Upright Position Communications, Paul Wilke, California, USA
I didn’t realize it until later in life, but I was born to work in travel and tourism. My mother was a flight attendant for TWA before I was born, so I guess you could say I have jet fuel in my veins. I’ve long gravitated toward travel and tourism: My grandparents lived in the landing path of JFK, where I spent many hours watching the planes and faces descend into NYC.
Later in life, I cut my public relations teeth on clients like Singapore Airlines, Gulf Air and the Singapore Tourism Board, where I learned the economic power of tourism.
It was in December 2004, where my passion for travel and tourism took off. In the aftermath of the Boxing Day Tsunami, which shook many parts of Southeast Asia, I saw firsthand the importance of tourism on communities. I was working in Visa’s PR department at the time and we immediately sought out ways to bring a vibrant tourism economy back to destinations devastated by the tsunami. We were able to do that by sharing valuable cardholder spend data with tourism authorities which showcased where that recovery could come from. Ever since I’ve been passionate about the the power of tourism to drive a global economy, and have continued by work in tourism through being active in initiatives like President Obama’s Travel & Tourism Advisory Board, working with organizations like the UNWTO, SUNx and many other amazing groups.
by Paul Wilke