Dr. Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore
Senior Researcher & Lecturer
Griffith Institute for Tourism
Brisbane, Australia

Dr. Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore is an international expert on women and children in tourism. She has recently co-published two books: ‘Women and Travel: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’; and ‘Asian Genders in Tourism’. Her work has been published in international journals and that specifically on girlfriend getaways have been featured by travel sites, radio and newspapers. Catheryn also speaks frequently at corporate training programs, international conferences, lectures, seminars and workshops all over the world.

She is the Second Vice-Chair of The Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE); Editor-in-Chief of international journal, Tourism Management Perspectives; and the proud founder and chair of Women Academics in Tourism (WAiT). She researches at the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT).

Catheryn has started and sold businesses for profit and has experienced consulting for institutions and organisations, and lived and worked in Malaysia, New Zealand and America. She is settling for now, in an Australian bayside suburb.

Catheryn is also the UNWTO’s Regional Expert (Asia and the Pacific) for the 2018 Global Report on Women in Tourism.

Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis Director of the eTourism Lab Deputy Director of the International Centre for Tourism And Hospitality Research

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is the Head of Department 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.

He is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. His research area is cutting across a number of disciplines and is looking into adoption of innovations for creating value for both consumers and organisations.

Current research focus includes Smart Tourism, SoCoMo Marketing (Social media Context and Mobile Marketing), Augmented Reality, Experience management and Personalisation, Reputation and Social Media Strategies, Accessible and Special Diet (Alergens) Tourism.

Daniela Wagner

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Daniela Wagner
Director, International Partnership
Jacobs Media Group

With an international remit, Daniela leads the overseas operation, bringing together travel professionals across the globe.

Daniela heads up strategic international business development for Travel Weekly Group and is responsible for creating new international events in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as bringing new clients into the UK market through existing Travel Weekly channels.

She has a demonstrable track record of outstanding achievement within the travel industry and has had great success growing businesses due to her commercial creativity. She has applied her entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills very effectively in large corporate and start-up environments. Fluent in both German and French, she has an extensive network of top-level industry contacts around the globe.

Daniela is also responsible for co-ordinating European PATA chapters, recruiting and retaining members, co-ordinating key events (including the PATA Advocacy dinner) and securing sponsorship.

Isabel Hill

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Isabel Hill Director National Travel and Tourism Office at US Department of Commerce

As Director of the National Travel and Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Ms. Hill is the senior career official with responsibility for travel and tourism for the United States Government and a globally recognized expert in tourism policy and planning.

Her office produces the national statistics on travel and tourism and promotes policies that support the competitiveness of the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

Ms. Hill led the development of the first National Travel and Tourism Strategy for the United States across 12 federal agencies and with the private sector, reflecting her skill in public-private engagement to advance shared objectives.

Ms. Hill also led negotiations to open the market for packaged leisure travel from China to the United States, and she advances U.S. policy in international travel and tourism fora.

Additionally, Ms. Hill directed the first International Tourism Promotion Program for the United States. Based on the platform ‘You’ve Seen the Films, Now Visit the Set’, the award-winning campaign paved the way for the creation of Brand USA, the nation’s first dedicated tourism marketing organization.

She is past Chair of the OECD Tourism Committee, a subject matter expert for the World Economic Forum, and sits on the Advisory Committee of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne.

Prior to her federal service, Ms. Hill was the Film Commissioner at the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Director of Business Development and Policy for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

Hon. Najib Balala

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Hon. Najib Balala EGH
Cabinet Secretary
Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

Honourable Najib Balala, EGH, was born in 1967 and is trained in International Urban Management at the University of Toronto, Canada. He underwent the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

CS Balala was early this year re-appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife by H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, CGH, President of the Republic of Kenya. He had been appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Tourism in the 2015 Government reshuffle. He moved from the Ministry of Mining, where he was appointed as Kenya’s first Minister in May 2013 and is credited with delivering the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940.

Hon. Balala served simultaneously as Member of Parliament for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa, and as Kenya’s Minister for Tourism from April 2008 to March 2012, where he delivered the Tourism Bill and gave the sector a policy and legal framework geared towards maintaining sustainability. Then, he was elected Chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2011 and was voted Best Tourism Minister in Africa in 2009 by Africa Investor (AI).

He is credited with steering Kenya’s tourism sector to recovery following the post-election violence in 2008. He played a significant role in boosting growth and stability in the Kenyan and regional tourism sector, working closely with private and institutional investors, with conservation and regional development agencies to ensure that the economic potential of this vital sector was both prudently and sustainably managed.

Dr. Taleb Rifai

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Taleb Rifai
Former Secretary General
United Nations World Tourism Organization

Dr. Taleb Rifai was the Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, based in Madrid, Spain, until 31 December 2017, having held the post since being unanimously elected in 2010.

After completing his B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo in 1973, Rifai went on to attain a master’s degree in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, United States in 1979. In 1983, he received his PhD in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1973 to 1993, Mr. Rifai was a professor of Architecture at the University of Jordan in Amman. From 1993 to 1995, Rifai headed Jordan’s first Economic Mission to Washington DC, promoting trade, investments, and economic relations between Jordan and the United States. Rifai was also actively involved in policy making and developing investment strategies as Director General of the Investment Promotion Corporation (IPC) in Jordan (1995-1997).

In the three years preceding his service in the Jordanian Cabinet, he was appointed the CEO of Jordan’s Cement Company, one of the country’s largest public shareholding companies with over 4,000 employees. During his term he successfully led the first large-scale privatization and restructuring scheme in Jordan, by bringing in the French cement company Lafarge in 1998 and continued to serve as CEO under the new Lafarge management. From 1999 to 2003, he served in several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan. First, he was appointed Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, in charge of Jordan’s Development Agenda and bilateral and multilateral relationships with donors and agencies. He was subsequently appointed Minister of Information, the spokesman of the Government of Jordan, as well as being in charge of communications and public media. During his tenure, he embarked on restructuring public media and in particular the Jordan Television Network.

In 2001, his portfolio was expanded to include the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity, where he established Jordan’s first Archaeological Park in the ancient city of Petra in collaboration with UNESCO and the World Bank. He also realized several large projects in Jerash, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. As Minister of Tourism, he was the Chairman of the Jordan Tourism Board, President of the Amman School for Tourism and Hospitality and was elected Chairman of the Executive Council of UNWTO in 2001.

Prior to assuming his post at the UNWTO, Taleb Rifai was the Assistant Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for three consecutive years. His responsibilities included the overall supervision and implementation of the International Labor Standards, as well as advising on labor markets and employment policies, particularly in the Middle East region.

Taleb Rifai served as the Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) from February 2006 to February 2009, at which point he took over the role of Secretary-General ad interim on 1 March 2009. Rifai was selected as the official candidate to be presented to entire 155 member inter-governmental body on 12 May 2009, receiving 20 out of 31 votes. Korean Dr. Oh Jee-Chul, from the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), received 10 out of the 11 remaining votes, with the final single vote being given to Mr. Khalid Malik, the Pakistani UN Resident Coordinator in China. The fourth candidate, Mr. Arab Hoballah, the Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production in the UN Environment Program of Lebanon, withdrew. In October 2009, Rifai was unanimously elected by the entire body, and began his four-year term on 1 January 2010.

He was elected for a second four-year term, starting in January 2014, by the 20th Session of UNWTO General Assembly in August 2013 and served in that capacity through 2017. In his Statement of Intent and Management for the period 2014-2017, Rifai expressed his sense of gratitude and accomplishment looking back at his first term as UNWTO Secretary-General, and outlined the focus for his current term: Travel and Tourism’s contributions and responsibilities in a rapidly changing global scene, UNWTO leading the Travel and Tourism Agenda, and the assessment of the reform process UNWTO underwent between 2009-2013.

Advisory Board Members 2019

ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Taleb Rifai Former Secretary General United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) more…
ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Hon. Najib Balala, EGH Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Kenya more…


ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Gerald Lawless WTTC Ambassador, Former Chairman of WTTC, Former President & Group CEO of Jumeirah Group more…
Isabel Hill Director National Travel and Tourism Office (USA) more…
ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Anita Mendiratta Founder & President CACHET Consulting more…
ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Daniela Wagner Director, International PartnershipJacobs Media Group (UK) more…
ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis Director of the eTourism Lab Deputy Director of the International Centre for Tourism And Hospitality Research (UK) more…
Susanna Saari Senior Lecturer Faculty of Engineering and Business, Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) and Past President of Skål International more…
ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Dr. Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore Senior Researcher & Lecturer Griffith Institute for Tourism Brisbane, Australia more…
ITIC 2018 Advisory Board
Ibrahim Ayoub ITIC Organiser and CEO Daiichi Display Ltd more…
ITIC Advisory Board 2019
Phillip Cash Consultant Airport Operations and Management more…

Secretary to the Board

Secretary to the Board

Paul Hoskins Managing Director Fulcrum Travel Marketing+PR more…