Bert “Bow-Thai” van Walbeek has 45 years’ experience in the Hotel and Tourism industry and has been a “Master of Disaster” in this space for 30 years and a University Lecturer for 20 years.
During his tenure as VP Marketing Middle East for ITT Sheraton, he had to face the crisis of the 1st Gulf War and developed the “Back to Normal” concepts for the Sheraton Hotels in the area and for the Egyptian General Authority for the Promotion of Tourism. During Thailand’s “Black May” crisis in May 1992, he was Chairman of the TAT Marketing Working Group for the 1992 Recovery Committee developed “The World, Our Guest” campaign.
Bert worked with PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) on Risk & Crisis Management publication “Expect the Unexpected” and developed PATA’s first educational & training module on that topic. He also co-authored with Dr. David Beirman the PATA publication “Bounce Back “.
Bert was part of the Bali Recovery Task Force and initiated with PATA the Tourism Crisis Recovery Communication Plan for Sichuan and Chengdu. He also worked with the Macau Government Tourism Office towards setting up a separate government entity called “Tourism Crisis Management Office”. Until recently, Bert was the Chairman of the PATA Rapid Recovery Taskforce where he developed the plans for proactive and reactive risk mitigation and crisis management advocacy, as well as for rapid recovery support. The task force’s efforts were tested during recent crises in India, Thailand, the Philippines, Guam and Fiji. Most recently, he was the Coordinator of the Nepal Tourism Rapid Recovery Task Force.