Keynote Speakers

Well-known personalities from academia and practice provide you with unique insights into their work.

Dimitrios Buhalis

Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Buhalis

is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology, Smart Environments and Interactive Marketing, He is an expert in technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. He is also Editor in Chief of the most established Journal in Tourism: Tourism Review, now and SSCI Journal in its 75th volume. Professor Buhalis’ research is referenced widely, being the 3rd most cited for tourism and 1st most cited for hospitality 18th on strategy and 30th in Marketing on Google Scholar with more than 43000 citations and h-index 87. He has taught in more than 50 Universities around the world and delivers more than 30 keynotes per year. 

Liisa Tyrväinen

Prof. Dr. Liisa Tyrväinen

is a research professor in outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). She leads research work dealing with health benefits of nature, outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism and, develops with her team collaboration models between forestry and nature-based tourism. She has strong international networks and collaboration in Europe, Japan, China and the U.S, and has authored 75 articles in peer reviewed journals and books and over 250 scientific publications. She is also member of Metsähallitus board of directors leading management and utilisation of state-owned forests and water areas in Finland.

Karmen Mentil

Magistra Karmen Mentil

is a self-employed tourism consultant since 1997, partner of the OEAR Ltd, Consultants, Austria, Vienna. Karmen focusses on projects for sustainable tourism development and regional development programmes: international project management, trainings, design and realisation of thematic conferences and media trips, marketing initiatives. Since its foundation in 2006 Karmen Mentil is director of the association “Alpine Pearls”, the network of alpine communities that offer green travels and comfortable ways to enjoy holidays in an environmentally conscious fashion. 

Raija Komppula

Prof. Dr. Raija Komppula

is a Professor of Marketing, especially Tourism Business, at the University of Eastern Finland, Business School. Her research interests include research on tourist experience, customer involvement in new service development in tourism, destination branding, market orientation, small business research and entrepreneurship, cooperation and networks. She has conducted research on these topics especially in the context of nature based and rural tourism, and recently in wellbeing and social tourism. Professor Komppula has several positions of trust in tourism industry in Finland, and she is member of AIEST, TRC (Tourist Research Center) and ISTO. 

Alessandro Paletto

Dr. Alessandro Paletto

has a PhD in Mountain and Forest Economics and is a researcher at the Council for Agriculture Research and Economics (CREA), Research Centre for Forestry and Wood in Trento (Italy). He is an expert in socio-economic science applied to the natural resources management gained by participating in several national and international projects and programmes. His main research topics are stakeholder analysis, stakeholders’ involvement in decision-making process, public participation in forest planning and management, and economic evaluation of ecosystem services. He is member of the Management Committee (MC) of COST Action CA15206 “Payments of Ecosystem Services (Forests for Water)” and COST Action CAPABAL TN1401 “Capacity building in the Western Balkans”. He has published over 200 scientific articles of which 100 in Scopus indexed journals (h-index=20, total citation=1290) and he is editor of four international scientific journals (Heliyon, Forests, Annals of Forest Research, Sustainable Forestry journal). 

Kelly Loufaki

Kelly Loufaki

has a degree in Accounting and is a banking employee.

She is also a Paralympic athlete (wheelchair fencer), starting the latter in 2014, after a car accident in July 2012. In 2016, Kelly participated in the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. 2018 she won the bronze medal at the World Cup in Montreal, Canada. 
In 2016, Kelly Loufaki was selected by the Greek General Secretariat for Sports as an ambassador for "Be Active", an European Union programme, and has been working on their behalf ever since.

Kelly's goal is to encourage people in sports and in daily exercise.
She loves to volunteer and visits schools where she speaks to children about her car accident and the precautions that need to be taken, how the disability has changed her life and of course about the importance of sport.

Claudia Mitchell

Claudia Mitchell

worked in Sales & Marketing at the World Expo 2000 Hanover and the German National Tourist Board London and joined Bayern Tourismus (BayTM) in 2005. She implemented innovative projects within the international tourism industry and built up valuable networks. After several years as Head of International Marketing, she moved to a new position as Network and Partner Manager, where she manages stakeholders to build strong networks and identify potential areas of cooperation. As a nature and outdoor sports enthusiast, the Bavarian countryside is a source of relaxation and activity for her in equal measure.

Kseniia Gavrilova

Kseniia Gavrilova, M.A.

founded her company "Adventure.Dream. Team" during her Master's studies in 2019. She and her team have made it their mission to take care of the development of protected areas and local communities by promoting rural destinations and sustainable travel in the North Caucasus region, which she calls home. She believes that the connections forged through travel are stronger and more important than anything else, cultural exchange as much as technological progress. The way we travel to our destinations, the places people actually travel to or buy souvenirs play a big role. As a tourism organisation and we as travellers have an important task and a great impact on the economy, society and nature.

Dr. Denis Tolkach

Dr. Denis Tolkach

is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management at James Cook University, Cairns. He teaches various subjects in Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events and Masters of International Tourism & Hospitality Management. Prior to joining James Cook University in 2020, Dr Tolkach has worked as an Assistant Professor at School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.