FINN Partners announces a new strata to their senior leadership team with the creation of the FINN Partners Travel Practice Advisory Board. The founding members of the Advisory Board are travel industry titans Dr Taleb Rifai and David Scowsill, who between them have over 60 years of senior leadership experience in the travel industry on the global stage.
The creation of the Travel Practice Advisory board was spearheaded by FINN’s Global Travel Practice Leader, Debbie Flynn, with the aim of bringing together senior expertise from FINN’s global health, tech, public affairs and sustainability practices to further support current and future destination and travel clients on the road to recovery from the impact of the global pandemic.
Dr Taleb Rifai and David Scowsill
Dr Taleb Rifai was secretary general of the World Tourism Organisation, leading the UNWTO from 2009 for two consecutive terms ending in 2018. Taleb has an extensive background in international and national public service, the public sector and academia and held several ministerial portfolios in the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (2000-2004). Taleb’s experience working alongside international Governments affords him a high level of influence at a critical time for the recovery of the travel industry globally.
David Scowsill spent seven years of his impressive career as President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and has developed an unparalleled network in both private and public sectors. Prior to his time leading WTTC, David’s executive career included leadership positions with: Opodo; the pan European online travel agency, British Airways; American Airlines and Hilton. David’s global commercial and operational executive experience has given him business and cultural understanding of all parts or the world.
Peter Finn, Founding Partner, FINN Partners Commented: “I am delighted to welcome Taleb and David as the founding members of the new FINN Partners Travel Practice Advisory Board. Their knowledge, experience and connections in the travel and travel technology arenas will help us to grow this important practice and their insights will provide valuable counsel for current clients as we navigate our way through one of the most challenging periods in our history.”
David Scowsill, former President & CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council commented: “The world’s economies have always shown resilience to recover from the most severe financial crises – downturns which were driven by pandemics, wars, terrorism, currency or banking meltdowns. 2020 has been the worst year on record for more than 50 years, driving most countries deep into recession. The vaccination roll out globally will ensure that this world starts the long road to economic recovery in the second half of 2021. As brands start to market their products once more in the sectors most impacted, concise and transparent communication to their customers has never been more important.”
Debbie Flynn, Global Travel Practice Lead, Finn Partners commented: “I have known David and Taleb for many years as our paths crossed on the global travel circuit. I cannot think of a better ‘dream team’ to initiate the FINN Partners Travel Practice Advisory Board. Their wealth of experience will support our work to provide cross practice expertise to current and future clients as we set out on the path to recovery this year. We found that during the pandemic travel could not operate in a silo and our FINN teams from health, tech and sustainability practices, in particular, were called upon to give senior level counsel as we met the challenges from the pandemic head on. This Advisory Board is a natural progression of the Global Recovery Network we set up at the height of the pandemic to guide recovery planning using both internal and external expertise.”
Taleb Rifai commented:“We are proud to be the founding Advisors on the FINN Advisory Board. We value this partnership and are excited to be working with an independent agency with such a formidable reputation in the travel industry. We want to contribute not only to the success of FINN as a business but to its valued clients and their businesses, and I believe that together this collaboration will help play our part in the recovery of the industry in 2021.”