellectual property. He also worked closely with Clinton Administration officials developing the White House Internet White Paper. This policy document has become the framework for the Administration’s position on all matters affecting global electronic commerce and development of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII), otherwise known as the Internet.
Mr. Parra also started his own management consulting firm, Strategic Focus, assisting associations and small to medium-sized enterprises in the areas of marketing, business development, and strategic and vision planning.
In addition to his current duties as UMA CEO, Parra also serves as an Industry Advisor to the Board of the Directors of the International Registration Plan (IRP) and in the Industry Advisory Board of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).