Take a look at our incredible panel of judges who shortlisted 30 finalists for the 10 categories that were awarded.

Jens Thraenhart
Founder, Digital Innovation Asia (DIA)
Co-Founder, Dragon Trail & China Travel Trends
Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)

Jens Thraenhart was appointed by the tourism ministries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China (Yunnan and Guanxi) to head the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) as its Executive Director. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is an inter-governmental collaboration to promote the Mekong region as a single tourism destination, and foster responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Jens Thraenhart is founder & president of Digital Innovation Asia (DIA), an initiative endorsed by the UNWTO, ASEAN, and PATA, as well as NTOs in Asia, building digital capacity from social to mobile in the travel and tourism industry in Asia Pacific, including innovative initiatives such as E-Tourism Asia, E-Tourism China, Blogger Match-Up, Digital Aid Asia, and the annual Digital Innovation Asia Awards. In 2009, he co-founded China Travel Trends, as well as award-winning China digital marketing and social media agency Dragon Trail, and has led marketing and Internet strategy teams with the Canadian Tourism Commission and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. He has consulted for many global companies, including recently Prestige Cruise Holdings, Swire Hotels, Dusit International, Shinta Mani Hotel Cambodia, and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Educated at Cornell University with a Masters of Management in Hospitality, Mr. Thraenhart was recognized as one of the travel industry's top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003, was listed as one of HSMAI's 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005, and named as one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014. A UNWTO Affiliate Member, and past Chair of PATA China, he founded the Annual China Responsible Tourism Forum & Awards in 2011.

A dual citizen of Germany and Canada, Jens now lives in Bangkok/Thailand.

Mario Hardy
Chief Executive Officer,
Pacific Asia Travel
Association (PATA)

Mario Hardy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) on November 1st, 2014. He previously joined the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) as the Chief Operations Officer on January 15th, 2014.PATA is a not-for profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism within the Asia Pacific region.The Association, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011,provides travel industry leadership and counsel to over 90 government, state and city tourism bodies, nearly 50 international airlines,airports and cruise lines, and many hundreds of travel industry companies across Asia Pacific and beyond.

Mario is also past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PATA Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a mission to contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of culture and heritage, and support for education.He is an entrepreneur, serial angel investor with close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience.Prior to PATA, Mario worked 14 years for UBM/OAG a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.

He began his career with People's Express Airlines in 1985, before joining Canadian Airlines in 1987 where he spent 12 years in a number of sales, marketing and operational roles, leading to his appointment in a senior management role heading the Group Sales & Charter division in 1997.Mario has a BSc from the University of Montreal, a Public Relations Certificate from L'École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal and an International Trade Certificate from the O'Sullivan College of Montreal.He is a true global citizen who lived on 3 continents, 7 countries and has over 10 years experience working in Asia. A seasoned traveler with a goal of visiting over 100 countries engaging with local communities.

Passionate about travel, innovation, design and technology; you will often find him reading, FastCompany, TechCrunch,Mashable, National Geographic, watching TED Talks, or searching for the latest innovations on Kickstarter orIndiegogo.

Jan Tissera
President, TravelClick,

Jan is the President of TravelClick’s International Division, which represents approximately 50% of the company’s revenue. He manages the Global organization, made up of a staff over 300 in Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, and with offices in Barcelona, Singapore, Dubai, Melbourne and Hong Kong.

An experienced international hotelier and hotel industry consultant, Jan has been at TravelClick for over 19 years and has been part of several acquisitions and two successful ownership transitions.

Before joining TravelClick in 1996, he held a number of positions at Hyatt International, where he oversaw worldwide hotel reservations, global distribution, demand programs, revenue and rate management, guest recognition programs, and hotel room operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

Sally Davey
Founder of Tripbod.com

Founder of Tripbod.com, one of the original brands in the emerging local travel space. Took the company from foundation to acquisition by TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP), the biggest travel website in the world.

Along the way she have been involved in countless initiatives that empower individuals to realize their full potential - be that 'grass roots'​ entrepreneurs in travel, or young students in regeneration areas of the UK.

Debbie Hindle
Managing Director of Travel PR and Representation Experts Four Travel

Debbie Hindle is the managing director of travel PR and representation experts Four Travel – the dedicated travel practice of Four Communications, which PR Week has ranked as the 6th leading independent communications company in the UK, and 4th digital agency in country. Four has offices in the UK, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and a network of global agencies around the world. Debbie has specialised in travel communications for the past two decades. She's shared her experience by speaking at conferences and events in the UK, continental Europe, Russia and the Middle East on subjects as varied as working with bloggers, destination branding, how not to outsource social media and PR, crisis communications and sustainable tourism. Debbie is an informal advisor to the global Professional Bloggers Association and trustee of UK charity The Travel Foundation. She is also a judge of the Responsible Tourism Awards and Guild of Travel Writers Awards, plus special advisor to the Travel Press Awards.

Dileep Mudadeniya
Head of Brand Marketing
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and Vice President- John Keells Group

Dileep Mudadeniya possesses many years of experience in travel, tourism, communications and strategic planning and the founder of center for research and sustainability studies. Currently he is the Head of Brand Marketing -Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and Vice President- John Keells Group.

He was the former Head of Quality Standards, Licensing, Investment Legal and Special Projects of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, has served the Public Sector of Sri Lanka working extensively in the areas of travel and tourism and mass communication.

Appointed Director Marketing, to the then, Tourist Board in the year 1999, at the age of 27, Dileep, is the youngest to date, to have held that position. In 2003, Mudadeniya was assigned Director France with the added responsibility of overlooking the Benelux countries and Southern Europe. Marketing, destination Sri Lanka, during challenging times, Dileep, has many successful campaigns to his credit, which helped to keep alive, Sri Lanka's image as a beautiful holiday location. Buy one get one free - a post Tsunami initiative developed by Dileep in France, remains to date, a 'case study' solution, for a country coming out of a crisis.

On his return, from France, Dileep was appointed Additional Director General of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board and in October 2007, with the Tourism Act coming in to operation, was appointed Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

A Gold award, from the august tourism body: the Pacific Asia Travel Association, in 2010, Marketing Media - Consumer Travel Brochure - Revamping Consumer Travel Brochures of Sri Lanka Tourism was won by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, is a credit to Dileep's tenacity of purpose and commitment to vision.

An alumnus of the University of Colombo, an Attorney-at-Law, and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, chartered marketer Dileep, holds a MBA in Marketing. He is also the Winner of the ten outstanding young person award (TOYP) for public sector . He is currently reading for his PHD at post graduate institute of management(PIM) of university of Sri Jayawardenapura

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