TL TALKS GLOBAL: IT’S TIME TO INNOVATE

Quieting the mind is essential to envisioning new opportunities. Key players from travel, design and hospitality discuss the endless possibilities at hand.

• Melissa Biggs Bradley: Founder & CEO Indagare Travel (USA)
• James McBride: CEO Nihi Hotels (Sumba)
• Luca Franco: Founder & CEO Luxury Frontiers (USA)
• Andy Levine: Founder & CEO DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. (USA)

MEET OUR SPEAKERS:

Melissa Biggs Bradley

 

Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder & CEO of Indagare Travel, an innovative digital travel company that combines curated content with high-touch service. From a very early age, Melissa felt a burning passion for travel. At the age of ten she spent a month in Australia. Then, at the age of twelve she went on her first African safari, and then lived in France for a year during her high school program. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Melissa served as the editor of Town & Country for 12 years, and launched Town & Country Travel, which was named one of the best new magazines of the year. Under her stewardship, the magazine won numerous awards for its writing, photography, and design. In 2006, it was nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). Finally, in 2007, Melissa decided to set up Indagare Travel, and also established a new way of planning and booking memorable experiences. With visits to over 100 countries under her belt, Melissa is an excellent source of articles in important publications, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg, and contributes regularly to magazines such as Departures, Architectural Digest e Harper’s Bazaar. She has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, and Indagare has been named to Inc.’s Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. and to Crain’s 50 fastest growing companies in New York.

James McBride

 

James McBride, Partner & CEO at Nihi Hotels, elected #1 Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure maganize in 2016, James was recently recognized as “One to Watch” by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Bloomberg 50 and awarded “Independent Hotelier of the World” by Hotels magazine. He has led some of the world’s leading hotels during his twenty-five year professional career, such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, The Grosvenor House in Park Lane, The Carlyle in New York, and is known for his limitless creativity, clever marketing techniques, and exceptional hotel experiences that have taken the meaning of hospitality to another level. He transitioned to hotel entrepreneur in 2012, when he partnered with long-time friend and investor Christopher Burch on the acquisition of Nihiwatu, a small surf destination on the Indonesian island of Sumba, which is now Nihi Sumba, a philanthropic resort dedicated to preserving Sumba’s culture, heritage and traditions. James is also a global ambassador for the hotel and hospitality industry, and a founding partner of Zanadu, a Chinese luxury members-only online travel agency.

Luca Franco

 

Luca Franco, Founder & CEO of Luxury Frontiers. After a successful career as a consultant and developer of projects for luxury resorts, in 2010 Luca noticed a growing demand for adventure travel and observed that the supply of accommodation such as campsites and tree-house hotels, for example, were still very limited and fragmented. Seeking to bridge this gap between traditional hospitality and upmarket accommodation on experimental trips, Luxury Frontiers came into being in 2011. The company specializes in the design and development of experiential resorts and guest houses, and works by integrating sustainability and sophistication into traditional concepts of lodgings in exotic places, many considered true natural or cultural gems of the world, and others classed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including national parks and other protected areas that need to prosper in generations to come.

Andy Levine

 

Andy Levine, Founder & CEO of DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. Andy started the company in 1996 to share what he had realized during a post-college cycling trip in Burgundy, France: in order to really know a place, you have to know its people, its cafés, its villages, and its cuisine—the good things in life. On that first solo bike tour, Andy learned about wine and met a cast of real, colorful characters who inspired him with their passion. Soon afterward, he started DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. on a shoestring and a dream. The first tours were developed out of family-run Hotel Bellevue in Beaune as Andy went off the beaten track to find people for his guests to meet. Even today, Andy always asks, “why are we going here?” before he gets on his bike and rides all the roads, connecting the dots for a truly immersive cultural experience. Andy believes that everyone should have the opportunity to travel the world by bike and to focus on the simple pleasures: enjoying food grown right where you eat it on the farm, spending time talking with a grandmother whose memories are a treasure trove, and experiencing the uncommon, authentic moments that make travel meaningful.
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