CEO, Travelwise International
Alvin is the host of the weekly show, “Smart People Travelwise” which airs live on Tuesdays at 3PM EST and broadcast on FB, YouTube, PhLV radio, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. He has another weekly show entitled “Celebrating Filipino Entrepreneurs.” Alvin also created the Facebook group “Balikbayans Travelwise where he provides updates on health, safety, and travel rules and protocols on the Philippines and responds to queries from mainstream Americans and Fil-ams relative to traveling to the Philippines. The FB group also seeks to help spread the news on exclusive deals and promotions.
His company, Travelwise International has been serving the community for over 30 years and remains one of the most influential and respected luxury travel firms in the industry. Travelwise International’s founder, Ofelia Adriano, was one of the early travel advisors to pioneer travel management for the Filipino Americans since the late 1980s. Travelwise International’s team of top travel advisors has applied their proven formula within leisure travel to a broader range of destinations worldwide. And with its sights now set on increasing its network, Travelwise International continues to expand its product list to include a wider range of markets and a collection of unfathomable destinations. Travelwise International recently announced the launch of its Host Agency (IC) Division, a program created to be an incubator devoted to developing a new breed of forward-thinking travel advisors focused on innovation and finding new ways to propel the industry forward.
Prior to his time in travel, Alvin has held management and leadership roles in other hospitality industries such as hotels, food and beverage and retail. Alvin obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting, holds a Certified Travel Industry Executive certification, an Accredited Cruise Counselor, and serves on ASTA’s Government Advocacy and Political Affairs committee.
Host, PBS’s Samantha Brown’s Places to Love
Travel expert and television host Samantha Brown has been hosting TV travel programs for 20 years. During her time at Travel Channel she created 10 original international and domestic travel series generating over 170 hours of television. In 2017 Samantha moved from the Travel Channel to PBS and Season 1 of her new series Samantha Brown’s Places to Love premiered in January, 2018. In Places to Love, Samantha features the destinations, experiences and most importantly the people that make us the traveler feel like we belong to a place. Season 3 will begin airing on PBS in January 2020 and features destinations like Florida Keys, New Zealand, Miami, Budapest, Dallas and Vienna.
Samantha is known for getting to the emotional heart of travel by focusing on the people, their culture, and the privilege of spending time in their everyday lives. Viewers passionately follow Samantha and her expert advice not only because of her experience and knowledge, but also because of her warmth, genuineness and love for travel.
Samantha grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and 7 year old twins Ellis and Elizabeth.
President, Your Own Italy
Carmen Carbonell is founder and President of Your Own Italy. Carmen was born in the United States, where she obtained a degree in Architecture. Following college, she married an Italian and moved to Rome, where she raised 4 sons. She also developed a passionate love for Italy – its art, its architecture, its cities, its countryside, its culture and cuisines, and its people.
Now, after nearly 30 years living in Italy, Carmen wants to share her love for Italy with American travelers who want more than a standard tour…travelers who want to experience the real Italy, with the heart and soul of the nature and its people. She founded Your Own Italy as a boutique tour company that will provide private tours that take travelers deep into Italy’s heart and soul, with vacation packages that will be memorable for life, and shore excursions that will give tour ship guests a unique day in Rome, Florence, Venice or the Amalfi Coast. –
The team works with boutique hotels, tested and proven restaurants, historic sites, museums, basilicas, plus individuals and tours that meet Your Own Italy’s standards – standards virtually guaranteed to ensure that Your Own Italy vacation or shore excursion will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember forever. And long to repeat with your new friends in Italy, Your Own Italy.
World Travel Expert, Writer/TV Host AngelsTravelLounge.com
Angel Castellanos, (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer, multi-media personality and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to helping people travel smart, well and often. Traveling to over 85 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 12-14 weeks internationally each year and draws on his experience and frequent travels to teach “Smart Travel” and equip travelers with the skills they need to make travel easy and enjoyable. He bridges the gap between the practical, common sense advice he’s learned by traveling the world and the new savvy tips and experiences that have helped his generation revolutionize travel. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”.
Since you’ve last seen Angel, he has visited The Philippines, Colombia, Honduras, Singapore, Laos, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Bosnia, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
His favorite travel memories include camel trekking in the Sahara, traveling overland by train from Beijing to London, Horse trekking in Mongolia, Hot Air Ballooning in Laos and sailing down the Nile River.
When not in Italy or Paris, Angel is home in Pasadena, California where he is a proud volunteer with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.
Travel Writer & NYC Tour Guide, IMayRoam.com
Brian enjoys exploring cities along public transit lines and writing about it at his blog, IMayRoam.com. He also writes about food tours, layovers, and exploring movie and musical landmarks. You can find some of his work on CheapTickets, Lonely Planet, Matador Network, and USA Today 10Best. Brian has traveled to more than 50 countries as well as every state except for Alaska. On weekends, he leads music and film-focused tours of New York City. His five-star rated Goodfellas Tour has been featured in Airbnb Magazine. Always happy to offer tips to aspiring travel writers and tour guides, Brian has been featured multiple times at the New York Times Travel Show as part of their Meet the Experts panel.
Award-Winning Travel Concierge and Travel Expert, Ask a Concierge
Sarah Dandashy is a verified travel expert, author, and TV personality with over 18 years of luxury hotel experience. Sought out for her travel tips, advice, and knowledge of trends from the “frontlines of travel,” Sarah pivoted her career from being an award-winning concierge to traveling the globe working with some of the leading brands in the travel industry. Follow her on social media under her brand, “Ask A Concierge,” or catch her on the news breaking down the latest in the travel on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, or Chedder News. Sarah has been featured in numerous publications from the New York Times, Nerdwallet, Business Insider, USNews, Reader’s Digest, and Thrillist, and she is the author of the book, Hospitality From Within.
Travel Writer, Photographer and Experience Curator, Listen, Journey, Savor
“Listen, Journey, Savor with Julian Douglas”… is exactly what he asks of his family, friends and especially his readers to do with him.
As an experienced traveler, Julian has traversed the globe since he was a child. From treasured moments with his flight attendant mother growing up, to his years in the music industry, to just vacationing with his wife Nicole for pleasure. It has all inspired Julian to write about his passions for music, food and especially his love of travel.
CEO, Cruise Planners
Michelle Fee is a true travel agent advocate and visionary whose extraordinary and fearless leadership has reimagined the travel world. She established herself as the influential CEO of Cruise Planners with a compelling rise-to-power story championing the home-based model. She is recognized as a leader in business and was awarded with the first Executive of the Year Award at the 2021 Travvy Awards and named one of South Florida’s Ultimate CEO by the SFBJ, among others. She is also a Godmother of the river cruise ship AmaSerena. As the founder of the nation’s largest home-based travel franchise with over 40 years of experience, she has given others the gift of business ownership – where they can work from anywhere in the world by investing in creating proprietary and cutting-edge technology – one of the many reasons the travel industry takes note. Under her leadership, Cruise Planners has empowered franchise owners for success through access to award-winning marketing programs, hands-on training and evolving technology, allowing them to operate efficient and competitive travel businesses in a fast-changing industry. Michelle stands out at travel industry events – as a stylish globetrotter known for her bling, CP Green and spreading positive Cruisitude – the company’s coined term describing a positive state of mind combined with a passion for travel. Named by Entrepreneur as the #1 travel franchise for 18 years in a row, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, has over 2,500 travel advisors across all 50 U.S. states and has evolved to sell all types of travel – cruises, guided land tours and all-inclusive resort vacations.
Product Manager, Metrojourneys
Klaus was born in Quito- Ecuador in a German/Ecuadorian family, he spent most of his childhood in a farm near Quito, where he developed his passion for nature and design. His father had a great influence on his interests, as he passed on book collections by Humboldt and Darwin.
When deciding upon careers, Klaus was selected to become a naturalist guide for the Ecuadorian amazon-based vessel, Flotel Orellana, and what he thought to be a temporary job ended up being his whole career. In 1990 he became a Mountain Guide, a National Guide in 1991, and in 1992 a Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
From 1993 onward until 1997 he spent one semester at a university in the United States and one semester in the Enchanted Islands, and in 1997 he became a Galapagos Expedition Leader. In 2006, he started working as an Expedition Manager in Metropolitan Touring, where he would become a Product Manager to this day.
He gets to visit the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador several times a year, so he has the world’s best job!
Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides & Publisher of Frommers.com
Pauline Frommer is co-President of Frommer Media, LLC, with her father, travel legend Arthur Frommer. Together, they publish America’s most popular series of travel guidebooks, the Frommer guides, as well as Frommers.com, a website that welcomes more than 3 million unique users per month. She is also a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and she pens an internationally syndicated newspaper column on travel for King Features. You may recognize her face as Pauline created weekly travel segments for CNN’s Headline News for 3 years. She’s also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR’s Marketplace and Talk of the Nation, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and every local news station you can name. She was the founding editor of Frommers.com and edited MSNBC.com’s travel section for two years. Pauline is the proud mother of two well-traveled daughters and wife to Columbia University professor Mahlon Stewart.
Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor
A multiple Emmy-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg is America’s most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the travel industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the Travel Editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning. And his national CBS EYE ON TRAVEL radio show is broadcast from a different location around the world each week.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Peter Greenberg also hosts the weekly public television show The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg. And, for more than 20 years, Greenberg has produced and hosted The Royal Tour, historic, precedent-setting shows, where sitting heads of state become Greenberg’s tour guide for very personal journeys to and through their countries, for one hour global prime time specials. The Royal Tours range from King Abdullah in Jordan to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the President of Mexico, the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of Rwanda and many others.
Travel Weekly named Peter Greenberg one of the most influential people in travel, along with Bill Marriott and Sir Richard Branson. He was inducted into the U.S. Travel Association’s Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry. Among his other honors, Peter Greenberg received a News & Documentary Emmy Award as part of the NBC News Dateline team for outstanding coverage of a breaking news story, “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Peter Greenberg began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He won a national Emmy Award for Best Investigative Reporting for the ABC 20/20 special on the final orphan flight out of Vietnam, “What Happened to the Children?” He also is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and an Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Aviation Space Writers Association of America.
And when he is not reporting all over the world, Greenberg is an active volunteer fireman in New York.
Ultra-Economical Travel Expert, Break the Travel Barrier
Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been on CNBC, FOX, CBS, USA Today, Women’s World, Around the World Travel TV, and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. Russell worked as a CBC Budget Travel Columnist, founded BreakTheTravelBarrier.com, and is the author of ‘Stop Dreaming… Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less.’
Editor at GoNOMAD.com
Max Hartshorne has been the editor of GoNOMAD.com Travel since 2002 and has written hundreds of travel stories as well as edited thousands of stories for site, which is ranked in the top five of all travel sites. He is a regular speaker at the Traverse and TBEX travel writer conferences and at other travel events. He lives in South Deerfield, MA and also writes a monthly travel column for the Montague Reporter newspaper.
Mike & Anne Howard
National Geographic Authors & Founders of HoneyTrek
Mike & Anne left on their honeymoon in January 2012…and never came home. They created HoneyTrek.com to chronicle their journey across all seven continents and help people mobilize their travel dreams. Their story of the World’s Longest Honeymoon, savvy tips, and blog have been featured in hundreds of international media outlets—from USA Today to Lonely Planet. Firm believers that love and travel make the world a better place, they authored Ultimate Journeys for Two—National Geographic’s bestselling couples travel guide. To write their newest book, Comfortably Wild, they bought a vintage RV (aka Buddy the Camper) and traveled 73,000 miles across 9 countries to find the best glamping experiences in North America. Their original research, on everything from the history of glamping to this travel style’s scientific benefits, has earned them a Lowell Thomas Journalism Award for guidebooks and a seat on the American Glamping Association Board of Advisors. Despite the pandemic’s hurdles, the socially distanced nature of RVing and glamping have allowed the Howards to safely continue their journey and share it with their 340,000+ followers. Connect with Mike & Anne @HoneyTrek across all social media platforms.
Senior Vice-President of Sales, Visit Anchorage
David S. Kasser is a lifelong Alaskan and a world traveler. He has guided tours throughout the State of Alaska and Western Canada in all seasons. Recently he even sailed his own boat across the gulf of Alaska to its home port in Seward. David shares his love and excitement for his home state as an invitation to kindred adventurers like you!
Founder and CEO of The Points Guy (TPG)
Brian Kelly is the founder and CEO of The Points Guy (TPG), the leading voice in loyalty programs, points, miles, credit cards and travel. He has grown TPG to be a powerhouse travel and lifestyle media platform that reaches over 10 million unique monthly visitors around the world.
Kelly has found a unique way to reach his audience and inspire millions to live their best lives through his supercharged personality, deep industry knowledge and extensive worldwide travel. Through his content and creativity, annual TPG Awards, reader events, video series and social media, Kelly has introduced new platforms in an effort to bring the latest and greatest to millions of TPG followers and travel consumers. He has been recognized with awards and accolades, including AdWeek’s “Young Influentials” list in 2019 and Forbes’ #1 travel influencer. His long-standing knowledge and expertise has garnered the trust of the nation’s top morning shows, with appearances on TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America and Kelly & Ryan, among others.
Kelly’s passion for travel is shared by a belief in using travel as a global force for good, and he currently serves as a Committee Member for Rainbow Railroad, Global Ambassador for PeaceJam, Co-Chair of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Leadership Council, Goalkeeper for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and member of PTTOW.
Francisco Hilario M. Lardizabal
Tourism Attaché/Director, Philippine Department of Tourism – New York
Mr. Lardizabal competed his B.S. Tourism degree from UP Diliman Asian Institute of Tourism and his MBA from De La Salle University.
He rose from the ranks at the Department of Tourism where he started as Clerk III in 1989 and eventually became Chief Tourism Operations Officer at the Bureau of Domestic Tourism Promotions in 1998. He was later assigned as group head of Team Middle East and head of the Strategic Development Technical Unit where he was tasked to do market research and planning and promotional activities for new markets such as Israel, Turkey, and Iran.
Mr. Lardizabal is a member of DOT’s pool of Foreign Tourism Officers and was conferred his Career Executive Service Eligibility (CESE) in 2017.
He assumed his first overseas post as Tourism Attaché for Philippine Department of Tourism – New York on August 1, 2019.
Senior Travel Editor, The Points Guy
Melanie Lieberman is currently the senior travel editor at The Points Guy, where she oversees daily travel and lifestyle news, destination coverage, travel features and reports. Prior to TPG, Melanie was an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, and her work has appeared in Bloomberg Pursuits, Yahoo Travel, Jetsetter, Boston Common magazine, LUXE City Guides, Thrillist and Saveur magazine, among others. She has been recognized for her journalism, poetry, prose and playwriting in various competitions and festivals, and has been featured as a travel expert by notable outlets across radio, podcasts, in print and on television, including Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fox Business and The Weather Channel.
Global Relationships Manager, Chimu Adventures
James McAlloon is the Global Relationships Manager for Antarctic Travel Specialist: Chimu Adventures. As well as leading the growth of Chimu’s business development in Australia and around the world. James is a lover of the polar regions having been to the white continent many times; most recently with Chimu in 2020 and flying over Antarctica to celebrate the 2022 New Year.
Award-Winning Travel Writer, Actor and Director
Andrew speaks about his personal journey and how travel and self-reflection changed his life. Aside from his successful acting and directing careers, he is now a successful writer and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler. He discusses fear of the unknown, taking the time to enjoy the precious moments in life, pushing yourself to try new things, and looking at the world with new eyes. Best known for his acting career and starring roles in St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, and Weekend at Bernie’s, he has a successful Broadway career and is currently a highly regarded director. Current projects include hit series’ Orange is the New Black, Turn, and The Blacklist. He returned to acting in ABC’s 2016 hit, The Family. His debut novel for young readers, Just Fly Away was published in March 2017.
Director of Communications, Tahiti Tourisme
Noel is the Communications Manager at Tahiti Tourisme United States (TTUS), where she manages media relations, online communications, and social media, as well supports the development of content and strategic planning.
Noel is a native of Northern California with more than a decade of experience in managing Communications and PR for Yosemite National Park, first in conservation with Yosemite Conservancy and later managing the marketing and advertising, public relations, and online communications for Yosemite / Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.
She has experience living and working abroad within key tourism sectors representing Yosemite National Park to Media and Travel Trade in four international markets: Scandinavia, UK, Germany, and Australia/New Zealand.
In her role she has worked closely with federal, state, and local government agencies and destination marketing organizations (DMOs), spanning all aspects of the Tourism and Hospitality industry. She has extensive experience with large-scale branding and marketing campaigns, crisis communications, and acting as a destination spokesperson.
She has served on planning commissions for destination development projects, community events, and conservation initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis.
Her role with The Islands of Tahiti brings together her two passions: a love of travel and exploration, with a sincere desire to conserve, protect, and promote with world’s most beautiful natural treasures.
Founder and CEO, Wanderful
Beth Santos is founder and CEO of Wanderful, a leading membership collective of thousands of travelers and travel content creators on a mission to make travel better for women everywhere. In addition to its online community and chapters around the world, Wanderful is creator of the WITS Travel Creator + Brand Summit, a leading event for women travel creatives, marketers, and media, as well as the annual Bessie Awards and the first major outdoor travel festival by and for women, Wanderfest. When she’s not traveling, she’s pulling espressos as co-owner of Ula Cafe, a social justice and community-focused cafe in Boston, or taking exploration walks with her husband and two daughters.
Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die
Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. She is a veteran travel journalist with over thirty years of experience, writing for Frommer’s, Berlitz, and Access travel guides, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and other magazines and newspapers. Her home base is in New York City, but good luck finding her there!
Co-Founder, Thrifty Traveler
Nick Serati is the co-founder of Thrifty Traveler, the leading source for flight deals, cheap travel tips, and learning how to maximize travel rewards. In a previous life, Nick worked in software consulting which required extensive time on the road. He developed a passion for maximizing hotel and airline loyalty programs and using credit cards to travel the world for pennies on the dollar. He left his job in 2018 to run Thrifty Traveler full time with founder Jared Kamrowski, where he now travels over 75,000 miles each year. Nick resides in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Abbey and daughter Elin
Paul Shoul is a Northampton, MA-based photographer, and a staff writer for GoNOMAD. For thirty years he’s lived in the Pioneer Valley and chronicled life there through his work in the Valley Advocate. He’s also been seen in the Boston Globe, New York Times, BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other publications. Today as well as shooting for GoNOMAD he works for local nonprofits, banks, and advertising agencies.
Natasha Lee Soy
Sales Manager, NY NJ & CT, Aruba Tourism Authority
Natasha Lee Soy has been in the hospitality industry for over twenty-four years. She has expertise in Spa Resorts and All-inclusive hotels. She has worked in Public Relations/Marketing for a non-profit organization on Wall Street and now shares her creative talents with the Aruba Tourism Authority and is in charge of NY, CT & NJ areas.
Victoria M. Walker
Senior Travel Reporter, The Points Guy
Victoria M. Walker is the Senior Travel Reporter at The Points Guy, where she covers the pandemic’s effect on travel. At TPG, she writes heavily reported features, special reports, and first-person essays.Victoria’s travel writing has been seen in the New York Times and the Washington Post. She’s also been seen and heard on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and Slate. She currently co-hosts the “As Far As I Know” travel news series on Instagram Live.
She founded Vikkie Ventures in 2017, where she wrote about traveling as a Black woman. In five years, Victoria traveled to over 25 countries and racked up hundreds of thousands of miles in the air.
Between 2017 and 2019, Victoria first served as an adjunct and then full-time multimedia journalism lecturer at her alma mater, Howard University. Victoria taught Multimedia Storytelling, Intro to Media Production and Digital Media Literacy.
She started her career as a video editor at The Washington Post, where she spent nearly three years on the breaking news video desk. She was part of the team that won the Society for Features Journalism’s Diversity in Digital Features award in 2019 for the “Green Book” project.
Victoria lives in New York City with her three-year-old pug, Migo. You can connect with Victoria via email, LinkedIn, or @Vikkie.
- Finalist: National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Awards, 2019 (The Washington Post)
- Won: Society for Features Journalism, Diversity in Digital Features, 2019 (The Washington Post)
- Won: Poynter International Fact-Checking Network Flash Grant (USA), 2018 (Howard University)
- Won: Gracie Award for Outstanding Series, “Campus Sexual Assault Series,” 2015 (NPR, Contributing)