Bert “Bow-Thai” van Walbeek has been an Hotelier for 45 years and Marketer of Tourism for 35 years, a Motivator, a Master of Disaster since 20 years and a University Lecturer for 15 years.
After completing the Hotelschool in The Hague, the first part of his career was accomplished in Europe working first in operational and later sales and then marketing positions in Hilton, Inter-Continental, Canadian Pacific and Sheraton Hotels around Europe. By the end of 1988 he was appointed as Sheraton’s Vice President Marketing for the Middle East.
In 1991 he returned to Thailand and had to face the opportunities of a crisis in May 1992, and as Chairman of the TAT Marketing Working Group for the 1992 Recovery Committee developed “The World, Our Guest” campaign.
Since 1993 he is the Managing Director of The Winning Edge, a boutique consulting company, offering marketing audit, sales and service training as well as consultancy services for leadership coaching and crisis management planning to the hospitality,
travel and tourism industries. In March 2003 he completed in cooperation with PATA an information brochure on Risk & Crisis Management: “Expect the unexpected” and in 2006 developed PATA’s first educational & training module on that topic.
These experiences culminated in the assignment by Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism, Office of Tourism Development to design and develop The Road Map for the National Plan in support of Risk & Crisis Management in Tourism and, subsequently, train the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.
Bert was appointed Chairman of the PATA Rapid Recovery Taskforce and has instigated the plans for pro-active and re-active risk mitigation and crisis management advocacy as well as for rapid recovery support. The taskforce’s efforts were tested during recent crises in India, Thailand, the Philippines and Fiji and the plans were officially launched during the WTTC / PATA conference in Sendai on April 17, 2012.
His company, The Winning Edge, is presently handling risk prevention and crisis management projects in Bahrain, China (PRC), Taiwan, Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan and, of course, Thailand.