Panelists' Biographies

On behalf of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and the UNWTO Secretariat we would like express our highest appreceation to all participating panlist for their time and effort spent to make the Global Summit a successful event. Following please find the biographies in order of appeareance.



First Session: What Makes for Success in the World’s City Destinations?

Moderator: Rajan Datar

Rajan DatarRajan Datar has been host of “fast:track”, BBC World News’ flagship travel programme, for six years, travelling to over 50 countries on five continents.  He has made countless reports and in 2012 embarked on a series of ten half hour Country Direct specific travelogue documentaries…starting in Mexico and then ending in Turkey. He is also the host of the weekly radio show on the BBC World Service called “Over To You”, has been a contributor to the BBC ‘s renowned “From Our Own Correspondent” and has made several documentaries for both domestic and international channels.Before this he worked on BBC2’s flagship business documentary series, “The Money Programme”, writing and presenting more than 30 half-hour films and breathing new life into what had become a staid TV institution.

Rajan has fronted the BBC’s original independent traveller series, “Rough Guide to the World”, C4's People's Parliament and the BBC's first ever new media show, The Net. For two years he was reporter on the flagship nightly news and current affairs programme, “Newsnight”, specialising  in culture and social trends. He has also presented the arts and film shows “The Strand” and “On Screen” for the World Service.

In an already varied career, Rajan has also written features for The Guardian, The Times and many other publications. He has lectured and taught at the University of London and Leeds Universities. He has hosted many conferences all round the world and is a frequent guest speaker. His other passion is music and for twenty years as co-founder and bass player of nine piece ska and reggae band “Maroon Town” he has toured thirty countries around the world, played nearly a thousand concerts and release five albums.



Burkhard Kieker

Burkhard KiekerBurkhard Kieker has been Chief Executive Officer of visitBerlin (Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH) since January 1st , 2009 and is thus the city’s senior tourism & meetings advertiser. He has previously headed the Marketing and Corporate Communications department of Berlin Airports for many years. Alongside classic communication, his tasks at Berlin Airports included acquiring and supporting airlines from more than 60 countries in particular. He has been working as Assistant to the Board of Lufthansa German Airlines, in Frankfurt and Berlin as well as a Spokesman for Lufthansa. Burkhard Kieker is a trained journalist and has worked for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit in Hamburg and for the TV channel Deutsche Welle TV in Bonn.


Daniel Lozano Lanuza

Daniel LozanoDaniel Lozano Lanuza, Senior Vice-president Meliá-Innside & Operations Europe, Middle East and Africa, company Meliá Hotels International, employed in the hotel business since 25 years, having realised some masters at L'Ecole Hôtelière de Montreux and Cornell University. He has been employed at 4 continents in different Management positions at international companies such as Intercontinental, Sheraton, Hilton and private chains, developing his stage in Asia during 14 years as Vice-president of Asia Pacific. Nowadays he occupies the position of Senior Vice-president Melia Brand, leading the Brands: Meliá, Innside, as well as Tryp International, achieving for the brands an income of closely 210 million Euros for Europe, Middle East and Africa.



Osman Ayık

Osman AyıkOsman Ayık was born in 1958, in Sivas, Turkey. He obtained his early education in Ankara;; received a B.A. from Middle East Technical University, in Ankara and completed his Master Degree in Queen’s University at Kingston, in Canada. He was the Chairman of the Board of Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB) between the years of 2003-2007. He, besides, accomplish the membership of Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) since its establishment and has been elected as the Chairman of the Board of TÜROFED in 2011. Mr. Ayık works as a General Manager in their family establishment Champion Holiday Village since 1988 in Antalya, Turkey. He is married and has two children.


Janie Ligon

Janie LigonJanie has been a Board Director of Value Retail plc since 2000 and takes an active role with group-wide retail & marketing activities in the business.

She has a background in marketing, finance, sales and product production for wholesale/retail clothing and consumer products businesses. She spent 19 years with Levi Strauss in the US, European and Asian markets; including the role of Head of Global Retail and Internet businesses at Levi until late 1999.  She has also been active on non profit boards of ActionAid International, The Big Issue magazine, and Randolph College. She has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and also attended Stanford University’s Executive Management Program.


Ali Bora Isbulan

After having graduated from Mechanical Engineering Department at Bogazici University in 1998, he has successfully completed his post-graduate studies in Business Administration and Industrial Engineering in the United States of America and started his career in 2002. Holding the Deputy General Manager position at TAV Operation services, a subsidiary of TAV Airports Holding, since 2010, Ali Bora Isbulan manages operations of generating non-aviation revenues through value added product and services, managing commercial activities, marketing and sales of advertisement areas and developing area allocations.As a part of TAV Operation Services, he is also in charge of TAV "primeclass" brands that embraces CIP Lounge Management, TAV Passport Loyalty Card Program and TAV Tourism products and services. Ali Bora Isbulan also is an active speaker about Change Management and Lean Management Systems.


Irene Mia

Irene MiaIrene is regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In her role, she provides intellectual and strategic leadership to the regional editorial team within the EIU's Country Analysis division, fostering intellectual debate and publishing high quality and timely forecasts, reports and articles on economic, political and business developments within the region. She also plays a core role in communicating the company's forecasts and views to clients and other high-level audiences around the world.

Previously, she was director and senior Economist within the Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance at the World Economic Forum, where she was also responsible for competitiveness research on Latin America and Iberia. She has written and spoken extensively on issues related to national competitiveness and development, serving as lead author and editor on a number of regional and topical competitiveness papers and reports; notably, she was the editor of the Global Information Technology Report series for six year, one of the flagship publications of the World Economic Forum. Before joining the World Economic Forum, she worked at the headquarters of Sudameris Bank in Paris for a number of years, holding various positions in the international affairs and international trade divisions.

Her main research interests are in the fields of development, international trade, economic integration, innovation, ICT, competitiveness and Latin America. Irene holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the Institute for the Studies of the Americas, London University, and a PhD in International Economic and Trade Law from L. Bocconi. She speaks Italian, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Donna J. Keren

Donna KerenDonna J. Keren joined NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization in 2002. She directs one of the travel industry’s most comprehensive and forward-looking research programs. Research & Analysis at NYC & Company is the office of record for vital statistics on the city’s tourism industry. In addition to annual reports on visitors and the economic impact of tourism, the department produces regular forecasts, economic and strategic reports, special projects, scenario planning and forecasting, market research studies, and proprietary research on industry segments.

At NYC & Company Dr. Keren has developed the annual cultural audience survey. Designed to identify key drivers and challenges across all cultural and arts activities, the study has supported member organization marketing initiatives and programming insights since 2009. In 2011, she led the NYC effort to provide the first representative survey of the economic impact of same-sex marriage on the city’s economy. Other innovative projects include a focus on borough and neighborhood tourism insights and creating proprietary econometric models for visitor volume and tracking

Dr. Keren has over 30 years experience in strategic and market research. Previously, she was VP, Social Trends & New Markets for Strategic Surveys International, a provider of custom research and market intelligence to clients in financial services, communications, the arts and culture, and major not-for-profit organizations. In the aftermath of 9/11, she helped the American Red Cross of Greater New York identify service needs and worked with Lower Manhattan organizations on community recovery. During the 1990s she ran a consultancy dedicated to research and technical assistance for non-profit and public sector agencies. A former Professor of Anthropology/Latin American Studies at Temple University (Philadelphia), she is Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University and is a member of the graduate faculty at the Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University. She also shares her experience with organizations such as ARF (Advertising Research Foundation), The Brand USA, TTRA (Travel & Tourism Research Foundation), as well as speaking at international conferences. Most recently, her presentation at the 2 a Feria Mundial de Turismo Cultural (Morelia, Mexico) was published by Conaculta (Cuadernos #18) in 2011.

A native New Yorker and Lower Manhattan resident, she received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate School.


José Luis Zoreda

José Luis ZoredaJosé Luis Zoreda is a 62 years old 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 ten year old lobby group formed by the 28 most relevant Spanish tourism companies from all the various sub sectors of the industry (airlines, hotels, travel agencies, TTOO, Rent a car, etc.) with an operational presence in over 175 countries, representing at the end of 2011 an aggregated turnover of 30 billion Euros, and a global workforce of over 220.000 employees.

Among others, 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, where he created and served as the first Chief Executive Officer of its Affiliate members (then called the World Tourism Organization Business Council: WTOBC). Prior to joining WTO, and for twelve years, he formed part of the Board of Directors and was Assistant to the Chairman of Meliá Hotels International, the leading Spanish hospitality group.

Mr. Zoreda’s professional travels have provided him an extensive knowledge of over 130 countries and tourism destinations around the world, having written and edited various books, reports and articles on tourism issues. He is also frequently invited to lecture on tourism policy, IT & Internet, marketing and investment issues, which has taken him as speaker to forums and conferences in more than 45 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North & Latin America.



Second Session: Smart Cities: Innovation and the Future of City Tourism

Moderator: Christopher Brown

Christopher BrownChristopher Brown is Special Representative for the UNWTO Secretary General and former member of the UNTWO Affiliates Board. He was Chairman of the UNWTO Business Council from 2005-2011.  Having recently retired as the Managing Director of Australia’s peak industry body, Tourism & Transport Forum after 20 years, he now serves as a professional company director and sits on the Boards of Moss Capital Bank, Tourism Victoria, University of Western Sydney, Kreab & Gavin Anderson PR, ANZ Stadium and LUCRF Superannuation and is Chairman of the Parramatta Partnership Forum in Sydney. Christopher Brown is an Adjunct Professor at the UTS Business School, has just completed a study for the Australian Government about a second international airport for Sydney and was Convenor of the Australian Cities Roundtable.  He is currently working with the UNWTO on the creation of a global knowledge network for leveraging benefits from major events.



Luiz Sales

Luiz SalesLuiz Sales, journalist, 47 years old, is the Strategic Project director of the São Paulo Tourism (main  tourism and events  office); before this worked as Tourism Director and, for 25 years, written about economic aspects of Tourism Industry. Is the author of the official book about Brazilian Association of Travel Agents and specialist in Business Communications. Last year he led the launch of the brand São Paulo. Currently is in charge of the studies, research and tourism statistics.




Pere Duran

Pere DuranGraduate in Public Management and Business Administration from ESADE. He has been involved in the tourism sector since 1980. He worked for four years in leading travel agencies specialising in congresses and incentive travel. At the end of 1984 he joined the Barcelona Tourist Board. In 1986 he became manager of its department, the Barcelona Convention Bureau. He was manager of the “Patronato de Turismo de Barcelona” from 1988 until its dissolution in 1993. He has been President of the European Federation of Conference Towns (1995-96). Since 1994, is manager of the “Consorcio de Turismo de Barcelona”. He was appointed general manager of the said Consorcio de Turismo de Barcelona in July 2000. Furthermore he was a member of the Tourism Advisory Committee of the Catalan Government and member of the Technical Committee of the Strategic Plan of Tourism of the City of Barcelona 2010-2015.


Norbert Kettner

Norbert Kettner was born in 1967 and grew up in Tirol. He has been the Vienna Tourist Board’s Director since September 1, 2007. Prior to this (from September 2003), he was founding managing director of departure wirtschaft, kunst und kultur GmbH, Austria’s leading economic promotion institution for the creative industries. From August 1993 till August 2003, Norbert Kettner was press relations officer for Sepp Rieder, then Executive City Councilor of Finance and Deputy Mayor. He worked for him until 1999 in the Vienna health department, and then moved to the City of Vienna’s finance and economics policy business group.

Norbert Kettner is a member of the board of trustees of ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, on the supervisory board of Stadt Wien Marketing GmbH, deputy chairman of the supervisory board of Kunsthalle Wien GmbH, and a member of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Advisory Board of Modul University Vienna. From 1997 to 2007 he was a member of the board of directors of the Life Ball, Europe’s biggest AIDS charity event.


Paul Roll

Paul RollPaul Roll joined the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau as Managing Director in January 2002. Due to his knowledge of the tourism industry, as a “tour-operating and distribution” Managing Director of Accor Group (1999-2001), and as a Managing Director of Look Voyages – Transat Group (1998-1999), and due to his long experience in the Club Méditerranée Group in Europe and Asia (1979 – 1998), he is a qualified professional to lead the new tourism policy of the City of Paris ; this new policy aims at promoting an innovative image of the French capital and increasing the number of leisure and business visitors.

Since 2009, Paul Roll is also President of the Institute of Research and Higher Studies of Tourism - IREST (Paris 1 Pantheon - Sorbonne University). Fond of tennis and photography, Paul Roll is also an outstanding connoisseur and lover of world music.


Timur Bayindir

Timur Bayindir Born in Bolu, Turkey in 1944 Mr. Bayudir holds various positions. Firstly he is the General Manager of the Harem Hotel Istanbul. Secondly he is Member of the Board of International Hotel  Restaurant Association (IH&RA) and lastly is the elected President of the Touristic Hotels & Investors Association of Turkey (TUROB). Mr. Baydir speaks fluently English and French.




Patricia Pécora

Patricia PécoraPatricia Pécora majored in Tourism at the University of Mar del Plata, Argentina and got a Master’s Degree in Tourism Planning at the Scuola Internazionale di Turismo, in Rome, Italy. She has occupied several positions in the public sector, among them Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports of the Argentine Republic in 2001. From 2007 on she has worked at the Government of the City of Buenos Aires and is currently the Executive Director of its Tourism Agency. She has been a WTO Consultant since 2003. She has also taught at different universities and is co-founder of Alfacrux Consulting.



Professor Chris Cooper

Chris CooperProfessor Chris Cooper gained his undergraduate degree and PhD in Geography from University College London. He works with international agencies in tourism research and education, such as the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the European Union, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the OECD and ASEAN but primarily with the UNWTO where he held the Chair of the UNWTO’s Education Council from 2005 - 2007. He is the author of a number of journal papers and books in the field and was awarded the United Nations Ulysses medal for contributions to tourism education and policy in 2009. He is Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Business School at Oxford Brookes University, UK.


Professor Dimitrios Buhalis

Dimitrios BuhalisProfessor 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 also the President of the International Federation of Information Technology for Travel and Tourism (IFITT). He previously worked at the Universities of Surrey, Westminster and the Aegean whilst he had visiting appointments at ESSEC in France, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, University of Aveiro, Portugal, and the Modul University in Vienna, Austria. 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. He has recently included accessible tourism in his research portfolio. He has worked around the world and has written 18 books, including Accessible Tourism Concepts and Issues, Best practice in Accessible Tourism, Tourism Business Frontiers and Tourism Management Dynamics published by Elsevier, eTourism: Strategic Information Technology for Tourism published by Pearson (Prentice Hall/Financial Times) and Tourism Distribution Channels (Thomson) and more than 100 articles. 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, the World Tourism and Travel Council and the European Commission on eTourism. Dimitrios represents Bournemouth University as a Vice President on the Board of Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

For more information see:


Conference Summary and Closing Remarks

Jafar Jafari

Jafar JafariJafar Jafari is Founding Editor, Annals of Tourism Research: A Social Sciences Journal; Chief Editor, Tourism Social Science (book) Series; Co-Chief Editor, Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice book series; Chief Editor, Encyclopedia of Tourism; Co-Founding Editor, Information Technology & Tourism; Co-Founder, TRINET: Tourism Research Information Network; and Founding President, International Academy for the Study of Tourism. A cultural anthropologist (PhD, University of Minnesota, USA) and a hotel administration graduate (BS and MS, Cornell University, USA), with an honorary doctorate from the Universitat de les Illes Balears (Spain) and the recipient of the 2005 United Nations World Tourism Organization Ulysses Award, he is Visiting Professor of the Universitat do Algarve (Portugal), Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), Sun Yat-sen University (China), Lifetime Honorary Professorship of Bundelkhand University (India), international Program Director of the Universitat de les Illes Balears (Spain), and a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Department of Hospitality and Tourism (USA). Email:



Georgios Drakopoulos

George DrakopoulusGeorge Drakopoulus is a forward thinking and results oriented strategist and manager with specialization in travel, tourism and hospitality business. Hi has 19 years experience in lobbying and interaction with governments and the wider public sector plus 7 years experience in hotel operations which includes In depth knowledge of the tourism system, from regulatory framework and development policies up to sectoral characteristics and dynamics.

He is the Director General at SETE-Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, since 1997. He has been elected as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Affiliate Members of the United Nations World Tourism Organization in March 2012, while served as Vice Chairman from 1998 to 2011. He is representing SETE, since October 2010, in the Employers Group of the European Economic & Social Committee and maintains close contact with the Transport & Tourism Committee of the European Parliament.

Within his career he delivered speeches and presentations in more than 250 national and international conferences in Greece and 16 other countries and produced 38 studies and research pieces (23 alone and 15 as editor or in coop with other authors). Also, more than 300 press releases and 600 articles and interviews were published. Before his professional career he studied Tourism Management in Athens-GR, and is trained in hotel operations in Glion, Switzerland and holds an MSc in Tourism Studies from Surrey University-UK.


Master of Ceremony at the UNWTO Ulysses Awards Gala

Pauline J. Sheldon

Pauline J. SheldonPauline J. Sheldon Professor Emerita at the University of Hawaii’s School of Travel Industry Management where she served as Interim Dean and currently specializes in corporate social responsibility, sustainable tourism, wellness tourism and knowledge management in tourism.  She holds a PhD in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Bachelors degree in Mathematics. She is the author of over one hundred articles and four books, and has served on the editorial boards of all the major tourism journals.  She is Chair of the Board and Past President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. In 2008 she received the UNWTO Ulysses prize for her contributions to knowledge in sustainable tourism. In 2009 she was recognized with the International Travel and Tourism Research Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She co-founded the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI); and chaired the BEST Education Network. She also co-founded TRINET (Tourism Research Information Network) and has worked with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, APEC International Center for Sustainable Tourism, and the World Bank.