ESTC13 Speaker Bios

ESTC13 Speaker Bios


Breakout Session Presenters

Damian Bell


Mr. Damian Bell, Executive Director, Honeyguide Foundation

Damian formed a safari company in Tanzania over 20 years ago called Sokwe. It became a leading ecotourism company that with others pioneered partnership tourism agreements with local communities to enable these communities to benefit from tourism, value wildlife and look after these resources. With this experience, Damian realized that the future of the ecosystems requires a harmonious balance with human livelihoods and conservation of natural resources, and that tourism could play a big role. He established the Honeyguide Foundation that exists to create mutually-beneficial partnerships among Tanzanian communities and tourism, in order to conserve wildlife and natural habitat by using a holistic approach to business enterprise.

Kelly Bloom


Kelly Bloom Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University

Kelly Bloom has been described as insightful, spiritual, and mindful. She has a unique ability to motivate and engage students as they become aware of the impact they can make on society.

Marianela Camacho


Ms Marianela Camacho, Professor, Universidad del Zulia

Research Professor of Architecture and Design Theory and Practice at the University of Zulia. Architect with a Masters in Comprehensive Planning for Tourist Development from the University of Zulia in Venezuela. 10 years consulting experience in the development of patrimony and tourist plans, for different public and private organizations. Member of the Etnika Foundation as manager of tourist projects in the Kamarata Valley, Canaima National Park. 5 year research experience in areas related to architecture, design, art, patrimony and tourism. Have worked closely with Venezuelan indigenous communities. Currently working on a Doctoral Thesis Project for the Tourism and Leisure program at the Rovira I Virgili University (URV).

Kelly Campbell


Ms Kelly Campbell, Co-Founder, The Village Experience

Co-founder of The Village Experience, and Executive Director of The Village Cooperative, Kelly also represents The Lake Nakuru Lodge and Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp. She works with her team to uplift and empower women through the support of artisan workshops, the development of fair trade, the creation of socially responsible tourism, and the funding of community development projects. She travels every year to Kenya, Thailand, Guatemala, Haiti, and India to work one-on-one with the women and implement them into every step of the project planning and execution. Kelly has a an M.A. in International Development from the University of Indianapolis and Stellenbosch University.

Taha Chaabi


Mr. Taha Chaabi, General Manager, Taziry Ecolodge & Sustainable Village

Taha has lived in Siwa Oasis for almost 3 years now, endeavoring daily to accomplish the vision for the village: Living in acute connection with a serene and rousing nature and to learn and work through traditional knowledge; to preserve the natural life style of the local community; to develop a sustainable living know-how, in harmony with the perfection of Mother Nature. Apart from participating in a cultural project at the village's library and museum, Taha manages organic foods production to sustain the village and export Siwa's unique products, and pure Arabian horse breeding and cattle growing.

David Clemmons

Mr. David Clemmons, Founder,

David Clemmons is the Founder of For more than a decade he has worked with academics and practitioners in shaping the voluntourism industry. informs stakeholders, the media, the academic community, and the general public on emerging practices within the voluntourism community. As a recognized global thought leader on the subject of voluntourism, his opinions and insights are reflected in publications around the world. Since 2000, he has consulted with the tourism industry, the NGO sector, and the public sector in such places as Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Cambodia, Jordan, Mexico, the UK, and the United States.

Guillaume Cromer

Mr. Guillaume Cromer, Sustainable Tourism & Marketing Consultant, ID-Tourism

Guillaume is director of ID-Tourism, a consulting company based in Paris specialized in sustainable tourism, marketing and forecasting. He works in France, Africa (Cameroon, Benin, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya) and Asia (Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam) on CSR strategies, ecotourism schemes, certification programs and community-based tourism projects. He represents Travelife certification program in France, and serves on the board of the International Coalition for Responsible Tourism and Acteurs du Tourisme Durable, a french organization gathering the main public & private french stakeholders committed in sustainable tourism.

Pamela Cunneyworth


Mrs Pamela Cunneyworth, Director, Colobus Conservation

Pamela is a Director of Colobus Conservation in Diani, Kenya overseeing the primate research and conservation activities of the organisation. She received her Undergraduate Degree in Archaeology and Biology from Simon Fraser University, and her Master’s Degree in Anthropology with a specialisation in Primatology from the University of Calgary. Since 1992, Pam has lived in East Africa working with chimpanzees in Burundi, researching baboons in Tanzania, carrying out base line surveys for forest conservation in the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania before beginning work at the international level, especially the Convention on Biological Diversity. She began working with Colobus Conservation in 2003 as Conservation Manager until 2006, returning on the Board of Directors in 2009.

Andrew Fairley


Mr. Andrew Fairley, Chair, Parks Victoria

Andrew has had a distinguished association with ecotourism, conservation, parks and resort management over many years and was a director of the world class 5 star resort Turtle Island in the Yasawas for over 20 years. He has been a Director of TIES and a Director of Ecotourism Australia. Currently the Chair of Parks Victoria, Andrew’s previous Board appointments include Zoos Victoria (Chair), Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council in Victoria (Chair) and the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board. He is also one of Australia's best known specialist Superannuation lawyers, and practices as a Consultant to DLA Piper. He is Chair of Equipsuper, a $6 billion industry fund operating in the energy and water sector. He is also Chair of the Sir Andrew Fairley Foundation and currently Consul General for Finland in Victoria.

Ethan Gelber


Mr. Ethan Gelber, Founder / Editor, The Travel Word

For 20 years, Ethan Gelber has wandered the planet, and as a professional communications strategist and freelance writer, including as a Lonely Planet author, Huffington Post blogger, Open Places eco-columnist and AFAR Ambassador, he has agitated tirelessly for responsible/sustainable travel practices, a focus on keeping things local, and quality and relevance in publishing and destination marketing. Ethan is a co-founder of EcoAdventure Media (a powerful platform for supporting eco-conscious brands), Destination Accelerator (education and networking opportunities for destination marketers), Outbounding (a curation tool promoting excellence in travel content) and the Local Travel Movement (a platform for people passionate about local travel).

Dr. Dag Goering


Dr. Dag Goering, President, Hidden Places Travel

Dr. Dag Goering is a veterinarian, professional photographer and the co-founder of Hidden Places Travel and Elephant Earth Initiative. With his wife Maria Coffey he has co-authored two books, and his photographs have appeared in several solo exhibits and been published in prominent publications including National Geographic Traveller Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times and Elle. He has been running Hidden Places Travel with Maria since 2000, developing and leading small group trips world wide. In 2008, he and Maria founded Elephant Earth Initiative, the conservation branch of Hidden Places. They have given multi media presentations on their trips and their elephant advocacy work to audiences across North American and in Europe.

Jasmine Goodnow

Dr. Jasmine Goodnow, Assistant Professor, Western Washington University

Jasmine Goodnow is an Assistant Professor of Tourism and Recreation at Western Washington University. Her research interests include insight attainment during travel and study abroad through the construction of liminality. Her leisure interests include ecotourism, adventure travel, hiking, biking, and sea kayaking.

Muna Haddad

Ms Muna Haddad, Managing Director, Baraka

Muna started her career in tourism working with the Jordan Tourism Board and moved on to establish Baraka, a consulting company dedicated to sustainable tourism development based in Jordan. Muna has consulted on multiple national and international projects with the World Bank, USAID, and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature on projects including ecotourism master planning, community based tourism, experience development, and site development. She is passionate about minimizing the negative impacts of travellers on local communities and instead utilizing tourism as a means for economic development and cultural preservation. She was a member of the Dana +10 drafting committee for the rights of mobile indigenous communities presented at Rio +20.

Glenn Jampol

Mr. Glenn Jampol, President, Costa Rica National Chamber of Ecotourism (CANAECO)

In 1985, Glenn founded and created the first "Boutique" hotel in Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Costa Rica, based on the best sustainable standards of the day, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, which is now considered one of the best hotels in the world, according the New York Times, Conde Naste Traveler and others. Glenn was on of the founding members of the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). In 2003, Finca Rosa Blanca became the first and only hotel to earn the highest classification of 5 green leaves in the CST and in 2008 received a perfect 100% ranking. Glenn is presently the president of the board of directors of the National Chamber of Ecotourism (CANAECO).

Rika Jean-Francois

Ms Rika Jean-Francois, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Commissioner, ITB Berlin - Messe Berlin

Rika started working in tourism as an incoming agent in Greece, while studying at the University of Crete. In Berlin she became counsellor at the University’s International Academic Exchange Office, travelled to Iran, Malawi, Haiti and graduated in Social Anthropology and Iranian Studies. She then studied Quality Management and worked for the evaluation of development aid workers' education for the German Development Service. Since 2004 she has been with ITB Berlin, heading its CSR initiatives. She is chief coordinator for ITB Berlin Partner Countries and the LGBT travel segment. She is a Board Member of IGLTA.

Valeria Klitsounova

Dr. Valeria Klitsounova, Chair of the Board, Belarusian Agro- and Ecotourism Association

Since 2002, Valeria has served as Chair of the Board of Belarus' national Association of Eco- and Agrotourism 'Country Escape'. She is an experienced public speaker, presenter and lecturer, and has conducted hundreds of trainings, moderated many conferences and panel discussions. She graduated from Belarusian State University (BSU), Geography Department and has a PhD in agriculture and ecology, advanced diploma of Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). She is also Associated Professor for BSU's International Tourism Department.

Machiel Lamers


Dr. Machiel Lamers, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University

Machiel Lamers is an Assistant Professor at the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in 2009 with an integrated assessment of tourism in Antarctica from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. His research interests are in the fields of sustainable tourism mobilities, tourism and nature conservation, environmental policy, and science-policy interface. Recent research projects focus on the governance of tourism-conservation enterprises in East Africa, nature-based tourism in both Polar Regions, and sustainable tourism mobility in South East Asia.

Luc Lapointe


Mr. Luc Lapointe, Strategic Development, Grupo Nacional de Trabajo para la Participacion

Over the past 25 years, Luc has worked closely with and for the non-profit sector in agriculture, immigration, financial literacy, health, among others. He was published in Policy Options on the topic of Immigration and Development and most recently by the University of Lisbon as part of an international publication for the 2011 European Year of Volunteering. His research proposal on innovative financing for development was nominated for a Global Development Award in 2011, and won a major prize as part of a National Geographic, Ashoka Changemakers, and IADB contest.

Karen Lewis

Ms Karen Lewis, Owner, Lapa Rios Ecolodge

In 1990 John and Karen Lewis founded Lapa Rios: a 1,000 acre private conservation reserve in the tropical rain forest in Costa Rica's remote Osa Peninsula. They built the country's preeminent ecolodge to maintain the reserve's bio-diversity and to propel sustainable development in this region. Today, Lapa Rios is a model of social and environmental responsibility, dedicated to education, continuous environmental improvement, and cultural interchange between local people, international travelers and global business.

Javier Lopez

Mr. Javier López, Director, EcoCamp Patagonia / Cascada Expediciones

Javier has developed EcoCamp Patagonia (1999-2012) and Atacama trail (2006-12) a community based hut to hut trek in northern Chile. EcoCamp Patagonia was the 1st dome-hotel (geodesic tents) in the world built in 1999 in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile. After EcoCamp many other dome hotels were built in Chile and worldwide and many architects and contractors devoted to build domes in Chile, Argentina and Brasil. Prior to working in the adventure and ecolodge fields, he worked for many years as a civil engineer.

Christine Mackay


Ms Christine Mackay, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Crooked Trails

Chris Mackay has dedicated her life to working and volunteering in environmental education, outdoor recreation, community development and eco-tourism. Her love of international travel and her concern about the negative effects of tourism on culture and environment, led her to co-found Crooked Trails in 1998. Chris holds an MA in Natural Science Education and a BA in Geography with a minor in Biology, and has worked with youth and adults both in the formal and non-formal educational sector. Chris is also co-founder of the Travelers Against Plastic (TAP) campaign.

Simon McArthur

Dr. Simon McArthur, Director, Total Tourism Solutions

Simon has been a major player in the development of ecotourism across the World. He has developed ecolodges, ecotourism and eco-attractions in Australia, the Pacific, Central and South America. He played a major role in the setting of standards for ecotourism accreditation program's in Australia and the Arctic. Simon has also coordinated many developments at cultural and historic sites, highlighting his skills in managing approval processes and winning over stakeholders. He is renown for his ability to interpret social trends into unmet market needs and then into creative product development that meets these needs. Simon's PhD was in the development of sustainable tourism models, which he has implemented across the world.

Hitesh Mehta

Mr. Hitesh Mehta, President, HM Design

A Kenyan citizen, Hitesh is a pioneer in ecolodge planning and design, with over 26 years experience and having worked and consulted in over 57 countries on six continents. He is also an Adjunct Professor and the author of three books, including the recently published "Authentic Ecolodges" (Harper Collins) and what is considered the Bible on Ecolodges, "International Ecolodge Guidelines". He is a award-winning designer, landscape architecture, and writer. A strong proponent of Authentic Ecotourism, Hitesh is currently the Chair of the "Standards and Ethics Committee" of TIES. Among his many accolades, National Geographic Adventure magazine, in 2007, identified Hitesh as one of five Sustainable Tourism Pioneers in the world. Additionally, Hitesh was Captain and is a Hall of Fame Cricket player from Kenya. He is also a professional Photographer.

Jacinta Nzioka -Mbithi, Director of Marketing, Kenya Tourism Board

Jacinta has 14 years experience in tourism destination marketing  in various capacities at the Kenya Tourism Board.  She is one of the founding members of the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) where she is a volunteer executive director and participates in mentorship and training in various tourism universities and colleges in Kenya and empowerment of rural women through supporting sustainable tourism community projects in Narok and the Coast.  Jacinta holds a Bsc tourism management, dip in marketing of services and a MBA in strategic management.  She is a member of the Women International Alliance In Tourism (WITIA) and the Ecotourism Kenya. 

Lori Pennington-Gray

Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray, Director, Tourism Crisis Management Insititute, University of Florida

Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray is the current Director of the Tourism Crisis Management Institute and the former Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her research uses a "systems approach" to understand both demand-side and supply-side issues related to tourism. On the demand side, her primary research agenda has concentrated on consumer travel behavior. On the supply-side, her research has focused on the decision-making process of destination marketing organizations. She has been involved with a number of tourism studies globally and has worked with a number of countries on tourism policy initiatives.

Eric Ricaurte

Mr. Eric Ricaurte, Founder, Greenview

Eric is an experienced professional in measuring and reporting sustainability performance in hospitality and tourism. He has helped several global hospitality companies and events measure and report on sustainability, in addition to his 10 years of experience in operations and consulting in various nature and cultural tourism projects. Eric is a researcher at the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research, for his work on developing a framework that allows the sustainability performance to be measured and compared across hospitality and tourism. Eric served as technical consultant for the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, which works to standardize carbon metrics across the industry.

Sibylle Riedmiller

Ms Sibylle Riedmiller, Director, Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd

Sibylle has worked in Latin America and Africa, where she managed and advised education reform and natural resource management programs of UNESCO, GTZ and others. From 1991, she founded and invested into Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP), which turned formerly uninhabited Chumbe Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania into a private marine park and forest reserve. A Visitors' Centre and Eco-lodge built with state-of the-art technology fully fund park management and environmental education programs for local schools. This created the world's first private and financially sustainable marine park. CHICOP is a certified Long Run Destination of the Zeitz Foundation.

Chris Rollins


Mr. Chris Rollins, Senior Engineer, AECOM International South Sudan

Chris Rollins is a designer and builder with thorough knowledge of the planning, design, construction, and operation of technical facilities with intercultural teams and unskilled labor in remote areas. He is committed to best practices in design and construction to achieve low cost, durable, and sustainable solutions. Notable projects include an ecolodge in Malawi, a 112m footbridge in Kenya, and a municipal water system in permafrost in northern Alaska; he has additional remote engineering and construction experience in Colorado, Wyoming, Suriname, Japan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Cameroon.

Bente Ronning

Mrs Bente Rønning, Senior Advicer, Norwegian Environment Agency

Geographer by training, Bente Rønning has worked 15 years with rural business development as well as local community development on a national program level. Presently, she is head of the national program "The natural heritage as a value creator", under the Norwegian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of local Government and regional development.

Kumud Sengupta


Mrs. Kumud Sengupta, Director and Managing Editor, SOST Tourism Journal

Kumud Sengupta is the co-founder & director of Market Vision, a research and consultancy services firm based in Dubai. She undertakes research and consulting projects on behalf of the UNWTO, European Travel Commission, and various national tourism boards. An economics graduate with an MBA degree, Kumud is a certified assessor and consultant for Sustainable Tourism, and is also the Managing Editor of Spotlight on Sustainable Tourism (SOST), an e-journal with a mission to promote sustainable business practices among tourism stakeholders.

Netsai Sibanda


Ms Netsai Sibanda, Stakeholder Relations Coordinator, Fair Trade Tourism

A graduate of London Metropolitan University, Ms Netsai Sibanda is Stakeholder Relations Coordinator for Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) and has been with the organisation for over four years. FTT is a regional organisation (based in South Africa) whose core business is operation of a ground-breaking responsible tourism certification scheme that supports tourism enterprises, including community-owned ventures to optimise the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism. Before embarking on a career in tourism development, Netsai workedr with ResourceAfrica.

Luis Silva


Mr. Luis Silva, General Manager, Disabled Holidays 4u

Luis Silva is Founder of Accessible Portugal and Disabled Holidays4u. He is an expert in Digital Marketing applied to the tourism sector, and has been an invited lecturer at Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies. He works as a consultant for the Portuguese Tourism Board and the European Union tourism project: ENAT, and has implemented field work in Conservation Project for Chelonia Inc. in Mona Island, USA; Sea turtle Conservation project in cooperation with US Fish and Wildlife Services in Culebra Island, USA; and Volunteer Tourism Coordinator for US Fish and Wildlife Services in Culebra Island, USA. He has a Bachelor's degreen in IT Management and Post-Graduate degree in Entrepreneurship from ULHT University, Lisbon.

Brandi Smith


Ms Brandi Smith, Research Assistant, Clemson University

Brandi L. Smith is a PhD candidate and research assistant in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University, where she is also the co-founding and inaugural Good Lighting Practices in Parks and Protected Areas Research Fellow. She has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Ecotourism. A pioneer in the empirical study of nighttime use and status of parks and protected areas (PPAs), Brandi has established a substantial portion of the foundational work in human dimensions of natural nighttime resources. She is currently expanding this work into the realms of ecotourism, tourism, ecology/conservation, and environmental psychology.

Dr. Ryan Snider


Dr. Ryan Snider, Professor, Humber College

Ryan was raised in Nairobi, Kenya where his parents were teachers at an International School. After returning to Canada for high school, Ryan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and his Master of Arts degree in International Development. After graduation, Ryan worked in various relief and development projects throughout Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. After completing his Doctor of Philosphy degree in Geography and Environmental Management, Ryan joined Humber College as a full time Professor. His current research interests include participatory research amongst the indigenous Maasai communities of Kenya, with a specific focus on the role of ecotourism as a tool for development.

Susan Snyman

Ms Susan Snyman, Regional Community Development and Engagement Coordinator/Researcher, Wilderness Safaris

Susan has 14 years' experience in the luxury ecotourism industry in southern Africa, including guiding, community development and liaison, managing community environmental lessons, camp management and environmental impact assessments as an independent consultant. She has a Master of Business Science (Economics) from the University of Cape Town and is currently working towards a PhD (Economics) at the same university. The focus of her PhD research is on the socio-economic impact of high-end ecotourism in remote, rural communities adjacent to protected areas, based on over 1800 community surveys in six southern African countries.

Joe Staiano

Mr. Joe Staiano, Founder, Meaningful Trip

Joe Staiano has 2 decades of experience in responsible & adventure travel. He is a 75-country world explorer, trainer, conference speaker and do-gooder. He founded Meaningful Trip, where innovative tours support issues of women's empowerment, poverty, health, education & hunger. Meaningful Trip is 1-of-only-2 USA tour operators to sign the Code of Conduct to help fight trafficking and exploitation of children. Joe has worked on responsible tourism and humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia and Latin America and is available for collaborative projects and responsible tourism training.

Dr. Shirley Strum

Dr. Shirley Strum, Professor, University of California San Diego / Director, Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project, Kenya

Dr. Strum divides her time between UCSD where she is Professor of Anthropology, and Kenya, where she directs the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project (UNBP). Her 41 year long study of wild baboons has been featured in National Geographic and in numerous natural history documentaries. Her work also tracks the emerging conservation realities of the humanized landscapes of the Anthropocene and has explored new conservation techniques since the 1980's including community based conservation. In the last decade, UNBP created bio-enterprises for the local Maasai community including eco-walks with trained Maasai guides.

Daudi Sumba

Mr. Daudi Sumba, Vice President Program Operations, African Wildlife Foundation

Daudi is Vice President Program Operations at the African Wildlife Foundation and he is based at the headquarters in Nairobi. He holds a Masters degree in Environment and Development from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Egerton University Kenya. He has over 20 years experience in conservation and development working across various African countries. He has written various articles and made various presentations on conservation enterprises developed by AWF across Africa. His main interests include impact of conservation enterprises focusing on socioeconomics and livelihoods; development evaluation, integrating conservation and development and effective operations.

Masaru Takayama

Mr. Masaru Takayama, Executive Director, Japan Ecolodge Association

Mr. Masaru Takayama founded the first ecolodge association in the world, Japan Ecolodge Association (ECOLA), to promote the concept of ecotourism and ecolodge uniting responsible tourism and green buildings in Japan. The environmentally-friendly accommodations standard developed by ECOLA is now recognized by Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and contributes to the efforts to implement bottom-up approaches to the industry standards in the Japanese marketplace.

Nabil Tarazi

Mr. Nabil Tarazi, Founder & Managing Director, EcoHotels

After 10 years of managing the European business of a Canadian technology company, Nabil took a detour form the tech sector to go backpacking around the world. Somewhere between a bush and a mountain he found his calling: adventure and ecotourism. He founded EcoHotels in Jordan in 2009, and entered into partnership with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature to manage and operate the award winning Feynan Ecolodge. Today EcoHotels employs 33 people at head office in Amman and at Feynan Ecolodge. In addition to contribution to conservation work, the lodge directly benefits 80 families from the local community. As a pioneer in the ecotourism sector, EcoHotels is now looking at developing further Ecolodges in Jordan with an eye for future expansion in the Middle East.

Albert Teo

Mr. Albert Teo C.K, Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours

A graduate in Economics (Honours) from the University of London, Albert has been in the tourism industry for the last 36 years. A keen photographer and author, he has trekked over 1,000km in Borneo. His companies Borneo Eco Tours and Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Asia's Leading Green Hotel, World Travel Award 2010 and the 2012 SKÅL International Sustainable Development in Tourism Award for Tour Operator. In 2012, he was conferred a Fellow of Edith Cowan University for his work with the university as well as his philanthropy, community and social work. Albert is presently focusing his energy on developing social entrepreneurship through his community/environment foundation, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies or BEST Society.

Rene van der Duim


Prof. René van der Duim, Special Professor of Tourism and Sustainable Development, Wageningen University

René studied tourism at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences and sociology at Tilburg University. In his dissertation he introduced an actor-network perspective on sustainable tourism development. He now works at the Cultural Geography Group at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Since 2009 he is Special Professor of Tourism and Sustainable Development. His research focuses on the relation between tourism, conservation and development in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011 he published together with D. Meyer, J. Saarinen and K. Zellmer (eds) "New Alliances for Tourism, Conservation and Development in Eastern and Southern Africa".

Peet van der Merwe


Prof Petrus (Peet) van der Merwe, Lecturer and Researcher, North West University

Prof. van der Merwe is currently a senior lecturer and researcher in tourism management at North-West University: Potchefstroom Campus (South Africa), School for Business Management. As researcher he forms part of the NRF research unit TREES (Tourism Research in Economic, Environs and Society). His field of interest lies in ecotourism, wildlife tourism, marine tourism and hunting tourism. He has partaken in various research projects such as visitors profile and marketing segmentation for South Africa National Parks, visitors profile of tourist to wildlife destinations, socio-economic impact studies of South African National Parks, socio-economic impact studies of hunting, spending of biltong hunters and hunters profiles and travel motives of tourists to wildlife destinations.

Jutamas Wisansing


Dr. Jutamas Wisansing, Executive Consultant, Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA-Thailand)

Dr. Jutamas Wisansing holds her PhD from Lincoln University, New Zealand. She has been a tourism lecturer/consultant for over 15 years, and has published her works in a number of international tourism journals. She was selected to represent Thailand at the Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, presenting her research and critical analysis of tourism and hospitality education and training a number of participants in Asia.


Dominika Zareba


Ms. Dominika Zareba, Board of Trustees Member, Partnership Fund

Dominika Zareba wrote first book on ecotourism in Poland and is recognized as a Polish pioneer in responsible traveling. Her book "Ecotourism" has become a handbook at the universities across Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. She contributed to the development of greenways movement in and Central and Eastern Europe. Working with many NGOs (e.g. Environmental Partnership for Sustainable Development, Polish Environmental Partnership Foundation, Partnership Fund) she initiated over 50 community projects related to sustainable tourism, heritage preservation and building a sense of place.

Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner

Dr. Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner, Long Run Initiative Coordinator, Zeitz Foundation

Dr. Zschiegner has over 7 years experience in sustainable tourism working in developing and developed countries. Her experience ranges from undertaking assessments for the Global Ecosphere Retreats® certification scheme to managing a dynamic network of like-minded businesses. Prior to taking on her current position at the Zeitz Foundation, she worked for several years at University of Exeter Business School as a Research Associate and completed her PhD focusing on leadership, climate change and best practice in environmental management.