Press Release

ITIC’s Central, Eastern and Southeast Tourism Investment Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria to be rescheduled to 20 – 21 March 2023

The highly anticipated ‘Central, Eastern & Southeast Europe Tourism Investment Summit’ due to be hosted by ITIC in Sofia, Bulgaria on 12 – 14 September will now be rescheduled to 20 – 21 March 2023.

15 August 2022 – The International Tourism and Investment Conference (ITIC) has today announced that its upcoming ITIC Tourism Investment Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria on 12 – 14 September will now be rescheduled to March 2023. The three-day event was originally programmed to take place next month to highlight investment opportunities within Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe (CEE and SEE), but due to the national parliamentary snap election being held in Bulgaria in October, ITIC has taken the decision to reschedule for 20 – 21 March 2023.

Home to more than 20% of the European Union’s population, CEE and SEE has steadily been progressing up the value chain, and ITIC looks forward to showcasing the region’s untapped tourism investment potential. The region offers solid perspectives for domestic and inbound tourism due to its rich cultural history and distinctive landscapes.

Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman of ITIC and former Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, said: “The economic development within Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe over the last few years has been truly remarkable. Despite the ongoing challenges the region faces, there remains a great deal of investment opportunities due to its unique travel destinations. As the global economy and travel picks up again in the post-COVID era, we are honoured to host the ITIC Tourism Investment Summit in Bulgaria in March 2023, and wish to encourage investors and policymakers not to overlook the great potential this part of the world has to offer.”

The Summit promises to deliver an unrivalled combination of thought-provoking content, top-tier delegates, and extraordinary networking opportunities. The conference will bring together some of the best specialists who will unravel the current trends and outline the future of the tourism industry in the CEE and SEE regions.

Ibrahim Ayoub, the Group CEO of ITIC, said: “We look forward to hosting the event in Bulgaria on 20 – 21 March 2023 as we believe the Summit will certainly contribute to revitalise the tourism sector within CEE and SEE and be the turning point in channelling investments in the industry.”

For more information, please email Ibrahim Ayoub

Maryana Oleskiv

Maryana Oleskiv
State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine

Maryana traveled by herself around the country during 2003 – 2006 and studied Ukraine from small villages to big cities while creating a web-site about vacations in Ukraine She worked in the hospitality industry of three largest tourism centers – Lviv, Odesa and Kyiv.

  • From June 2020 started a promotion company «Travel Ukraine» in order to develop domestic tourism in Ukraine.
  • As from 3 March 2020, Chairperson of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine Spent over 17 years working in the tourism sector, convention industry and marketing
  • 2016 – 2018 Director at LME «Lviv Centre for Tourism Development»
  • 2013 – 2015 Head of the Division of Tourism Agencies and Travel Bureau at Ltd «Slupskyi»
  • 2011 – 2012 Deputy Head of the Department – Head of Tourism Division at Department of Culture and Tourism at Odesa City Council
  • 2007 – 2009 Head of the Advertisement Division at «Initia Events»(Kyiv)

Aradhana Khowala

Aradhana Khowala
Chief Excutive Officer
Aptamind Partners

Aradhana is a global expert on the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Her executive, entrepreneurial and board career spans over two decades, five continents and 75+ countries. She is currently the CEO of Aptamind Partners, a private client advisory that advises governments and businesses on using tourism as a force for good and she is the former Managing Director of Tourism at NEOM which is the US$ 500 Billion land of the future in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A sought-after Board Member she has an active portfolio of board roles both in private and listed companies which includes being the Chair of the Red Sea Advisory board in Saudi Arabia, Board Member of World Tourism Forum in Lucerne Switzerland as well as Board Member of the leisure arm of a multi asset listed holding company.

She speaks widely on sustainable tourism, tourism of the future, women in leadership and has participated in global policy discussions in United Nations bodies, the WEF as well as the G20 apart from all major tourism Summits. She has studied at Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne in Switzerland, Cornell University in US and INSEAD in France.