Casper van de Minkelis joins travel start-up Welcome to the World

14 October 2021 2 min. read

Welcome to the World, a fast growing Dubai-based travel platform, has named former Big Four consultant Casper van de Minkelis as its Chief Strategy Officer.

The Dutchman brings over a decade of experience to the travel start-up, nine of which gained at three of the world’s largest professional services firms: Deloitte, KPMG and PwC. 

Most recently, he served KPMG in the Lower Gulf as a Manager, working in its Program Management and Financial Services practices. Before that, he worked for PwC in its Singapore office, and for Deloitte in its consulting arm in the Netherlands, where he completed his Master’s degree and was raised.

Casper van de Minkelis, Chief Strategy Officer, Welcome to the world

Van de Minkelis was first introduced to Welcome to the World during his time at Dubai Tourism, where he over the past three years focused on building alliances and partnerships. Following a call from Stefanie Schachtschabel (another ‘Dutchie’ that has been based in Dubai for a while), who pioneered the travel concept, Van de Minkelis was convinced.

“I was immediately excited when Stefanie told me about creating a platform that connects the traveller and the industry. Driving direct bookings, without paying commissions but instead providing welcoming benefits to help get the industry back on its feet,” Van de Minkelis said.

By bypassing commission-driven aggregators (such as Google and Bing, or online travel matchmakers such as Booking and Expedia), Welcome to the World enables consumers to search for travel and tourism offers at a “discount”, while supporting the sector through direct (higher-margin) bookings. 

Expanding on this win-win, Van de Minkelis said: “Usually, bookings sites charge a high commission, which harms the industry. In addition, to getting inspired about a certain destination and book, you need to go to various platforms. We are bringing this together. 

“So, the consumer books directly at the travel provider or hotel. The knife cuts both ways: the provider pays no commission to an intermediate website, and he gets a direct relation with the customer. While the consumer gets a better experience for less money.” 

One of early investors in the concept, Van de Minkelis has now joined the start-up in a full time capacity. As its Chief Strategy Officer, he will oversee the firm’s strategic agenda and its execution, as well as its innovation ambitions. “I’m very excited about this next chapter in my career and look forward to – together with the team – disrupt the travel industry.”