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Susan Black, Travel Industry Strategist

Susan Black is an accomplished eCommerce and digital strategist, and sought-after speaker, moderator, and conference chairman, with a distinguished career successfully launching businesses and reinvigorating established brands within the travel industry.

Susan’s 60+ global clients include major brands in travel distribution, tour operation, airlines, hotels, travel technology solution providers, GDS, online travel agencies, digital marketing agencies, insurance, travel industry conference producers, publishers, investment banks and private equity firms. Since 2001, Susan has helped her clients improve their financial, technology and operational performance. In addition to her many speaking engagements, she specializes in increasing revenue, competitive positioning, strategy, marketing, and entry into the travel vertical/business development.

Susan is the founder of strategy firms, Black & Wright and Susan Black & Associates, and the highly acclaimed TravelCom Conference and Expo, which she sold to the U.S. Travel Association. She has enjoyed a long, successful history of promoting the Caribbean and Mexico to North American travel agents, in her recent roles as Chief Marketing Officer and EVP at Travel Impressions/American Express Vacations, and Liberty Travel/GOGO Worldwide Vacations. As the former Group Publisher of the Official Tour Directory, Susan launched the first vacation website,, in conjunction with USTOA and Travelocity.

In addition to her advisory engagements, she serves as chairperson, keynoter and moderator for many global eCommerce conferences, including Eye for Travel. These executive conferences attract the most senior travel industry eCommerce, marketing and distribution speakers and attendees.

Susan is the recipient of numerous awards, including six gold, silver and bronze HSMAI Adrian Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in advertising, public relations and digital marketing in the travel industry.

Founded in 1957, the Adrian Awards embraces every segment of the industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, destinations, credit card companies, tour operators and more. Winners are selected from a field of nearly 1,000 entries by senior industry and media experts and honored at the Adrian Awards Gala in NYC, held each January in NYC.

In addition, Susan earned seven gold and four silver Magellan Awards. Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards honor innovators in the travel industry across a broad range of industry segments. Decided on by a panel of travel experts, Magellan Award winners represent the best in the travel industry and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all.


Select 2015/2016 Symposium Chair and Keynote Presentations:

BTO Buy Tourism Online – Florence, Italy November 30-December 1
Attendees: 10,000 European hotels, airlines, tourist offices, OTAs, and other industry executives
Keynote presenter

Travel Distribution Summit North America – Las Vegas, October 6-7
Attendees: 600+ hotels, airlines, tourist offices, OTAs, and other travel industry executives
Chairman/MC, Keynote presenter and panel moderator

CVENT CONNECT – Las Vegas, June 26-30
Attendees: 1,000+ hospitality/meeting executives (Invitation-only)
Chairman/MC, Keynote presenter and panel moderator

The Affluent Traveler Symposium – Palm Springs , June 7-9
Attendees: 150+ Affluent Traveler Collection travel specialists and preferred hotel suppliers (invitation-only)
Keynote presenter

DigMe – The Digital Media Travel Summit – Philadelphia, April 13-14
Attendees: 300+ travel and tourism marketers, publishers, media buyers, agencies, solution providers
Keynote presenter and panel moderator
“2016: The State of Direct-to-Hotel Bookings”

Innovation Mainstage – NY TravFest – Brooklyn, April 16
Attendees: 100+ investors, funders and travel start-ups
Panel Moderator: “Investments in Travel”

Fifth Annual eCommerce Media Forum 2016 – Hook Logic, NYC, May 12
Attendees: 35 eCommerce executives focused on media-based monetization; brand marketers, advertising agency innovators (invitation-only)
Master of Ceremonies: Online Travel Symposium

Online Marketing Strategies for Travel: The Americas and Caribbean – Miami, May 17-18
Attendees: 400+ hotels, airlines, tourist offices, OTAs, and other travel industry executives
Chairman/MC, Keynote presenter and panel moderator

Eye for Travel Mobile & Innovation Strategies – San Francisco, March 14-15, 2016
Attendees: 350 travel and eCommerce senior executives
“Position Mobile For Success Within Your Digital Strategy”
Conference Chairman/MC, Keynoter and panel moderator

Private Equity Client – NYC, November 15, 2015
Attendees: Investors, Travel and Hospitality Subject Matter Experts and Executives (invitation-only)
“Private Equity and Travel eCommerce: Cashing In or Cashing Out?”
Full Day Conference/ MC and Keynoter

Travel + SocialGood Academy, NYC, October, 23, 2015
Attendees: 200 travel industry start-ups, investors, and travel and tourism leaders
“2015-2016 Megatrend: The Year of Mobile Innovation and Disruption”
Master-Class Keynoter

Caribbean Tourism Marketing Conference – NYC, June 6, 2015
Attendees: 200+ Caribbean tourism executives, including resorts and Tourist Boards
“How Can You Use Social and Mobile to Create A Digitally Skilled Destination?”
Moderator and Keynoter

Aruba Tourist Authority Strategy Retreat – NYC, June 5, 2015
Attendees: 60+ members of Aruba Tourist Authority (invitation-only)
“Increasing Visits, RevPar and Spend Among Affluent Leisure Travelers via Digital Channels”
MC and Keynoter

Private Equity Client – NYC, July 6, 2015
Attendees: Investors, Travel and Hospitality Subject Matter Experts and Executives
“Private Equity and Travel eCommerce: Cashing In or Cashing Out?”
Conference Moderator and Keynoter

British Virgin Islands Marketing Retreat – BVI
Attendees: 100 BVI tourism and hotel executives (invitation-only)
“Engaging the 2015 Affluent Leisure Traveler: Insights, Trends and Best Practices”
MC and Keynoter

St Croix Bridal Symposium – St. Croix, USVI
Attendees: 100 tourism, hotel, villa, supplier/vendor and travel agent executives
“How Can You Use Social and Mobile to Create A Digitally Savvy Hospitality Business?

Selected Past and Current Client Speaking Engagements:


What Industry Leaders Say About Susan Black…

Jeff Glueck
CEO at Foursquare, Former CMO, Travelocity

Susan is one of the most thoughtful and connected people in the travel industry I know. She is one of the few people with a grounding
in traditional travel who “get it” about where travel is moving in the age of digital lives and social media.

David Chestler
EVP Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development at SiteMinder

Susan is that rare character that you feel you have known your whole life. She is savvy, articulate and has a knack for revenue and messaging that makes most Mckinsey consultants jealous, yet she is as personable and caring as a familial relation. I have collaborated with Susan on several projects and have always found her to be prepared and ready for business. She is focused on creating opportunities and enabling the right people and business plan to emerge and flourish. I trust and believe in Susan and her abilities without question.

James Hepple
President and CEO, Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association

As President of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association we needed someone to provide our 80 members with a state of the art assessment of current thinking and practices in the online marketing field. Susan has an enormous wealth of experience not only in the field itself but is highly skilled in effectively presenting such information. Susan created an excellent team to give us an extraordinary 2-day seminar and workshop which was highly successful for our 200+ attendees. Susan led the seminar and is extremely adept at involving the audience in a constructive dialogue. We were very happy with the whole experience

Brad King
VP Global Sales at Sojern

Susan is a clear thought leader in the travel industry. She has an amazing grasp of travel distribution and how new media and marketing tools can be used to optimize channels and ultimately drive success. I would not hesitate to recommend Susan for any company looking to break into the travel vertical or improve their competitive position.

Danny Hudson
VP, Business Solutions & IT Strategy at Wyndham Hotel Group

When you need to stand out from the crowd, when you need innovative marketing, when you need results from your marketing spend call Susan. Susan understands the market, your competitive set, will listen to your needs and create a marketing strategy for you that generates success, grows your business and gives you a lead on the competition. I have known Susan for a number of years now as an industry contact and have also had the privilege of working with her. Susan is a “must have”. He who hesitates comes in second, don’t wait – you need Susan now

Jonathan Spitz
Travel Director – Multimedia Advertising Platforms at Bloomberg LP

One the best and the brightest in the travel industry. Deep understanding of everything from online marketing to distribution channel partnerships to high level strategic planning. Simply a joy to work with.

Brian Batts
VP, Travel at HookLogic, Inc.

Susan has an uncanny ability to view a situation, see where the gaps and opportunities are, and come up with a way to capitalize on them. A week is not complete without having spoken to Susan, and hearing another bit of marketing genius pop out of her head – always in terms of delivering real value to customers – regardless of where they are in the value chain.

Gil Keinan
Vice President, Hotel Asset Management at CIM Group

Susan is highly knowledgeable in her field of business and, at the same time, is capable of quickly understanding her clients’ business models. She is a delight to work with and understands her clients’ needs for having a real bottom dollar effect. Susan is an expert in matters of eCommerce, Social Media, Distribution and Big Data. Susan is also a dynamic and engaging speaker who always has a captive audience at Eye For Travel events. It is always a pleasure to work with Susan.

John Peters
Former President at USA TODAY Travel Media Group

Beyond extraordinary contacts, Susan knows what to do with her connections. Susan’s specialty is being able to expertly guide you through strategic initiatives that will make you money, save you money or both.

Rick Seaney
CEO at FareCompare LP

You won’t find a more knowledgeable travel business person than Susan. She quickly adapts to the fast pace of change in online travel which is no small feat. Highly recommend her.

Jim Sherman
Founder & CEO at Hamptons Lane; + Angel Investor

Susan is an energetic leader who gets the job done — on time and on point. She is creative, articulate, driven, and strategic. Susan is the consummate strategist and marketing leader. She also knows the travel industry backwards and forwards, and can likely write the authoritative book on it.

David Loy
President & Founder at Epitourean

Susan Black has extensive knowledge in both the travel and publishing industries. Her network of contacts are invaluable in assisting companies in their pursuit of business development and product planning. Susan continues to be a great resource, and we look forward to working with her on future projects.

Stephen (Steve) Matise
Global Head of Supplier Management at Travelport

Susan is an outstanding marketing leader; one who has the ability to identify the need, set the strategy, and execute on plans that produce results. She is a dynamo of creativity, and a true pleasure to know and work with. I would welcome the opportunity to work with Susan again at any time.

Jonathan Yarmis
Senior Analyst at The Skills Connection

The success of eTravelWorld was largely due to Susan’s efforts. First of all, she knows everyone who’s anyone. More importantly, though, she was able to turn those relationships into value for all parties — for the participants, for attendees and for the company. Lastly, she is an absolute delight to work with, exhibiting a can-do attitude and positive disposition.


Susan Black