Keynote speakers


Pauline J. Sheldon
University of Hawaii

Pauline J. Sheldon, PhD is Professor Emerita at the University of Hawaii’s School of Travel Industry Management where she also served as Interim Dean for four years. Her research covers sustainable tourism, social entrepreneurship in tourism, wellness tourism, corporate social responsibility, and knowledge management in tourism. She holds a PhD in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Bachelors degree in Mathematics. She has published over seventy journal articles and seven books, and most recently is co-author of the book “Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Philosophy and Practice” published by Springer. Together with Daniel Fesenmaier she is co-editor of a Springer book series entitled “Tourism on the Verge” which publishes volumes on the cutting edge of tourism.


She has been a Visiting Professor at many universities worldwide including University of Ljubljana, Slovenia where she taught in the European Masters in Tourism Management (EMTM) program. She has also taught in the International Masters in Tourism and Environmental Economics (MTEE) program at the University of Balearic Islands in Mallorca, Spain, in the tourism program at Hue University in Vietnam, in sustainable tourism destinations at Modul University, Austria, and corporate social responsibility at Bond University in Australia where she won the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for her course.


Dr. Sheldon also co-founded TRINET (Tourism Research Information Network) which is an international tourism researchers’ electronic bulletin board with over 3,000 subscribers worldwide. She has worked extensively at the international level with organizations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization, APEC International Center for Sustainable Tourism, and the World Bank, and at the local level as a Board member of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. She is also a teacher for the Art of Living Foundation.


Stanislav Ivanov
Varna University

Stanislav Ivanov is currently Professor and Vice Rector (Research) at Varna University of Management, Bulgaria ( Prof. Ivanov is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Tourism Research ( and serves in the Editorial boards of over 30 other journals. His research interests include robonomics, robots in tourism/hospitality, revenue management, destination marketing, tourism and economic growth, political issues in tourism, etc.


His publications have appeared in different academic journals – Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Tourism Management Perspectives, International Journal of Revenue Management, Tourism Economics, Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, Journal of Heritage Tourism, Tourism Today, Tourism, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Tourism Planning and Development, International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration, Technology in Society, Journal of Economic Studies, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics and other journals. For more information about Prof. Ivanov please visit his personal website:


Irena Ateljević
Institute for Tourism Croatia 

Dr Irena Ateljevic was born in Croatia, a former republic of Yugoslavia but left the country in the midst of its civil war at the age of 27, when she migrated to New Zealand in 1993. Soon after she began her doctoral studies and obtained her PhD in Human Geography in 1998 at the University of Auckland. Through the lenses of critical social theory she explored processes of tourism (neo)colonialisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand and its impacts on Maori indigenous people. During the 12 years she spent living in the country, she worked at Auckland University, Victoria University of Wellington and Auckland University of Technology and did numerous international research projects in Asia and South Pacific. In 2005, she moved to the Netherlands to teach at Wageningen University, a highly esteemed university for sustainability and nature conservation issues. She has been invited to teach and speak at various universities worldwide (from Brasil to Rwanda, Australia, Fiji islands, Thailand, China, Finland, the UK, etc.).


She began her academic career as a (post)modern critical theorist who pessimistically observed structural socio-spatial inequalities produced by the overarching Eurocentric, 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 transdisciplinary space of commitment to the hopeful scholarship and caring action that awakens the power of individual agency. Her latest papers on that subject were published in scientific journals of Futuresand Integral Review. Those theoretical ideas she has been translating into the areas of sustainable development, women’s empowerment, critical tourism and community studies, 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 one of the founders of the Critical Tourism Studies network dedicated to promoting the ‘academy of hope’ concept. She is the author/editor of 4 books and 3 special issues of scientific journals and 50 refereed journal articles, invited essays and chapters in edited volumes. Irena also currently holds the position ofa senior scientific associate at the Institute for Tourism, Zagreb where she conducts a research project on the transformative power of tourism towards our sustainable future.Due to this ground-breaking work on the future of tourism she has been recently invited by the UNWTO to produce a ‘Global report on the transformative power of tourism: A paradigm shift towards a more responsible tourism traveller’, which she presented at ITB in Berlin in March 2016.


Chris Cooper
Leeds Beckett University 

Chris Cooper is Professor in the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management Leeds Beckett University in the UK. He gained his undergraduate degree and PhD in Geography from University College London. Chris has more than thirty years experience in tourism and has worked as a researcher and teacher in every region of the world. He gained experience in tour operation working for Thomson Travel before returning to academic life.

Chris was Co-Founder of Progress in Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation Research and the International Journal of Tourism Research and is now the Co-Editor of Current Issues In Tourism. He is a member of the editorial board for leading tourism, hospitality and leisure journals and has authored a number of leading text and research books in tourism. He is the co-series editor of the influential Channel View book series ‘Aspects of Tourism’.

Chris works with international agencies including the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the European Union, the International Labour Organization, the OECD, the Inter American Development Bank and ASEAN. He held the Chair of the UNWTO’s Education Council from 2005 – 2007 and was awarded the United Nations Ulysses Medal for contributions to tourism education and policy in 2009.


Nigel Morgan
University of Surrey

Professor Nigel Morgan is Dean of SHTM, Surrey University, UK. Nigel has a professional background in tourism and sport development, research and strategy and marketing at Sport Wales and in Welsh local authorities and has held senior academic posts and professorial titles in six universities in the UK and Europe. He was formerly Director of Surrey University’s Digital Visitor Economy Research Group (2013-16); and Member of Visit Wales’ Advisory Board (2014-2017).


Nigel is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Tourism Society and the Chartered Management Institute, a Board Member of the International Place Branding Association and Chair of the Mission Art Gallery. The ESRC, EU, Leverhulme and Norwegian Research Council have funded Nigel’s research. His currently projects include an evaluation of the impact of the Wylfa Newydd New Build Nuclear Power Station on the Isle of Anglesey and a Health and Social Care Leadership Academy for Swansea University.