The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has appointed two industry experts to its global advisory board.
The new appointees, who have a combined experience of more than 50 years in the hospitality and tourism sector, will play a pivotal role in directing The Red Sea Project toward welcoming its first guests at the end of 2022.
Frances-Anne Keeler, former deputy CEO of Tourism Australia and former executive director of Europe at VisitBritain, and Piers Schmidt, founder of Luxury Branding, join the company’s existing international advisory board of eight world leaders in business, investment, tourism, sustainability and conservation with immediate effect.
John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said: “As we prepare to welcome our first visitors to the destination next year, our focus is turning toward how we share the treasures of The Red Sea Project. We are delighted to welcome the new advisory board members, whose experience will be instrumental in our preparation for launch.”
Keeler has more than 25 years of experience across hospitality and tourism, business and events and education and financial services. In her previous positions, she has led international strategy, marketing and operations across multiple markets. Keeler has used her industry knowledge to launch her own tourism strategy consulting firm. She chairs the boards of various tourism initiatives, including Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, the national platform for digital tourism information in the region and Chocolateria San Churro, a unique Spanish chocolate café experience with more than 50 stores in Australia.
Schmidt brings over 25 years of experience in advising luxury brands. In 2002, he founded Luxury Branding, an advisory boutique for leaders seeking to create the world’s most hospitable brands. His experience includes the branding and roll-out of One&Only Resorts, extending the Giorgio Armani brand into hospitality and codifying five trophy assets into the Dorchester Collection. Schmidt is also a visiting professor on the MBA program at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, a prestigious hospitality school in Switzerland.
The Red Sea Project has already passed numerous significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests when the international airport and the first hotels will open next year. All 16 hotels planned in Phase I will be opening by the end of 2023.
Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 hotels, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include a luxury marina, and entertainment and leisure facilities.