Keynote speakers

IMG_7685Dr Irena Ateljevic
  is an activist, researcher and a passionate teacher. She did her PhD in Human Geography in 1998 at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In the current context of increasingly distressed, divided and unsustainable human living her research passion lies in a critical praxis and action research that can bring us more just and hopeful futures. She begun her academic career as a (post)modern critical theorist who pessimistically observed structural socio-spatial inequalities produced by the overarching capitalist and patriarchical framework. Yet in the course of her progressive frustration of ‘only-marking-and-not-making-a-difference’ she has moved to the transmodern and transdiciplinary space of commitment to the hopeful scholarship and caring action that awakens the power of individual agency. Those theoretical ideas she has been translating into the areas of critical tourism studies, women empowerment and transformative education and in empirical terms into her own classroom as well as various action oriented projects in ‘peripheral’ communities of Croatia and India. She is a co-founder of Critical Tourism Studies network dedicated to promote the academy of hope concept. From her last post at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, she has recently returned to Croatia to assist her home country in the aspirations towards its more sustainable future. She currently holds the position of a Scientific Associate at the Institute for Tourism in Zagreb, Croatia where she has just obtained a significant research project on studying the global emergence of Transformative/Transmodern Tourism of and for the Future. She is also especially connected to her home island of Murter and her activist project on developing a Center for Human Development Potential and Innovative Actions that is planned to lead her native island into its hopefully sustainable and creative future (

s200_nigel.morganProfessor Nigel Morgan is Chair of Tourism & Events Marketing at the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management ( An energetic advocate for sustainable and inclusive development place marketing, he has published20 books and is UK & Europe editor of the Journal of Destination Marketing & Management and an editorial board member of several leading journals (including Annals of Tourism Research and Place Branding & Public Diplomacy) and the Place Branding Yearbook. Professor Morgan has a professional background in leisure/sport policy and public sector tourism, event and public relations management. He has taught at the Universities of Exeter, Milan, Tromso and Cardiff Met. and holds Visiting Professorships in Norway and Sunderland, as well as being an Advisory Board member of Visit Wales and a member of the Best Place–European Place Marketing Institute, a think-tank working for the sustainable development of cities, regions and countries. He has advised national & city governments and DMOs and major public and private sector corporations, including UEFA and the BBC.

IMG_1020Dr Marina Novelli is a Reader in Tourism and International Development at the University of Brighton (UK), where she coordinates the Policy, Practice and Performance in Tourism Leisure and Sport Group of the Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies (CoSTaLS), an affiliate member of the UN World tourism Organisation. She is a geographer with a background in economics and an interest in development studies applied to tourism. She has considerable research experience in the field of international tourism policy, planning and development. Her research interests and practices focus primarily on issues associated with sustainable development, governance, capacity building, international cooperation, rural diversification and niche tourism in Sub-Sahara Africa, Europe and Asia.She has undertaken numerous international cooperation assignments with International Development Organisations (IDOs) such as: the World Bank, UNIDO, UNESCO, the EU, The Commonwealth Secretariat as well as National Ministries, Regional Development Agencies and NGOs. Her volume ‘Niche tourism: contemporary issues, trends and cases’ (Oxford: Elsevier 2005) has contributed greatly to her international academic reputation, with niche tourism becoming a core aspect of the global tourism development and policymaking debates. More recently, her reputation as specialist in tourism and development in sub-Sahara Africa has come to light through her extensive applied research, publications and consultancy engagements with IDOs in some 15 Sub-Sahara Africa destinations.She is Editor In-Chief for Tourism and Hospitality Research (Journal published by SAGE), Africa Region Editor for Tourism Planning and Development (Journal published by Francis and Taylor) and currently researching and writing about tourism and development in Sub-Sahara Africa with specific focus on: sustainable development, poverty alleviation, governance, philanthropy, international cooperation, capacity building and post-conflict development. She sees her mission as generating new knowledge on ways in which tourism can play a key role in sustainable development by stimulating local economies, conserving the environment, developing peoples and changing lives.


Anna Pollock is a change agent, strategist, visionary and international speaker. She is the founder of Conscious Travel, an alternative model to mass industrial tourism that develops conscious hosts capable of generating a higher net return for their business and host community. Conscious Travel is a movement, a community and a learning programme that enables places to attract and welcome guests in a manner that doesn’t cost the earth. The operating model that has created a global tourism industry is dying and a new model is emerging. The rules of the game are being re-invented, right now. Practitioners of the new, ecological model know that shareholder profit will be generated if the focus is on creating value for all stakeholders (Michael Porter’s “shared value”). They know that Profit follows Purpose – a commitment to use the business to make the world a better place. Instead of discounting their primary asset – the Place – they focus on protecting, expressing and celebrating its unique Personality to sustain and increase its value to guests.  The passion of all hosts (employees, suppliers, residents), combines with a clear sense of Purpose to PULL in (attract) the kind of guest who will most value what the provider has to offer. The concept of Protection encompasses environmental sustainability, social justice and cultural rejuvenation.Her passion is helping clients understand and harness the change forces at work to build profitable, sustainable enterprises. She love to inspire,  connect and share – all her work is on Slideshare.

Annette-PritchardProfessor Annette Pritchard is Director of Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Welsh Centre for Tourism Research (WCTR) and has a professional background in sports and tourism research and strategy at national agencies. Awarded a personal chair in 2008, Annette has degrees in sociology and international politics; computing and statistics; media studies; and a PhD in tourism management. She has taught at the universities of Aberystwyth, Milan and Cardiff Metropolitan and has a long-standing interest in the relationships between places, representations and identities. Much of her work is driven by a commitment to transformative research and she has published 100+ international contributions, including 19 books and almost 50 peer-reviewed papers on these connectivities, as well as being one of the originators of the hopeful tourism agenda and co-chair of the biannual Critical Tourism Studies Conference Series.Annette was formerly Convenor of the Leisure Studies editorial board and her many current editorial responsibilities include serving as joint Research Notes Editor of the Annals of Tourism Research. She is also an advisory board member of the Copenhagen Business School’s Creative Industries Research Centre and a regular invited speaker at events and conferences. As WCTR Director, Annette has led many international research and consultancy projects. She is currently leading the WCTR work package of a major Norwegian Research Council-funded winter tourism project and recently completed both the interim and final evaluations of the £32 million Visit Wales Promoting Wales to the World Marketing Programme.

Vail_P_fixedDr Pegi Vail is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and curator. Her current work focuses on the political economy of tourism in the developing world. Right of Passage, a book based on this research among backpackers in Bolivia, is forthcoming (Duke University Press). Gringo Trails, her documentary shot in West Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America explores the long term impact of travelers and their narratives globally. Vail has taught on Film and Culture at NYU and Columbia University Anthropology Departments; Tourist Productions in the NYU Performance Studies Program; and documentary filmmaking through the NYU Department of Anthropology’s Culture and Media Program. Vail is a former Fulbright scholar who has additionally lectured on National Geographic and Smithsonian travel study tours and serves as a judge for the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow AwardsAs a curator, she has collaborated with colleagues at NYC arts and cultural institutions such as the National Museum of the American Indian, American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and through organizations such as the The Moth, the storytelling collective she was a founding board member and curator for. She currently serves on the Moth’s curatorial board and general council.