If there was a time where the Travel and Tourism sector has experienced challenging times, this year 2020 has been one of them. Despite the string of setbacks that has come about as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, some industry players continue to rise and find opportunity in the challenges through innovative thought processes aimed at adapting to the future of the industry’s survival.
Meet Stella Fubara-Obinwa, the Director of International Operations, Dubai Tourism and Balafon West Africa Travel Personality Award Winner for 2017 and 2018. She is a visionary and sterling leader when it comes to the global Travel and Tourism Industry; no wonder she is named among the Top 100 Women in Tourism.
Since 2015, Stella has been overseeing efforts to develop Dubai’s tourism sector as part of her role in positioning Dubai as the global hub for leisure, tourism and commercial activities. Albeit restrictions that had to be put in place as part of measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, she never rested on her oars but consistently engaged industry players and the general public as a whole via hosting interactive online sessions such as webinars, to discuss issues relevant to Dubai and the sector on the way forward.
Although Stella focuses more on the African market, her influence is felt globally. Dubai is currently open to tourists, with adequate measures put in place to ensure the health and safety of residents and visitors.
Stella is of Nigerian origin, and was recognized as part of the country’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in 2019 which honoured phenomenal Nigerian women making a difference both home and abroad. As an industry practitioner, her leadership qualities coupled with her belief in the adoption of innovative practices for the future makes her strive for continuous improvement at all times.
Stella is known for her high intellect and knowledge of the Corporate Environment. She has been a panelist of many business, travel and tourism events; and continues to motivate many people to achieve greater heights. She has also won many leadership awards.
Stella has over two decades of solid experience in business and finance management. Prior to joining the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, she worked as Chief Marketing and Product Development Officer of Wakanow.com. She started her career as a Portfolio Manager with Owens Corning USA, and then moved on to become a Senior Project Controller at the then Deloitte & Touche in 2001. Stella then worked as a Project Finance Manager at Walt Disney World in Orlando where she eventually rose to become Finance Manager for the park’s Costume & Cosmetology division through her excellent managerial skills.
In 2007, Stella became the Director of Marketing Operations for Wyndham Vacation Hotels & Resorts with additional responsibility as Director of Operational Finance & Compensation for the Caribbean, South, and West Coast, USA.
With expertise in Financial Project Management and Hospitality Operation, Stella is a thought leader and an inspiration to many people around the world, especially to women.
It is impossible to talk about Stella without noting her love for fashion which is evident to anyone who has met her.
Stella holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Franklin University Columbus, Ohio; and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and International Marketing from the same University.
Looking at the future of Travel and Tourism, Stella believes that people will like to travel to a place where they feel is the safest to be; and that Dubai has managed the pandemic well enough to provide that kind of assurance. She also believes that one thing we have all learnt from this pandemic is what is truly important to us, which is family. “They are the ones supposed to be getting a lot of our time”, she says.
By: Theresa R. Fianko
Image Credit: TY Bello & Stella Fubara-Obinwa