Biographical Sketches of Panelists

Organized by:

En collaboration with:

 

3rd UNWTO GLOBAL SUMMIT ON CITY TOURISM:

“New Paradigms in City Tourism Development”

9-10 December, 2014 Barcelona, SPAIN

Back to summit webpage.

 

Introduction to the sessions

Prof. Dr. Karl Wöber, President, Modul University Vienna, Austria

Prof. Johannes Novy, Department for Planning Theory at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany

Dr. Xavier Font, Director at Respondeco, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Mrs. Yolanda Perdomo, Director of Affiliate Members Programme, UNWTO

 

Moderators

Mr. Carlos Vogeler, Director – Executive Secretary of Member Relations, UNWTO

Mr. Jordi Wiliam Carnes, Director General, Turisme de Barcelona, Spain

Mr. Antonio López de Ávila, Director, Segittur, Spain

Mr. Joan Torrella, Tourism and Events Director, Barcelona City Council, Spain

 

Session´s Panelists

Session 1

Mr. Ignasi de Delás, Presidente ECM (European Cities Marketing)

Mr. Li Baochun, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF)

Mrs. Marta Valero San Paulo, General Deputy Director for Knowledge and  Touristic Studies, Turespaña, Spain

Mr. Rod Cameron, Executive Director, Join Meetings Industry Council

 

Session 2

Mr. Pedro Ortún, Director, European Commission Directorate-General  for Enterprise and Industry European Commission “European Tourism Indicators System”

Mr. Frans van der Avert, CEO, Amsterdam Marketing - City marketing organisation of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, The Netherlands

Mr. Juan José Cardona, Mayor of Las Palmas, Spain

Mr. Francesc Vila, Manager of Tourism Services at Diputación de Barcelona, Spain

Mr. Ian Stazicker, Tourism Sales Director – Global Marketing, Value Retail PLC, United Kingdom

 

Session 3

Mr. Marian Muro, General Director of Turism, Generalitat de Catalunya

Mr. Dimitrios Buhalis, Director eTourismLab Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

Mr. Laurent Queige, Managing Director, Welcome City Lab, Paris, France

Dr. Don Hawkins, Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy, George Washington University, USA

 

Session 4

Mr. José Luis Zoreda, Deputy Chairman, Exceltur, Spain

Dr. Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal, Executive Director, CICtourGUNE, Spain

Dr. Clemens Költringer, Marketing Analyst, Strategic Destination Development, Vienna Tourist Board, Austria

Mr. Masih Sharif, Tourism Bank of Iran, The Islamic Republic of Iran

Go to Top

 

SESSION 1: Setting the Stage: Opportunities and Threats in a Changing Environment

The session will provide a global insight into the positioning of city tourism along with the new dynamics and trends in the overall market place and explore the necessary policies to adapt to change.

 

Prof. Dr. Karl Wöber, President, Modul University Vienna, Austria

Prof. Karl Wöber Karl Wöber is Full Professor and Founding President of MODUL University Vienna. He has benn also the chairman of the Austrian Private University Conference since 2012. He is one of four Austrian members of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He acquired his PhD from the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Over the last 20 years Karl’s interdisciplinary research focused on computer support in tourism and hospitality marketing and management, decision support systems, and economics. The principle questions underlying most of his research activities are how to improve the decision making of managers and consumers by providing decision support tools. He particularly investigated various forms of collaborative decision making methods and methods for solving multi-criteria decision making problems. This research led to the development of the most comprehensive tourism marketing and management information system (www.tourmis.info) which  draws upon his expertise in tourism statistics, benchmarking, forecasting, marketing, and strategic planning.

He has been Technical Advisor of European Cities Marketing and the European Travel Commission for more than 15 years and is also member of the Expert committee of the World Tourism Cities Federation, the International Advisory Board of the Vienna Tourism Board and member of the Tourism Advisory Board to the Austrian Minister of Economic Affairs. In 2010, Karl Wöber received the Johann Strauss Gold Medal for his outstanding contributions for the development of tourism in Vienna. Go to Top

 

Mr. Carlos Vogeler, Director – Executive Secretary of Member Relations, UNWTO

Carlos VogelerMr. Vogeler carried out his studies in Spain and Canada and graduated in Tourism Business Administration at “Rey Juan Carlos” University in Madrid. Post-graduate in Business Administration by the Business School IESE of the University of Navarra – Spain.

Held management positions in the Tour Operator Pullmantur, (Deputy Managing Director) and in RCI, part of the American group Wyndham Worldwide, where he was Vice president for Western Europe and then Vice-president of Global Account Strategy & Industry Relations.

He was Chairman of the Affiliate Members of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) from 2005 to 2008 representing the private sector and is also a professor at “Rey Juan Carlos” University in the Dpt. of Business Economics and the author of various text books on international tourism structure.

Since December 2008 he has joined the UNWTO Secretariat, as Regional Director for the Americas and in January 2014 he was appointed Director-Executive Secretary of Member Relations. Go to Top

 

Mr. Ignasi de Delàs, Presidente ECM (European Cities Marketing)

Ignasi de DelàsMr. Ignasi de Delàs graduated in Economics and Management Sciences from the University of Barcelona. From 1983 to 1991 he worked as consultant for different private companies, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

In 1992 he joined the Barcelona Official Chamber of Commerce as Director for Tourism where he contributed to create and develop Turisme de Barcelona in 1993. the private-public tourist board of the city where he worked from 1993 till 2004. He also acted as Member of the Board (2000-2004) and Vice-president (2002-2004) of European Cities Tourism (ECT). In 2004 Mr. de Delàs became General Manager of the Catalan Tourism Board a position he held until 2011.

At present he is the Deputy General Manager of Turisme de Barcelona (www.barcelonaturisme.com) and president of European Cities Marketing (ECM) since 2013. (www.europeancitiesmarketing.com). Go to Top
 

 

Mr. Li Baochun, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Cities Federation(WTCF)

Li BaochunMr. Li Baochun was born in 1964. He got his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology and master’s degree in Management from University of Saint Joseph in Conneticut, United States.

Mr. Li used to serve as Chief of the Economy Division of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region and Chief of the International Liaison Division of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality.

He is currently Deputy Director of the Secretariat of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF). Go to Top

 

Mrs. Marta Valero San Paulo, General Deputy Director for Knowledge and  Touristic Studies, Turespaña, Spain

Marta ValeroBorn in Madrid in 1980, Ms. Valero went to the French School in Madrid. She later studied from 1998-2002 at the College for Financial Studies (CUNEF) and holds a degree in  Management and Business Administration.

In 2007 she qualified as a civil service commercial expert and trade attaché after passing the state examinations and started her professional career in the Spanish Central Administration at the Subdirectorate General for the Internationalization of Financial Development.  In 2008 she became Deputy Assistant Director General representing Spain as president of the group of creditors for exportation in the European Union during the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council opposing the OECD. In 2014 after living three years in Ghana, Ms. Valero joined Turespaña as General Deputy for Knowledge and Tourism Studies.

Since 2009 Ms. Valero has been a lecturer in the field of internationalisation of financing operations at the Center for Economic and Commercial Studies (CECO) in Madrid in collaboration with the International University Menéndez Pelayo. She has published various articles in the Spanish Journal “ Información Económica Española” and worked as a translator for the World Bank. Go to Top
 

Mr. Rod Cameron, Executive Director, Join Meetings Industry Council

Rod CameronRod Cameron is President of Criterion Communications Inc., a strategic management consultancy based in Vancouver, Canada with an extensive practice in international convention centre and association management, marketing and development.

Through his company, he currently serves as Executive Director of the Brussels-based International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), whose members include 173 International convention centres in 54 countries worldwide and Manager of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), an organization consisting of 15 major international meetings industry associations. He is also the Faculty Head for the AIPC Academy, a leading industry professional development program held annually in Brussels.

His areas of expertise include industry relations, facility development, management and marketing, event organization and professional development, working with clients ranging from facilities and corporations to governments and professional associations. In addition, he has worked on a number of major projects and participated in the evaluation of facility and program proposals on behalf of various levels of government in a number of different countries.

He speaks and writes regularly on the international convention industry on behalf of industry associations and individual clients and carries out research projects and sector analyses to document and support industry issues. More than 300 of his articles have appeared in Industry publications and he has delivered over 120 presentations to a variety of international audiences in 25 countries and authored a number of publications on various aspects of industry development and convention centre management. Go to Top

 

Session 2: Tourism as an Engine for Shaping Cities and their Surroundings

Cities interact with their hinterlands and with the wider global community. Within this context, tourism not only contributes to their shaping and rejuvenation but also constitutes a central component in their economies, social life and geography. This session will focus on the mutual impact of tourism and urban development.

 

Prof. Johannes Novy, Department for Planning Theory at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany

Johannes NovyJohannes Novy is an urbanist and works as a professor for planning theory at the Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg. He studied urban planning and urban studies in Germany, Italy and the United States and finished his education with a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University, New York, in 2011.

Johannes is an associate member of the Berlin-based Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS), (co-)coordinates "UrbanLab+", an international network of higher education institutions in the fields of architecture, urban planning and design, and regularly publishes in both academic and mainstream publications on issues related urban and planning theory, urban (development) politics, as well as contemporary patterns of urban tourism and leisure consumption. Go to Top

 

Mr. Jordi Wiliam Carnes, Director General, Turisme de Barcelona, Spain

Jordi Wiliam CarnesMr. Jordi William Carnes (Barcelona, 1959), is a philology graduate, although he has worked for much of his professional career in the field of politics and for government bodies such as Barcelona Provincial Council, where he was Head of the President’s Office, the Catalan Government, where he was Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, and the Barcelona City Council, where he was Deputy Mayor in charge of budget and economic promotion. His academic background also includes an M.A. in Public Administration from ESADE and a Senior Management Programme at IESE.

He left Barcelona City Council in 2013 and embarked on a career in the private sector, founding CGP Consultancy. He is currently CEO of the Barcelona Tourism Board and President of the Catalan Technological Foundation (CTECNO).Go to Top
 

Mr. Pedro Ortún, Director, European Commission Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry European Commission

Pedro OrtúnMr Ortún is an Industrial engineer, specialised in Chemistry and in Industrial Organisation, with a Doctorate in Business Administration, Director in the European Commission since 1988, in charge of different industrial and services sectors.

In January 2000, he became responsible in particular for Tourism and Service Industries, as well as for Corporate Social Responsibility within DG Enterprise and Industry. In January 2007, he was nominated Director responsible for the “New Approach Industries” (Equipment Goods, Construction Products, Toys), the Standardisation Policy, Tourism and CSR. 

From September 2010, he was the Director responsible for Tourism, CSR and Consumer Goods Industries in DG Enterprise and Industry. Since last October 2012, he is the Director in charge of Tourism, of the Textiles, Fashion, Design and Creative Industries and of Key Enabling Technologies and the Digital Economy. Go to Top

 

Mr. Frans van der Avert, CEO, Amsterdam Marketing - City marketing organisation of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, The Netherlands

Frans van der AvertFrans van der Avert is CEO of Amsterdam Marketing in Amsterdam, NL. He received his degree from Reinwardt Academy of Museum Management in 1984, going on to specialise in cultural marketing.

From 1991 to 2002, he worked at Amsterdam’s celebrated Rijksmuseum in public relations. In 2002, Van der Avert was named Director of Communication, Education and Marketing for exhibition centres De Nieuwe Kerk and Hermitage Amsterdam. There he was responsible for marketing the launch of the new Hermitage Museum, which opened in June 2009. For his success, he was awarded the title of Communication Person of the Year by the Dutch Association of Communication Professionals.

Since 2011, Van der Avert has been the Chief Marketing Officer at Amsterdam Partners of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. In this function, he was responsible for merging three marketing organisations into one new city marketing organisation, Amsterdam Marketing. In January 2013, he was appointed CEO of Amsterdam Marketing. Van der Avert resides in Amsterdam since 1984, and serves as a member to several different boards and advisory committees of the Dutch Museum Association and various companies. Go to Top

 

Mr. Juan José Cardona, Mayor of Las Palmas, Spain

Juan José CardonaBorn in the city of Arucas, Gran Canaria in 1962, Juan José Cardona graduated in law at the Complutense University of Madrid in 1986. He started practicing the legal profession and in 1992 he took additionally the Presidency of the Federation of Employers of Transport, a post that he held until 1995.

From 1995-1999 he was Councillor in charge of Traffic, Parking and Transportation and Third Deputy Mayor in the City of Las Palmas, with José Manuel Soria as Mayor.In 1999 his mandate got renewed and he acted as Councilor for Urban Areas and Car Parks and Third Deputy Mayor for a second term.Within the conversative People´s Party (PP) of Gran Canaria Island he was its president from 2000-2004.

In 2003 he made the move from the local to the regional level to the Inter-island Council of Gran Canaria along with José Manuel Soria. He became Vice President, Minister of Tourism and also Chairman of the Tourism Board of the island from 2003-2007. Between 2007 - 2011, he worked as a lawyer and director of various companies. Since May 2011 Mr. Cardona has been the Mayor of Las Palmas.Go to Top

 

Mr. Francesc Vila, Manager of Tourism Services at Diputación de Barcelona, Spain

Francesc VilaMr. Francesc Vila graduated from the University of Barcelona in Philosophy and Education Sciences. He started his professional career in 1982 as the Coordinator of Culture and Youth Education at the Vilanova City Hall where he worked until 1992 when he became the director of the Centro de Estudios y Recursos Culturales (CERC) at the Barcelona Provincial Council. In 1996 he took a new position as the deputy director of the Office for Artistic Dissemination at the  Department of Culture in the same administration and stayed there until 2003. 

Between January and March 2014 he was briefly Secretary General of the Department of Culture in the Government of Catalonia before he became Director of the Cultural again Services Barcelona Provincial Council. From 2007 to 2012 Mr. Vila worked as Deputy Manager of the Provincial Tourism Office of Barcelona. Since January 2012 he has been the General Manager of Tourism Services at Barcelona Provincial Council. Go to Top

 

Mr. Ian Stazicker, Group Tourism Director, Global Marketing, Value Retail PLC, United Kingdom

Ian Stazicker Ian Stazicker has over 25 years Travel Industry sales & marketing experience. Prior to joining Value Retail 2010, he served as VP, International Sales for Carey International, the world’s leading premium chauffer drive company. This role was based in London but covered the regions of EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Starting his career working for the Thomson Travel Group, he has held other Senior Management positions with Alamo Rent A Car, Groupline and Europcar International which was based in the United States for 7 years. 

Ian is currently based in the London but in his current role as Group Tourism Director, Global Marketing with Value Retail is responsible for driving the Tourism strategy in key long haul markets such as China, Russia South East Asia & Middle East as well as in Europe.Go to Top

 

Session 3: Smart and Responsible Tourism: Knowledge and Technology

This session will highlight how innovation can be a vehicle for enhancing competitiveness through developing new products, addressing niche markets and upgrading quality, thus compose a strategic vision and direction for city tourism development. Illustrative cases will also demonstrate how knowledge and technology can synergize to practice responsible tourism experience in cities.

Dr. Xavier Font

Xavier FontDr Xavier Font is an expert in responsible tourism marketing, with extensive experience in industry and government training on all aspects of sustainable tourism production and consumption.

He is the most published academic in the world in sustainable tourism certification, having consulted on this subject for UNEP, UNCTAD, UNWTO, IFC, EC, VisitEngland, Fáilte Ireland, WWF and the Travel Foundation amongst others. He provides training and advice on sustainability communications for businesses and destinations at www.responsibletourismcommunication.com   Go to Top

 

Mr. Antonio López de Ávila

Antonio LópezAntonio López de Ávila was appointed as President of SEGITTUR (State society for the Management of Innovation and Tourism Technologies) in February 2012 after he took the office as Director of the Cabinet of the State Secretary for Tourism in January 2012.

A renowned scholar focused on various research areas in tourism including destination and tourism product development, MICE, application of technologies to tourism product and market, Mr. López de Ávila worked at IE Business School for over a decade. Before joining the government sector, he was previously served as the school’s Director of the Tourism Unit, Tourism Research Centre and Executive Master in Tourism Management, Academic Director of the Programme in Tourism Management. Between 2001 and 2004, Mr. López de Ávila was an advisor to the Secretary of State for Tourism and Commerce, Government of Spain. He was also an entrepreneur as founding partner of the Spanish Institute for Business Management and many other companies. He also was Trustee of Paradores de Turismo, a Spanish state owned chain of luxury hotels usually located in historic buildings such as a monasteries, palaces or castles.

Mr. López de Ávila earned an Executive Master in Business Administration from IE Business School. He also holds a Master Degree in Foreign Trade from ESIC and a Bachelor Degree in Law from ULPGC (Spain). Go to Top

 

Ms. Marian Muro

Marian MuroMrs Marian Muro gradudated in law from the University of Bracelona in 1992. She attended a series of specialisation courses in law of associations and tourism law and succesfully finished a course in Innovation Strategies and Public Management Leadership at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona.

She worked as lawyer at the Roig-Plans Law Firm and held various positions at the Association of Catalan Travel Agencies (ACAV). She had been working as Manager and Head of the Legal Advice Department at ACAV before she became General Director of the Association. She has also been a member of the tourism commison of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE), member of the board of the group of national travel agents' and tour operators' association (ECTAA); member of the Agency Programme Joint Council (APJC – with IATA and tarvel agents associations), was actively involved in organizing committee of the Catalonia International Tourism Show (SITC) and acted as mediator at the Consumer Arbitration Board of Catalonia and the Consumer Arbitration Board of Barcelona.

Mrs Muro has participated as speaker and panellists in a variety of national and international forums, seminars and conferences and has published articles on tourism issues in a range of different media. In her current position as General Director of Tourism in the Generalitat of Catalonia some of her outstanding projects were the implementation of the hotel tax system based on overnight stays in Catalonia, the regulation of tourist apartments and the approval of the Strategic Plan for Catalunya Tourism 2013-2016 and Tourism Marketing Plan for Catalonia. Go to Top

 

Mr. Dimitrios Buhalis

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Technology and Tourism. He is currently Director of the eTourism Lab at the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University.  He is widely regarded as an expert in the impacts of ICTs in the tourism industry, the management of tourism distribution channels as well as in strategic tourism marketing and management.

Dimitrios is still an active tourism practitioner working closely with tourism organisations, governments and hospitality businesses for strategic marketing, technology and experience innovations. Dimitrios has been involved with a number of European Commission FP5, FP6, FP7 projects and regularly advises the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) and the European Commission on eTourism.

Dimitrios represents Bournemouth University to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) where he served as a Vice President on the Board of Affiliate Members (2012-2014). Dimitrios frequently advises governments, hotel chains and hospitality organisations globally including Aliathon Holiday Village Cyprus, Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel, Greece, Hotel Icon Hong Kong as well as the Governments of Egypt, Andorra and Michoacan, Mexico. He is also the immediate past President of the International Federation of Information Technology for Travel and Tourism (IFITT) (2010-2014). For more information see www.buhalis.com   Go to Top

 

Mr. Laurent Queige

Laurent QueigeAfter his studies at Montpellier Business School (Sup’ de Co. Montpellier) and a master's degree in international tourism, Mr. Laurent Queige started his professional career as a group tour guide. He then worked as travel agent at Via Voyages and later became press officer at Maison de la France in Italy. He also worked as marketing and management consultant for Setel France and was in charge of the Regional Plan for Tourism 2000/2010 that was developed for the Regional Committee of Ile-de-France Tourisme.

From 2001 to 2013 Mr. Queige held the position of Chief of Staff of the Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of tourism. He was actively piloting the tourist attraction strategy of Paris in all its stages: elaboration, quality management, marketing, e-tourism, market intelligence and forecast, communication and international relations. Its main achievements are: the association of Paris- Capital of Creativity, the Charter of Quality in Hospitality for Paris, the Paris Nightlife Action Plan, the Festival Nuits Capitales and the Creative Paris Initiative.

He is currently Managing Director of Welcome City Lab, first tourist incubator in the world, whose objective is to position Paris as a leading destination for innovation in tourism.Go to Top

 

Prof. Don Hawkins

Donald E. HawkinsDr. Hawkins is the founder of the Tourism Studies Program at The George Washington University. He is the author or editor of more than 100 articles and books including: Tourism in Contemporary Society, Ecotourism Planning and Management, and Turismo Venezuela. He is also the founding Editor of the Journal of Leisure Research. He received the Ulysses Prize for tourism scholarship from the UNWTO in 2003.

Dr. Hawkins is internationally recognized for his leadership role and research in tourism development and planning. In recent years, he has undertaken major projects in Republic of Georgia, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Egypt, Jamaica, Venezuela, Argentina, Bermuda, Panama, Philippines, Canada and the United States. Dr. Hawkins’s research interests include: ecotourism development, tourism policy analysis and strategic planning, post-secondary hospitality and tourism education, destination competitiveness, integrated tourism marketing, economic development and foreign investment promotion.Go to Top

 

Session 3: City Tourism Measurement for Global Benchmarking

This session will present an overview of the UNWTO Affiliate Member common methodology and economic impact scorecard developed to facilitate the comparison and development of best practice standards for cities internationally.  
This standardized set of indicators will be presented along with illustrative presentations focusing on its findings, preliminary conclusions and best practice examples by project participants and relevant stakeholders.

Mrs. Yolanda Perdomo

Yolanda PerdomoYolanda Perdomo is the Director of the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme. The Affiliate Members Programme has over 400 Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
Yolanda has experience in both the public and private sectors and is an expert in tourism destination promotion and distribution. She has been Vice-Councilor for Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands and Managing Director of PROMOTUR, the organization in charge of the promotion of tourism in the Canary Islands. During this time she had direct responsibility for the implementation and oversight of the communication and promotion campaigns for tourism, strategic plans, statistical and competitive analysis, loyalty campaigns and the creation of product clusters with the aim of diversifying and differentiating tourism products. With InnovaTurismo, Yolanda was Manager of tourism projects. She has also been Director of the BungalowsClub booking portal, as well as Business Development Manager at Tourism Revolution Ecosystem (TRE).

Born in the Canary Islands (Spain), Yolanda attended the American University of Paris, lived for five years in France, one in the United States, three in Italy and now works in Madrid. Go to Top

Mr. Joan Torrella

Joan TorrellaJoan Torrella has a Degree in Psychology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a Master’s Degree in Managerial Function in Public Administration from ESADE.

He has worked in the public administration since 1983 taking on various management posts in the fields of Human Resource Management and the territorial management of services for people. Since the year 2000, he has focused his work on the area of economic promotion of the city where he has worked in the departments of strategic sectors, territorial economic promotion, and tourism and events.

He has been member of the Executive Committee of Barcelona Tourism since 2008. Go to Top


Mr. José Luis Zoreda

José Luis ZoredaJosé Luis Zoreda is a Spanish citizen graduated in Economics from the University of Barcelona, Spain (1972) and holds an MBA degree from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain (1975) as well as a PMD (Program for Management Development) from the Harvard Business School in Boston - USA (1992).

Since 2001, José Luis Zoreda is the CEO of EXCELTUR, the Spanish Alliance for Tourism Excellence, a 13-year-old lobby formed by the 23 most relevant Spanish tourism companies from various sub sectors of the industry. The basic aims and objectives of EXCELTUR are to enhance the socio-economic perception and recognition of tourism as the most relevant sector of the Spanish economy, and to foster in close cooperation with the public sector authorities, the best conditions for the Spanish tourism industry to prosper and improve its long term competitiveness.

Before setting up EXCELTUR, Mr. Zoreda was involved from 1997-2001 with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), where he created and served as the first Chief Executive Officer of the then called “World Tourism Organization Business Council: WTOBC“. Prior to joining UNWTO, and for twelve years, he formed part of the Board of Directors and was a special Advisor to the Chairman of Meliá Hotels International. Go to Top


Dr. Aurkene Alzua-Sorzabal

Aurkene Alzua-SorzabalDr. Alzua-Sorzabal received her Ph.D. in Outdoor Recreation and International Tourism from Purdue University, Indiana, U.S.A (1999). Dr. Alzua is currently the Executive Director of Centre for Cooperative Research in Tourism of the Basque Country, CICtourGUNE, and a faculty member at the University of Deusto.

She has extensive academic experience and has led significant research programs at national and European level in the field of Tourism and Technologies: measurement, modeling and the adoption and integration of ICT in tourism. She has numerous publications and she presently serves as a Board Member for several organizations including, IFITT, EUREKA TOURISME, the European network for technological innovations in the tourism sector, the Basque Innovation Agency and member of the Editorial Board of JITT, Journal  of Information Technology & Tourism. Moreover, she is member of the Statistics Committee of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Go to Top

Dr. Clemens Költringer

Clemens KöltringerClemens Költringer is a Marketing Analyst at the Department for Strategic Destination Development at the Vienna Tourist Board. Next to his responsibility for Market- and Marketing-Research, Clemens is a Research Associate of MODUL University Vienna and therefore serves as the link between academia and the tourism industry. In his role as the chairperson of European Cities Marketing’s Editorial Board, Clemens is in charge of the production of the annual European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report which compares city tourism statistics for more than 100 cities in Europe.

Before starting his position at the Vienna Tourist Board he worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management at MODUL University Vienna. Clemens has substantial operational experiences in the tourism industry based on his work within destination management and marketing organizations as well as consolidated tourism training and further education starting from 1996. Go to Top

Mr. Masih Sharif

Masih Sharif Masih Sharif is Founding Director of Tourism Leaders. A tourism economist from University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Spain and a graduate of ECO College of Insurance, Iran. An awarded expert of marketing management and public diplomacy specialized in place branding through cinema and tourism, with practical engagements as a prize winning film maker, photographer, journalist and tourism diplomat. Among all, he has worked with Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Tourism Bank and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s Regional Programs for Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and Knowledge Network based in Madrid.

As a member of scientific committee, consultant and lecturer he collaborates with public and private sectors, academia and NGOs. He has given invited talks to audiences in Iran, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Taiwan and the United States. Go to Top

Back to summit webpage.