Karen Hoffman is President of The Bradford Group (BG), an award-winning public relations, marketing and advertising agency based in New York City. BG is a boutique agency with a global reach, with a dedicated focus on travel & hospitality. Karen guides the overall corporate vision and strategy for the firm and its clients. She continues, together with her experienced team, to achieve success by developing innovative strategies & programs. While staying on the cutting edge of the ever-evolving world of communications and delivering exceptional results quickly and cost-effectively. Karen is well-connected and well-respected in the global travel industry, which enables her and the BG team to leverage their strong strategic media and industry relationships to develop new partnerships on behalf of their clients.
Karen has developed innovative marketing, promotional and communication strategies for a diverse range of destinations, hospitality and airline clients in South America, Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe.
Karen created and initiated the prestigious World Tourism Awards, now in its 21st year, on behalf of Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) presented at World Travel Market London. The BG secures the sponsors and researches and proposes worthy honorees to the sponsors. The 2019 sponsors are The New York Times, United Airlines. The Travel Corporation, Travel industry icon and Emmy award winning journalist, Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor, the Awards’ Master of Ceremonies for six years, was also secured by the BG. The World Tourism Awards continue to grow in recognition and prestige as a result of the global publicity generated by the BG for the Awards, the sponsors and the honorees.
In the Luxury space, Karen has been instrumental in identifying and creating opportunities to partner with Luxury media and Luxury brands for appropriate clients. When the newly opened Corinthia London unveiled its Penthouse Suites, she negotiated with the Luxury Marketing Council to partner with Corinthia on events that would target the UHNW audience. This resulted in successfully events created with the Luxury Marketing Council and partnering with upscale media brands such as Elite Traveler and Forbes to showcase Corinthia London and its Penthouses. Partnering again with the Luxury Marketing Council and the New York Times Global, the BG helped organize a Luxury Summit in London hosted by and at Corinthia London. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to introduce the new Corinthia flagship and Penthouses to London-based luxury brands (November, 2012). Karen has also been a speaker at several Luxury Marketing Council events, building her reputation as an expert on Luxury Travel.
On behalf of the Tanzania Tourist Board, Karen developed a focus on the growing luxury product, working with high end luxury safari camps and luxury tour operators to secure high profile coverage in broadcast, print and digital media.
Karen has been at the cutting edge of the promotion of tourism in Africa for more than 20 years, before many African destinations became the trendy new hot spots that they are today. Her clients in Africa have included the tourism Ministries of the Gambia, Kenya, Zambia, and Morocco; Hotel Intercontinental Africa as well as Zambia Airways .Karen was instrumental in negotiating and launching Tanzania’s first ever TV commercial with two successful campaigns running on CNN USA and WABC-TV. Tanzania Tourism from the US more than doubled as a result of the ad campaign making the US one of Tanzania’s top source markets; and tourism as Tanzania’s #1 economic sector.
Karen served as the Africa Travel Association’s (ATA) Media Director for many years and received the ATA Founder’s Award and an Award for “Outstanding Promotion of Tourism to the Continent of Africa.” Karen served two terms as First Vice President on the International Board of the Africa Travel Association. Presently she serves on ATA’s International Advisory Board and Co-chairs ATA’s Film Tourism Committee.
Karen is sought after to speak at travel industry events and guest lecture at prestigious higher educational institutions including:
● Harvard Business School Africa Conference
● Luxury Marketing Council
● Chair, Sports Tourism, Jerusalem International Tourism Summit May 2013
● Africa Travel Association (frequent speaker at ATA’s annual conferences)
● Chair, Film Tourism Panel, ATA International Conference in Rwanda, 2017
● New York University International Hospitality Investment Conference, June 2018
● Guest lecturer at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management.
Karen is a member of SKAL, Cornell Hotel Society and the Luxury Marketing Council.
She serves as the Goodwill Ambassador in the US for Just a Drop, the International Clean Water Charity based in London and the official charity of The Bradford Group.
Karen holds a BA in Political Science from Boston University; Masters in Travel and Tourism Administration from the New School in New York City; and completed the Advanced Management Program at Cornell University Hotel School.