Lionel Bécherel, UK

Lionel is Director, International Tourism Consultancy Associates, UK. The International Tourism Consultancy Associates specializes in formulating tourism policies and development strategies, developing strategic marketing plans, institution building, and human resources development and employment strategies. Lionel Becherel has worked closely with the UNWTO over the years and carried out assignments on its behalf including preparing strategic development plans and policies for member countries and preparing reports that have been distributed worldwide such as the 2004 Market Trends Series. He is currently contributing to a UNEP publication on coastal tourism governance and management in Africa (Cameroon and Senegal) resulting from the UNIDO/UNWTO-led COAST project. He has also developed and delivered courses, workshops and seminars on behalf of the World Tourism Organization, such as the "Tourism Policy and Strategy Workshop" which has been regularly organized at the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid since 1997 for officials of national tourism administrations as well as in member countries.

Dick Bliek, Czech Republic

Dick Bliek, Partner and Senior Vice-President of HIM – Vienna (Hotel Interim management) and the President of the Management Board (CEO) of Suncani Hvar hotels (owned by Orco Property Group) until 2011. Within HIM, he is in charge of Standard operating policies and procedures and their implementation, Training and quality assurance programs. He has also been appointed Chief Development Officer, in charge of attracting new partners/hotels for the Mamaison brand; Regional Director MMR, responsible for 8 hotels in Central and East Europe; Regional Director (deputy COO) Mamaison Hotels & Apartments (MMR), responsible for the operations of five hotels in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Simon Milne, New Zealand

Simon Milne is Professor of Tourism at Auckland University of Technology, where he directs the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute ( Simon completed his PhD in economic geography at Cambridge in 1989 and then taught at McGill University, Montreal until 1998.Simon's current core research focuses on the links between tourism, IT and sustainable economic development. Simon Milne has considerable experience in linking world heritage sites to broader economic and social development. In New Zealand Simon has conducted a range of work on the Tongariro National Park and surrounding areas, this work included an examination of links to national marketing strategies and also issues around commercial activities (skiing and hiking) and community development. Simon has conducted a range of other work on linking New Zealand's natural heritage to broader economic and societal goals. Globally, Simon has been involved in a range of research and policy work related to world heritage sites and sustainable economic development. Simon has worked on linking the Northern Rice Terraces heritage site in the Philippines to community development (UNESCAP funded work on tourism and poverty alleviation/gender development). In 2010 Simon completed a DTIS study for the UNDP in Kiribati that focused in part on the potential to link the new Phoenix Islands Heritage Site to broader national development. In Canada Simon has been involved in research exploring the links between Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and community development. Simon has also supervised PhD students who have focused on the links between world heritage sites and sustainable development, two recent PhD students have focused on urban world heritage sites in Vietnam (Hoi An and Hue).

Carlos Santos, Azores

Full Professor in the field of Economics of Tourism, University of the Azores, Portugal. Professor of the Masters Program in "International Tourism," University of Toulouse Capitole (University of Social Sciences of Toulouse), France. He is also the Professor in charge of teaching several modules of "Tourism Economics," "Economic Strategy of Tourism Firms," "Tourism Development and Planning," "Macroeconomics," "Microeconomics," "Regional Economics" and "International Economics" at the Economics and Business Department of the University of the Azores, Portugal. Moreover, he is the President and CEO of the Azores Tourism Observatory (OTA). OTA is in charge of defining tourism strategies for the Azores's tourism public authorities and of implementing several tourism studies and surveys in the Azores, Portugal.

Ásta Thorleifsdóttir, Islande

Asta Thorleifsdottir is the director of East Iceland tourism marketing office, owned by a cluster of SME's in tourism and its aim is to promote East Iceland as a tourist destination. Asta is born in Germany in 1960 of icelandic parents. She holds a BSc degree in Earth Science, a MSc in Hydrogeology, an MPA degree focusing on environmental legislation and public participation, as well as a degree in Natural Science education. Asta  has worked in a wide variety of fields, ranging from astrobiology to software design, from Intellectual Capital studies to tourism. She has worked as a trekking guide in Iceland and is a certified mountain guide. She has lectured on nature-based tourism and earth science at the University of Iceland and tought earth science at high school. Asta has been active in nature conservation and sustainable use of nature resources and is the president of East Iceland's Nature Conservation Association. She has participated in projects on public participation, eDemocracy and Intellectual Capital assessments related to sustainability, as well as various international projects on Earth Science and tourism. In her free time Asta's interest is active nature exploration especially in nature reservations worldwide.

Wouter de Waal, Texel, The Netherlands

Since 2007, Wouter is Managing Director of VVV Texel (tourism office with 3 mains tasks: supplying information, marketing of the island of Texel, and bookings). He has been involved in the implementation of many new concepts at VVV Texel, where the emphasis has been on online business, generating bookings for marketing purposes, and optimizing VVV's profile with the entrepreneurs on Texel. Other positions held: Board Member of Sustainable Texel Foundation; Chairman of Texel Water Sport Association; Board Member of Texel Wadden Port. From 2000-2007, he was Regional Manager at RECRON for North Holland and Flevoland. RECRON is the branch organisation for recreation business owners in the Netherlands. From 1995 to 1999, he was Project Manager at WEMAR Leisure Research Ltd. He studied Consumer Studies at Wageningen University and Research Centre, with specialisations in Marketing and Research, and Recreation and Tourism. Theses: Golf course market segmentation (terms of reference by the NGF Dutch Golf Federation), Perception and preference analysis (terms of reference by VVV Gelderland).

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