Program Outline

Tuesday, December 1


Welcome Reception


Welcome Greetings

Wednesday, December 2




Summit's Opening


Keynote Lecture


Coffee Break


Cities and Destinations

Reflects on landscapes under pressure, and explores themes related to managing ‘degrees’ of tourism i.e., over-tourism and under-tourism, “smart” destinations, the cultivation of the host community, and stimulating local entrepreneurship.




Transportation and Aviation

Deliberates the realities of green transportation, smart transportation, “flight shaming”, emission reduction, and exploration of alternative modes of travel.


Coffee Break


Green Tech

Considers the planning and executing sustainable conferences and events, paperless events, waste and energy management, green catering, and responsible procurement


Free Time


Jerusalem Night Tour

Thursday, Wednesday 3


Morning Coffee


Markets and Marketing

Considers consumer attitudes toward sustainability, Generation Z and the role in driving attitudes and travel, marketing sustainable products, and marketing to promote sustainable behavior.  


Coffee Breack


Keynote Presentation




Hotels and Venues

Presents’ sustainability resources and their management, the status and success of ‘green’ hotels, ‘zero waste’ hotels, responsible procurement, and promotion and advantages of equality in the workforce. 


Coffee Break


Keynote presentation


Concluding & insights

MK Yariv Levin

Minister of Tourism

Mr. Nir Barkat

Mayor of Jerusalem

Amir Halevi

Director General
Israel Ministry of Tourism


Amir Halevi is a Law graduate (LLB) from Bar Ilan University, and has a BA in Geography from Tel Aviv University.

Born in Jerusalem as the 15th generation of his family in the city, Mr. Halevi now resides in Tel-Aviv. In recent years he established ARTTIC Israel, a branch of the European provider of management services for international collaborative R&D projects. He headed Halevi Dweck Ltd, from the Grant Thornton Israel group that specializes in project consultancy and management in the private and public sector. 

Halevi served as council member in the Tel Aviv city council (1993-2003). During this time he served as chairman of several committees, among them, the Acquisitions & Communications, Finance, and Planning & Construction. Between 2001 and 2003 he served as Deputy Mayor. Among the many projects he was involved in, he prides himself especially with the cycling project in Tel Aviv that he initiated. Until recently, Halevi served as the director of companies in the private and public sector and as chairman of the National Sports Center in Tel Aviv. 

Halevi is married and the father of 3 children.

​Zurab Pololikashvili

UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
(Video Greeting)

Mr. Yossi Fatael

Head of Israel Incoming Tour Operators Organization

Avi Benayahu

Brigadier General (Ret.), Former IDF Spokesperson
CEO and owner of BNAYAHU Strategy and Consulting Ltd.

Lecture title

Terrorism is the Theatre, Tourism is the Stage - Preparing for the Next Crisis

Matthew Finn

Managing Director



Matthew is an international security consultant, author, speaker and entrepreneur, with decades of experience working at the most senior levels of government and industry across six continents.

He is the Managing Director of AUGMENTIQ — a consultancy firm specializing in homeland, border and transportation security.

Matthew advises Chief Executives and the leadership teams of many of the industry’s highest profile security companies. He briefs ministers and politicians on homeland security policy and is a regular commentator on security and terrorism-related issues in the media.

A respected author and speaker, Matthew seeks to inspire critical thinking, innovation and leadership — and challenge the way we view risk and implement security.

He is an Executive Board Member of the World Border Organization – BORDERPOL; Editorial Advisory Board Member of Aviation Security International; Advisory Board Member for Smart Borders; and Strategic Advisor to and Chairman of SDW 2017. Matthew is also the Founder & Sponsor of the Security Leadership Summit.

Lecture title

How to Improve Resilience and Enhance Recovery in the Tourism Industry

Dirk Glaesser

Director Sustainable Development Programme
UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)


Dirk Glaesser is Director for Sustainable Development of Tourism Department at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The department deals with the different challenges and opportunities of tourism development, among them environment and planning, investment and finance, risk and crisis management. He supervises the Consulting Unit on Biodiversity and Tourism of the Organization based in Bonn, Germany.

Dr. Glaesser obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Lüneburg, Germany and won the ITB scientific award for his work on Crisis Management. He is the author of a number of publications which have been widely translated.

Lecture title

Reflections on Crisis Management from a Global Perspective

David Scharia

Director, Chief of Branch at CTED
United Nations Security Council

Alain Dupeyras

Head of the Regional Development and Tourism Division


As Head of the Regional Development and Tourism Division in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, Alain Dupeyras oversees OECD work on tourism, on rural policies and on other regional and territorial issues. Alain works closely with Members and Partners, the private sector and other international organisations to develop policies that address major challenges in all these policy areas. The Tourism Committee, the Regional Development Policy Committee, and the Working Party on Rural Policy are key OECD fora to assist governments in the assessment and improvement of these policies. Through the Working Party on Tourism Statistics, Alain also contributes to an improved measurement and analysis of tourism services.

Lecture title

Safe and Secure Tourism - A Policy Perspective

Isabel Hill

Director, National Travel and Tourism Office
U.S. Department of Commerce


Isabel Hill is the Director of the National Travel and Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  She and her team support and implement policies and programs that foster the competitiveness of U.S. travel and tourism industries in collaboration with the private sector and other federal agencies. Her office produces the national statistics on travel and tourism and serves as the federal liaison to the nations tourism promotion organization, Brand USA.  Her office also represents U.S. travel and tourism policy in bilateral and multilateral fora.

A leader in tourism policy and planning, 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 commitment to public-private engagement and partnerships to advance shared objectives.  Ms. Hill has played a significant role in the development of policies that advance both economic and national security for the United States, in collaboration with relevant agencies and the private sector.  She is the past Chair of the Tourism Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and sits on the Advisory Committees of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne, and the International Tourism Crisis Management Summit.  Ms. Hill has been a frequent speaker and contributor to global discussions on tourism policies and programs and has regularly engaged in working groups of the World Travel and Tourism Council, The World Economic Forum, and the World Bank.

Ms. Hill also served as a member of the United States Civilian Response Corps, trained at the National Defense University as a planner for reconstruction and stabilization, and participated as a civilian planner in the Warfighter decennial exercise.

Lecture title

Tourism and Security – Prevention and Promotion


Travel and tourism provides substantial economic and social benefits and contributes to the economic security of host countries. Security incidents can have significant negative consequences on the travel and tourism sector, affecting lives and livelihoods. Tourism administrations and the private sector can play productive roles in supporting effective security policies that protect travelers and the public as they facilitate legitimate travel, which is critical in alcapturing the value of the global growth of travel and tourism.

Rolf D. Freitag

IPK International


Rolf D. Freitag studied Economics at the University of Berlin and Munich and graduated with a Master Degree in Economy from the “Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München”.

In 1969, he founded IPK International, a tourism consultancy specialized in travel research, tourism marketing and tourism masterplanning, which counts among the leading tourism consultancies worldwide. For more than 200 clients from the private and public sector in over 50 countries around the globe, IPK has successfully completed more than 1,000 customized tourism studies, marketing plans and masterplans over the past 45 years. Besides its main focus on tailored studies, on a regular basis IPK International also publishes reports on the latest tourism trends, such as the “World Luxury Travel Report”, the “MICE Travel Report” or a report on its investigation on the impact of terrorism on tourism. Apart from tailored projects, a variety of studies are based on IPK’s World Travel Monitor®, the world’s most comprehensive tourism database on European, Arabian, Asian, North and South American outbound travel behavior covering more than 90% of the international travel demand. The "World Travel Monitor®" with around 500.000 interviews in over 60 countries has established itself as the largest continuous tourism study of its kind.

Lecture title

Global Travel Risk Trends – From the Perspective of International Travelers

Hans Lagerweij

CEO and President, Victory Cruise Lines
Trustee, Safer Tourism Foundation


Hans holds a MBA from Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Until 2008 Hans hold various marketing and sales roles in Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies. In 2008, Hans combined his love for adventure travel and his expertise in marketing when he became Managing Director of Sawadee Reizen in The Netherlands. In 2010, Hans moved to Toronto and became president of Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar travel. In 2015 he took over responsibility for all adventure brands within TUI Travel, a business that was sold to KKR in 2017. In 2018 Hans became CEO and President of boutique luxury cruise start-up Victory Cruise Lines, while he is also a trustee of the Safer Tourism Foundation in the UK.

Lecture title

Tourism Safety and Security, A Customer Perspective -
and Joint Responsibility


The Safer Tourism Foundation is a charity that aims to reduce the numbers of preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses occurring to people travelling abroad. This summer we will be able to share results from a customer study into perceived risks and safety concerns during holidays, and a factual data study of accidents with British tourists abroad. Tourism safety and security is a join responsibility of all stakeholders, with travel companies identifying risk, managing risks, and setting clear standards. At the same time, customer awareness of security & safety risks that they may face during holidays must be improved. Hans will give practical examples from his experience operating in the most challenging adventure travel environments in the world, and recently from operating cruises in hurricane crushed and political hot topic Cuba with Victory Cruise Lines. 

Ilanit Melchior

Tourism Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA)


Mrs. Ilanit Melchior is the Director of Tourism for the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA). The JDA is responsible for economic progress and development of the city, a key part of which is tourism that represents an economic engine of growth across the different socio-economic groups in Jerusalem.

As Director of Tourism, Ilanit oversees the strategic development and implementation of the national and international projects aimed at promoting tourism in Jerusalem, including the development of new hotels, conservation and preservation projects, tourism products, and the newly launched Jerusalem Conventions and Visitors Bureau, offering logistical support and financial incentives to conference organizers.

Lecture title

Generating Tourism Growth in Times of Crisis: the Case of Jerusalem

Michael Goldsmith

VP of Marketing
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority


Michael Goldsmith is the Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). The LVCVA is the destination marketing organization for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, and its mission centers on attracting domestic and international visitors by promoting the destination as the world’s most desirable destination for leisure and business travel.  The LVCVA also owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

In his current role, Mr. Goldsmith is responsible for directing the efforts of the LVCVA’s 15 international offices on 5 continents.  He oversees International Sales and Public Relations, Airline Development, Digital Engagement, Sports Marketing and Special Events efforts for the LVCVA.

Prior to joining the LVCVA in 2000, Michael held a variety of management positions at resort properties including The Mirage, Aladdin Resort, and Riviera Hotel & Casino. He began his professional career as a travel coordinator at Group Travel Specialists in Tucson, Arizona in 1985, and later progressed to positions at America West Airlines in Phoenix and the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale, prior to relocating to Las Vegas in 1991. 

Mr. Goldsmith holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

He is active in many industry organizations, currently serving on the International Board of Directors for the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the Global Development Committee for Brand USA, and the Global Leadership Committee for Destinations International.

Lecture title

It Can Happen Anywhere - Las Vegas and 1 October


When a tourism destination suffers an unimaginable event, how do you respond? How do you strike the right tone with your customers and your community, and ensure all communications protect your brand?  Hear how Las Vegas managed its destination messaging after the events of 1 October, the largest mass shooting in American history and how its loyal brand advocates became some of its most vocal and visible pillars of brand strength.

Roy Graff

Managing Director, Europe, Africa and Middle East (EMEA)
Dragon Trail Interactive


Roy Graff brings over 20 years of experience working in and with China in the tourism, hospitality, luxury retail and digital marketing sectors. Roy is the author of the 2015 book, China, the Future of Travel, and frequently speaks at leading travel and tourism conferences. Roy has provided strategic advice and market entry support to some of the world’s leading travel organisations, including Skyscanner, VisitBritain, PromPeru and Eurostar. In the early 2000s, he spearheaded Gullivers Travel Associates’ development of the independent travel business in China in the early days of Chinese outbound tourism.

Lecture title

How to Manage Chinese Tourism Marketing in Times of Crisis

Régis Faure

Director of Tourism
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès – Cannes


With a long and International experience in the MICE industry, Régis is in charge of the sales and the marketing of the Cannes destination as well as the Exhibition & Convention Centre that hosts worldwide events such as the famous International Film Festival, MIPIM, Cannes Lions, Tax Free… He also oversees the Cannes Conventions and Visitors Bureau to promote and to market the destination to PCOs, events organizers as well as tour operators and final clients.

Lecture title

Cannes: Resilience in the Côte d’Azur - a Business Case

Philippe Leclerc

Head of the Security and Safety Department
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes


Philippe Leclerc is head of the security and safety department of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès (Cannes, France).

He started his career as Navy officer in the French Navy and then worked at the French Ministry of Defence on global security and counterterrorism.

After working over 30 years as a military (commander) he joined the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in 2016.

Philippe is graduated from National Institute of Higher Defence Studies (IHEDN) and National Institute of Higher Security and Justice Studies (INHESJ), both under the authority of the French Prime Minister.

Lecture title

Cannes: Resilience in the Côte d’Azur - a Business Case

Irfan Önal

Director General for Tourism Promotion
Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey


Irfan Önal, born in 1971 in Izmir, studied Public Administration at Ankara University and graduated in 1994. In 1995 Önal was appointed as Assistant Inspector of the Ministry of Culture and in 2006 Önal was appointed as Head Inspector at the Ministry of Culture and Tourısm. In 2007, Önal became the Culture and Tourism Attache to London. Önal has been Director General of Promotion fort he Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkish Republic. Önal is married with one child.

Lecture title

The New Vision of Destination Turkey

Doris Danner

VP Central Eastern Europe, Russia, Caucasus, Israel


Doris works with a very diverse and fast-developing region within the TBWA\ collective. She is leading and supporting her teams to deliver the best growth strategies for our clients. Furthermore, she ensures that big and small clients experience the same level of creative solutions, strategic knowledge and brand leadership in any of the almost thirty markets across the territory. Having more than two decades of experience in advertising and marketing, Doris is also a key partner to our global clients, including McDonald's or Nissan.

Prior to joining TBWA\ almost 20 years ago, Doris was in key marketing positions at McDonald's and Henkel.

Doris enjoys traveling and spending time with different cultures. At TBWA she has lived and worked in many countries from Argentina to Russia and from Germany to Hungary. In her private time she is a contemporary art collector, works on her family vineyard and is a crazy football fan. Doris is Austrian and lives in Vienna.

Lecture title

Learnings from the Industry - Best Practice in Managing a Crisis

Prof. Eli Avraham

Expert in Crisis Communication
University of Haifa


Professor Eli Avraham teaches in the Department of Communication at the University of Haifa in Israel. Prof. Avraham is the author/co-author of a number of books including “Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis and Improving the Image of Cities, Countries and Tourist Destinations” (Elsevier, 2008) and “Marketing Tourism for Developing Countries: Battling stereotypes and crises in Asia, Africa and the Middle East” (2016, Palgrave-McMillian). His research interests include public relations and marketing strategies, marketing places, nation branding, advertising, image repair, and crisis communication.

Lecture title

Crisis Communication and Destination Image Repair Strategies


Over the past two decades, tourism crises have become a familiar problem for a growing list of countries, regions and cities. Strong tourism brands and popular tourist destinations such as Paris, New York, London, Cairo and Madrid have suffered from terror attacks, demonstrations and riots. In the age of the World Wide Web, new media, global TV networks and the global economy, tourism crises are widely covered in the international media and mentioned in the new media.  They can empty out hotels, cancel flights and leave tourist attractions deserted overnight. The goal of the presentation is to show the relations between crisis management and crisis communication management, and to demonstrate how marketers all over the world use recovering marketing and image repair strategies in order to promote their destinations’ perception as “safe” for visit, during and after crises.

Ido Aharoni

Global Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Art and Science, NYU
Member of International Advisory Council, APCO


Ambassador Ido Aharoni, member of APCO’s International Advisory Council, serves as global distinguished professor at New York University’s School of International Relations in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Ambassador Aharoni is a 25-year veteran of Israel’s Foreign service, a public diplomacy specialist, founder of the Brand Israel program and a well-known nation branding practitioner. Ambassador Aharoni, who served as Israel's longest serving consul-general in New York and the tristate area for six years, oversaw the operations of Israel’s largest diplomatic mission worldwide.

In September 2007, Aharoni was appointed to serve as the nation's first head of brand management in Jerusalem, designed to improve Israel's positioning in the world by highlighting its relative advantages and increasing its relevance.

In 2002, Aharoni initiated the inclusion of Israel in the BAV (Brand Asset Valuator), the world's largest database on brands maintained by advertising giant Y&R (Young and Rubicam). Later that year, he convened the Brand Israel Group, an independent group of marketing and branding specialists, thus creating the foundation to what would later become the Brand Israel Program. In 2014 Aharoni initiated the creation of the “Best Countries Index” published annually by U.S. News & World Report. The index is unveiled yearly at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Lecture title

The Marketing of Places in Crisis: A Practitioner's POV

Tom Buncle

Managing Director
Yellow Railroad


Tom Buncle is Managing Director of Yellow Railroad Ltd., an international destination consultancy, which helps destinations improve their competitiveness through branding, marketing, destination management planning, and crisis recovery. His client list spans UK, Europe, Africa, Middle East, North America and the Caribbean. He has worked on crisis recovery teams in the UK and Africa and delivered crisis communications training for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

In life before consultancy, Tom was Chief Executive of Visit Scotland and worked for Visit Britain in USA, Canada, Norway, London and Singapore.

He is also an Honorary Professor at Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University and lectures at conferences worldwide on destination branding, crisis recovery, and global travel trends. He authored the definitive Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding, published by UNWTO and European Travel Commission (ETC).

He is a Fellow of the UK Tourism Society and the UK Tourism Management Institute, a member of the Experts’ Committee of World Tourism Cities Forum (China) and the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance (Africa).

Tom’s motto: “Life is not a dress-rehearsal”

Lecture title

Crisis Recovery for Tourism Destinations

Yiftah Curiel

Director, Department for Digital Diplomacy
Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Yiftah Curiel is the incoming director of the department for digital diplomacy at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, overseeing the full array of the MFA's online and social media activity.

Curiel is a career diplomat, having served as spokesman of the Israeli embassy in London (2013-2017). Previous postings include the public diplomacy portfolio at Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires, and DCM (deputy ambassador) in Addis Ababa.

Lecture title

Digital Tools for Public Diplomacy & Crisis Management

Andrew van der Feltz

Senior Director, EMEA and APAC


As senior director for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Expedia Media Solutions, Andrew van der Feltz drives business development and sales for the growing display advertising space. His team works closely with agencies, destination marketing organizations, hotel and airline partners in the region. Prior to joining Expedia, Andy was the Director of Business Development & Operations at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) since April 2011. Prior to this, he also worked at NBTC in the London office as country manager for the UK and Ireland. He started his career at NBTC as marketing manager, after his role as an international marketing manager at VisitScotland. Andy studied Marketing and French in Scotland, continued his postdoc education at the Institute of Marketing in Edinburgh, and attended the Executive Educational Programme in General Management at the London Business School.

Lecture title

Responding To Adversity: Working With Destinations during Times of Crisis

Justin Reid

Director of Destination Marketing EMEA

Lecture title

How the (TripAdvisor) World Reacts to Tourism Crises

Mor Schlesinger

Engineering Manager


Mor Schlesinger started her high-tech career at the age of 17, and spent more than 25 years in a variety of roles as a software engineer, entrepreneur and a senior executive in the mobile, Internet, engineering and defense industries. Mor is an Engineering Manager at Google, working on Crisis Response in Search, and focusing on getting people the right information at the times they need it most. In her most recent role she served as Vice President of Engineering at Quixey, a mobile technology company focused on providing users with easy access and engagement with the content and functionalities within apps. In this role, Mor established the Israeli office and led the engineering team at Quixey Israel. Prior to Quixey, Mor spent time at SharedBook (as its VP R&D and co-founder), Vigil, Technomatix/Siemens, IBM and she also served as an officer in the IDF intelligence corps.

Mor holds a BSc cum laude in mathematics and computer science from Tel Aviv University and MSc cum laude in computer science.

Throughout the years Mor has been actively volunteering with women empowerment and diversity, initiating mentoring programs, consulting and public speaking.

Lecture title

Crisis Response: Saving Lives with Data


Natural disasters and other crisis events are incredibly dynamic, noisy situations. People have to make extremely stressful decisions with too little – or sometimes worse – too much information.

Our mission in Google Crisis Response is to save lives and prevent suffering by providing people with critical information when they need it most. We aim to help everyone make better decisions in emergencies with credible, actionable information; enabling them to contribute and exchange situational knowledge.

This lecture will focus on the Crisis Response problem domain: what can we do and how can we use data to save lives and prevent suffering. It's our responsibility, especially in times of crisis, to make the key information more accessible and useful.

Merav Borenstein

VP Strategy and Innovation


Merav Borenstein is Vp Strategy and Innovation in Buzzilla.  Buzzilla is a listening company- scanning the social networks, monitoring and conducting research based on the data gathered from the social networks.  During the last 10 years listening research has grown both in volume and significance and is now a significant part in the way companies learn about their customers. The most important element in listening research is the fact that no questions are being asked. We learn from what people say voluntarily, as part of their daily behavior.

Merav has an MBA from the Tel Aviv University. As Vp Strategy she is responsible for all research conducted by Buzzilla, including developing methodologies to fit various research goals or industries. She is also responsible for innovation, looking for ways to implement new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and ML into the Buzzilla system  

Lecture title

Virtual and Actual Crises in Tourism – Identifying, Prevention and Handling


In June 2017 a terror attack took place near the London Bridge.

Immediately afterwards the social networks were filled with discussions dealing with the safety of traveling to London.

We can see the rapid decrease in the chatter volume regarding the safety of traveling to London. But is the effect really short termed?

Checking the word cloud associated with the London terror attack we can find references to the Manchester terror attack' that took place less than a month before.

How can we deal with this?

Carol McGury

INCON Co-Chair, PCMA Foundation Chair-Elect
Executive Vice President, Event and Education Services, SmithBucklin


Carol McGury serves as executive vice president, Event and Education Services of SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other.

She oversees the Event Services team and all of the company’s convention, trade show and event management service offerings, and is charged with upholding and improving SmithBucklin’s high standard of productivity and performance, and leveraging the company’s unmatched purchasing power. In addition, she oversees the Education & Learning Services team that provides the resources and capabilities needed to manage new product/program development, education strategy and planning, content management and delivery, and program evaluation.

The client organizations’ events the team serves have regularly been named to the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 List, the Trade Show News Network’s Top 50 Fastest-Growing Trade Shows List and the Trade Show News Network’s Top 250 Trade Shows List. SmithBucklin also was named by Trade Show Executive as one of the “Companies to Watch in 2016.” Carol was inducted in the BizBash Hall of Fame in 2016.

Carol joined SmithBucklin in 1988 and during her tenure has served all three SmithBucklin industry practices (Business + Trade, Healthcare + Scientific, and Technology). She has served as chief staff executive of the Independent Oracle Users Group, SHARE (an IBM Users Group), the Joint Users of Siemens Technology (JUST-US) and several other technology associations focused on HP, Microsoft and CA user communities. She also served as the strategic account director for PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation), supporting its global event strategy and expanded North American Community Event.

As a career mentor and coach, she has dedicated herself to developing SmithBucklin talent at all levels. Carol’s broad association experience, passion for working with volunteer-driven organizations, and her strong business acumen and relationship management skills have helped develop SmithBucklin’s expertise in growing and launching client organizations.

Carol serves as Chair-Elect on the PCMA Education Foundation. She also serves on the Marriott Hotel Advisory Board and Anaheim Advisory Board, and she is co-chair of INCON (an international partnership of association and event management companies).

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications with a minor in business from St. Xavier University and a master’s degree in public service administration from DePaul University. She is also a graduate of SmithBucklin’s Leadership Learning Forum.

Lecture title

Case Studies for the MICE Industry: Managing Crisis across the Globe

Keiko Nishimoto

Kyoto University


Keiko Nishimoto, CMP, MBA, has 18 years of professional experience in meeting management, and is now a PhD candidate at Kyoto University Graduate School of Management. Keiko is well known for her risk management skills. She serves as a deputy chair of International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Asia Pacific chapter (2016-2017, 2018-2019).

Lecture title

Risk Management in Meeting Industry: Case Study of Triple Disasters 2011 in Japan


The value of international association meetings has often been explained as the economic impact, while there are other important benefits such as politic effects, socio-cultural effects and tourism effects. The author is now working to establish the evaluation model on overall value of international association meetings to the destination, not limited to the economic effects. The purpose of this study is to help destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to demonstrate the value of meetings, when they try to obtain supports from various stakeholders. As a part of the research,  a case study will be presented when Japan’s inbound tourism was severely struck by triple disasters in 2011. This case study clarifies that the international meetings are insusceptible by external factors when comparing with general tourism, and has potential to be game changers in such critical situation.

Barbara Calderwood

Divisional Director Associations
MCI UK / IAPCO Council

Lecture title

Effective Communication and Planning: A Case Study from Manchester, two weeks after the Manchester Arena Attack

Dan Rivlin

Kenes Group


Dan Rivlin joined Kenes in 1993 and rose through the ranks of the organisation holding senior managerial positions, including Operations Director, prior to becoming CEO in 1999. Dan’s vision and guidance coupled with accumulated experience and expertise gives Kenes Group its time-honoured stability and market presence. He holds a B.Sc. in Hospitality Management from Florida International University and an MBA from Bradford University, with a specialty in management.

Lecture title

When I Find Myself in Times of Trouble – A Quick Overview of the Meetings' World Daily Routine

Iftah Amit

Head of Global Sales and Marketing Activities
Kenes Group


With more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles in different companies and industries, Iftah joined Kenes Group in 2014 to head the global sales and marketing activities of the company. With expertise in strategic planning, business development, sales, organisation establishment and contract negotiations, Iftah has successfully led matrix-based global sales organisations on four continents. Additionally, he brings experience and knowledge of a number of sectors, including automotive, technology and communications. In his current role at Kenes, Iftah manages the business development, marketing, sponsorships and accommodation sales divisions. He holds a BA (cum laude) from Pace University, New York and an Executive MBA from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Eran Ketter

Senior Trainer and Advisor in Tourism Marketing


Eran Ketter (PhD) is a senior trainer, advisor and keynote speaker in tourism recovery marketing, a researcher and the co-author of the world-renowned books: "Tourism marketing for Developing Countries" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), "Marketing the Impossible" (SPH, 2012) and “Media Strategies for Marketing Places in Crisis” (Elsevier-BH, 2008).

His vast practical experience includes training, research and consulting projects for the OECD, Israeli Ministry of Economy, Philippines Tourism Promotion Board, Tanzania National Park Association, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Kenya Tourism Board, Rwanda Development Board, Ethiopian Ministry of Telecommunication and others.

Currently, Eran serves as a special marketing advisor for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.


In an era when the next crisis is always behind the corner, destinations should focus on establishing resilience and building a rich and positive image that can absorb crisis events. Destination resilience marketing is aimed at identifying the key environments that set the destination's resilience level (i.e., target audiences, past and future crises, public image and destination characteristics) and acting proactively to enhance resilience is each one of those critical environments. The resilience marketing perspective goes beyond the pre/ post crisis acts, and take a proactive and holistic approach for managing destination image, marketing, sales and tourism supply/demand system in turbulent times.