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American Tourism Society Board Elects David Parry as Chairman of the Board, Phil Otterson as President

American Tourism Society Board Elects David Parry as Chairman of the Board, Phil Otterson as President ( New Strategic Plan and Outreach to Exemplify Future Efforts in Travel Industry

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 as President.

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.”

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 relations.

“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 about tourism.

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

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; email: href="">

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

Karen Hoffman, The Bradford Group Tel: (212) 447-0027 Fax: (212) 725 8253 E-mail:

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