15th UNWTO Awards Jury Members

The Jury Members of the 15th UNWTO Awards is composed of the following international experts:

Ms. Diana RobinoGlobal Tourism Partnerships Lead, Mastercard

Diana Rubino

Diana Robino is Senior Vice President Travel Industries, Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard. In this role, Ms. Robino is responsible for developing and launching differentiating solutions for partners in the B2B travel vertical. These solutions range from digitalised payments and providing efficiencies for travel agencies and travel suppliers, new technology for better interfaces and leveraging big data for insights on the travel ecosystem. Diana’s experience in financial services extends to business development, general management, marketing, loyalty, and operations. Previous roles include global new product development for credit and debit, global affluent products and management of the global HSBC relationship. Prior to Mastercard, Diana held key positions at Citigroup and American Express in Latin America, US, Europe and MEA. Diana was an Adjunct Professor in Marketing at the University of Miami, received a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University and completed graduate studies in Quality Management at the University of Miami.

Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, Head of Department Tourism and Hospitality, Bournemouth University

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. He is the Head of Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Director of the eTourism Lab and Deputy Director of the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, at Bournemouth University in England. In 2018 Bournemouth University was ranked 8th in the QS World University Rankings for Hospitality & Leisure Management. He is also the First Vice President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, an Executive Board Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Affiliate Members and the Editor in Chief of the most established Journal in Tourism: Tourism Review, now in its 73rd volume. Dimitrios is a Founding Member and past President (2010-2014) of the International Federation for Information Technologies in Travel and Tourism (IFITT). Professor Buhalis’ work is referenced widely, being the 3rd most cited for tourism and 1st most cited for hospitality on Google Scholar with more than 30000 citations and h-index 75. Dimitrios current research focus includes: Smart Tourism, Social Media Context and Mobile Marketing (SoCoMo), Augmented Reality, Experience Management and Personalisation, Reputation and Social Media Strategies, Accessible and Special Diet (Alergens) Tourism. He frequently delivers keynote presentations, speeches, seminars and workshops in both academic and professional conferences globally. He has close collaborations with industry, governments and international organisations worldwide.

Mr. Eduardo Santander, Executive Director/CEO, European Travel Commission

Multilingual executive. Educated in Spain, USA and Austria Mr. Santander holds a PhD and a MBA degree. He has broad experience in tourism marketing, advocacy and public affairs gained in diverse private companies and public institutions from the tourism and hospitality sector. He is also guest lecturer on tourism marketing at international business seminars in a number of US and European Universities. He's a frequent speaker in Tourism, Hospitality Industry and Destination Marketing forums and a passionate panellist.




Mr. Istvan Ujhelyi, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of TRAN Committee, Chair of Tourism Task Force

Istvan Ujhelyi graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Szeged in 2002. He joined the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) in 1993 where he has served in many leading positions. He was State-Secretary responsible for Tourism in Prime Minister’s Office 2009-2010 and in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Elected MP in the Hungarian National Assembly from 2002 and Deputy Speaker between 2010-2014. After the EP elections in 2014 he became Chair of Tourism Task Force in the TRAN Committee as Vice-Chair. During the past years he has initiated tourism related programmes, as EU-China Tourism Year 2018, and European Capital of Tourism project, aka “European Capital of Smart Tourism”. Ujhelyi is Founder and President of Europe-China OBOR Culture & Tourism Development Committee, 2016 and Political Mentor of the FreeInterRail-programme (DiscoverEU). In 2018 he was appointed as special ambassador of the UN World Tourism Organisation.

Mr. Jae-sung Rhee, President and CEO, Seoul Tourism Organization

Jae-sung Rhee received his Ph.D. in Tourism from Kyunghee University. He is an expert in tourism with a lot of practical experience, professionalism and a global perspective. He has been striving for the sustainable development of tourism in Korea through serving several positions such as support committee of international conference industry of Seoul Metropolitan Government and panel of judge of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s international conference. He is leading the Seoul Tourism Organization which has organized ‘Seoul International Fair & Sustainable Tourism Forum 2018’ since 2016 and he is striving to create a fair and sustainable Seoul through value tourism.


Ms. Judy Kepher-Gona, Founder & Director, Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda – STTA Kenya

Judy Kepher – Gona, the Founder & Executive Director of Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda, is a mentor, an articulate public speaker and judicious sustainability assessor and campaigner. She has over 20 years’ experience promoting better and inclusive forms of tourism and supporting the tourism sector, communities and conservation in Kenya to integrate sustainable and progressive practices. Judy has many notable achievements, contributions and recognitions. She designed Kenya’s ecocertification scheme for camps and lodges, the first such program in Africa, and founded the Ecowarrior awards for sustainable tourism in Kenya. In 2018, she made list of 50 awesome scholars in tourism globally while in 2017 she made list of 100 top women in tourism in Africa. For her achievements, she currently serves as Chairperson of Mara North Conservancy, Director at African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), Chairperson / Trustee of Basecamp Foundation Kenya, and Board member of AWF Kenya. At Global and Regional level, she has served in the advisory board of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), served as board member of Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and is currently Director at Fair Trade Tourism- SA. She is also the convener of Green Tourism Summit Africa. Judy has been an assessor for WTTC - Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and National Geographic – Unique Lodges of the World and World Legacy Awards, three time Chief Judge for Kenya’s Ecowarrior Awards and Chief Judge for inaugural Tanzania Responsible Tourism Awards. In 2018, she co-chaired of the inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Awards hosted by Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and hosted a Master Class on --- with Professor Marina Novelli of Brighton University For her commitment, consistency, and passion for sustainable tourism, Judy has given talks in many national, regional and international fora on various aspects of sustainable tourism. Judy ensures she remains at the top of sustainability agenda through engagement and research, always inspiring and challenging the sector to transform tourism to become a truly sustainable economic sector where people and planet thrive alongside the business.

Professor Kaye Chon, Dean and Chair Professor Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A former hotel manager and tourism industry consultant, Professor Kaye Chon (Ph.D., CHE, FIH) is Dean and Chair Professor of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Prior to being appointed as Dean, Dean Chon has assumed the roles of Director and Chair Professor of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management since year 2000. Under Dean Chon’s leadership, the School has arisen as one of the world’s leading institutions in hospitality and tourism management. In 2009, the School was ranked no. 2 in the global ranking of hospitality and tourism schools based on research and scholarship, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.


Ms. Sally Davey, Global Director Industry Relations, Trip Advisor

Sally Davey was the founder of local travel website Tripbod.com, which over a decade built one of the world’s largest networks of vetted local experts. Their community was focussed on developing and promoting authentic cultural experiences to visitors. In parallel with building her business, Sally co-founded the not-for-profit Responsible Tourism Network, hosting networking events around the world for micro-entrepreneurs working at the grass roots of responsible tourism worldwide. To date the network represents 16,500 entrepreneurs and disruptors worldwide. Tripbod.com was acquired by TripAdvisor in 2014 and since then Sally has been an active advocate internally for our corporate social and environmental agenda. She was involved on the ground in the Company’s efforts to support Syrian refugees in Greece, and in her most recent role as our Global lead for Industry Relations is an active participant at the global level in projects. Working with partners such as the UNWTO, Sally works focally on key issues facing our industry, notably long-term destination success and sustainability.