King Simeon II, son of king Boris III (House of Saxe-Coburg) and queen Joanna (House of Savoy), was born in Sofia on June 16th, 1937. Upon king Boris’ sudden death in August 1943, he acceded to the throne as Simeon II, and a council of regency was formed. Following the communist coup in September 1944, His Majesty remained on the throne, though his uncle and regent, prince Kyril, and most of the country’s leaders and intelligentsia were executed.
On September 16th, 1946, without abdicating and after a rigged plebiscite, king Simeon left Bulgaria with his mother and sister. Their Majesties settled in Alexandria, Egypt, where the young king studied at the famous Victoria College. In July 1951 the Spanish Government grants asylum to the Bulgarian royal family. Upon his coming of age in 1955, H.M. issued a proclamation of lasting political significance. A year later, king Simeon graduated from the Lycée Français in Madrid, reading law and political sciences thereafter. In 1958, king Simeon enrolled at Valley Forge Military Academy, Pennsylvania, as “cadet Rylski”, graduating the following year as 2nd Lieutenant.
For decades, king Simeon has been active in everything concerning Bulgaria, attending to his business interest at the same time. The latter have enabled him to help scores of his fellow countrymen. The king’s manifold activities and extensive international connections, lead him to travel frequently. He is quoted as saying: “Exile is the best schooling for a king, providing he can return!” In May 1996, after 50 years in exile, the King triumphantly returned to Bulgaria. Frequent visits followed. In 1998, the Constitutional Court, in a historic decision, returned its private properties to the Royal Family. In June 2001 His Majesty participated in the Parliamentary elections as president of NMSS, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria \2001-2005\.
Prince Sultan was born in Riyadh on the 27th of June, 1956, the second son of His Majesty, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. He is married and has three children.
He earned his Master’s Degree in Social and Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs – Syracuse University, USA in 1999. He has been an avid pilot since 1976 and has accumulated more than 7000 flight hours; he holds an airline transport pilot certificate from the USA, Saud Arabia and France, qualified on several types of jets (G-IV, G-V, LR-Jet, B737), helicopters and gliders, as well as being qualified as desert and mountain pilot.
Since 2008 he has served as the President and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities. He had served as the Commission’s Secretary General since its inception in 2000. In 1982, he joined the Ministry of Culture Information as Researcher for the Department of International Media. In 1984, he served as Deputy Director of the Saudi Media Committee for the Los Angeles Olympics, and was appointed the same year to establish the newly formed advertising department of at the Ministry. In June 17th 1985, Prince Sultan was chosen to represent Arab Sat the Arab world’s satellite agency as Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS 51G. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Royal Saudi Air Force as a fighter pilot, from which he retired in 1996 with the rank of Colonel.
Prince Sultan was elected Chairman of the Board of the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) in 1988, and Chairman of the Executive Committee in 1999 and continues to serve in both positions. In 1996 he founded the non-profit foundation Al-Turath [Heritage], and serves as its president. Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Aviation Club since 2001. Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Presidency of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia since 2005. Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prince Salman Center Foundation and Center for Disability Research since 2008.
Prince Sultan is active in many charitable and humanitarian organizations and enjoys skiing, flying, photography, architecture, reading and travel.
Ambassador Tariq Ali Al-Ansari was designated Chief of Cabinet for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations under the mandate of His Excellency Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for UNAOC. Prior to that, he was Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Office of the 66th President of the United Nations General Assembly (2011-2012). As a Diplomat at the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations in New York from 2005 to 2011, he was an expert on issues relevant to international peace and security counter-terrorism as well as Security Council issues Mr. Al-Ansari holds a Bachelor in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Qatar, as well as, a Master’s degree in Administrative Science “International Relations and Diplomacy” from the United States of America.
Andrew Stevens is an award-winning editor and correspondent based at CNN's Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong.
Stevens joined CNN International in 1999 as a specialist business correspondent and has extensively covered news and business stories across the region. He has interviewed many of the world's political and business leaders and has reported on Asia Pacific for more than two decades. Stevens, who is originally from Australia, is a former print journalist who relocated from London to Hong Kong in 1993, in the lead up to the territory's handover to China in 1997. He has covered elections across many countries, and reported on many of the most significant events across the region in the last 20 years.
In 2014, he was part of the CNN team covering Hong Kong's "Umbrella Revolution" pro-democracy movement, and the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370. In 2013, he was the only Western journalist on the ground in the Philippines when devastating Typhoon Haiyan struck. CNN's coverage of Haiyan won Best International News Story at the prestigious Royal Television Society awards in London. Formerly, as anchor of CNN's "Biz Asia" program, Stevens won the Asian Television Award for "Best Business Programming."
Prior to joining CNN, Stevens was a senior correspondent for CNBC Asia and financial editor of The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He spent six years in London as the economics editor for the Press Association and began his career in his native Australia, where he was a correspondent for the Australian Financial Review.
Mounir Bouchenaki is presently Director of the UNESCO Regional Centre for World Heritage in the Arab Region based in Bahrain , as well as Special Advisor to UNESCO and ICCROM. He was Director-General of ICCROM ( Rome) from March 2006 until end 2011. His appointment at ICCROM followed a career of 25 years, from 1982 to 2006, at UNESCO, where he was Director of the Division of Cultural Heritage, Director of the World Heritage Centre and Assistant Director-General for Culture. In Algeria, he was Director of Antiquities, Museums and Historic Monuments from 1974 to 1981 and President of the National Committees of ICOM and ICOMOS.
Elizabeth Becker is an award winning author and former correspondent for The New York Times who reported from Europe, Asia, and South America. As the Senior Foreign Editor at National Public Radio, she oversaw all the network’s foreign bureaus and their reporting. She is the author of When the War Was Over, a modern history of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.She has won awards from the Robert Kennedy Book Awards, Overseas Press Club, and DuPont-Columbia and was part of the New York Times staff that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for public service. She is the author of "Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism," which was named one of Amazon's top non-fiction books of the year.
Charles Binam Bikoi is a senior research officer and university professor. He specializes in studying ancient civilizations and oral traditions and has authored numerous publications on heritage culture or devoted to traditional literature from Africa, considered simply as literature. After leaving the public service in Cameroon, where he acted at many positions of responsibility, notably in the Ministry of Higher Education and in the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation, he is currently the Executive Secretary of the International Centre on Research and Documentation on African Traditions and Languages (CERDOTOLA), an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Yaounde (Cameroon).
Christopher Dobbs has over 35 years’ experience working in the fields of maritime archaeology, museums and the management of the cultural heritage. He is the United Kingdom representative on the ICOMOS International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage and has recently been appointed as Chair of the Maritime Archaeology Committee of ICMM, the International Congress of Maritime Museums. He has lectured on Museology and the Management of the Underwater Cultural Heritage both in UK universities and at international venues in Canada, Peru, China, Egypt and elsewhere. He is a founding member former Chairman and now Vice-president of the Nautical Archaeology Society and developed the NAS Training Scheme that has been adopted in many countries around the world. For the last 8 years his main work has been developing the new Mary Rose Museum that opened in Portsmouth last year and has already been visited by 750,000 tourists.
John King has a more than 40 year background of widely recognised expertise in international tourism marketing and development, including the running of his own consultancy firm for 19 years. He currently serves on numerous company, government and industry boards and was Chairman of the Australian Tourism Export Council for 9 years until December 2014.He has a strong passion for the development and promotion of culturally based Indigenous tourism and the equitable participation of Indigenous people in tourism. He was the instigator of the first Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference held in 2012, has been appointed by two different Australian Governments to champion the employment of Indigenous people in tourism and is a member of the Board of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and World Heritage Area. He has been awarded an Order of Australia medal, The Pacific Asia Travel Association Award of Merit and an Honorary Fellowship of Southern Cross University for his contribution to tourism.
Sok Sangvar now serves as a public officer under the Royal Government of Cambodia´s Ministry of Tourism as Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism Industry. In addition to the tourism industry affairs, He became actively involved in the cultural heritage field- Inscription of Preah Vihear Temple on the World Heritage List and the Management of the Angkor World Heritage Site. Sangvar advocates that conservation and sustainable development of the Ancient Capital of the Khmer Empire must be done so in accordance with international standards while respecting the values or heritage and cultural significance to the local population. In early 2014, Sok Sangvar was nominated the head of a working group to implement the Angkor Tourism Management Plan.
Xu Jing began his career in tourism at the China National Tourism Administration where he was in charge of international relations. He joined the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 1992 as Officer to the Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific. Over the years, his areas of responsibilities included the preparation and organisation of most UNWTO’s technical and institutional activities in Asia and the Pacific. He coordinated and supervised numerous UNWTO technical cooperation projects and sectorial support missions on subjects of contemporary interest to the tourism community of Asian countries. He is currently the Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of UNWTO, a position he assumed from the end of 2003. In addition to his regional responsibilities, he has been appointed, since January 2014, the UNWTO’s Executive Secretary of the General Assembly and the Executive Council. He holds honorary academic positions in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Suzhou, Sun Yat-sen University, Shanghai Institute of Tourism, Hainan University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also senior advisor to the Municipalities of Guilin and Huangshan. Xu Jing was responsible for coordinating most UNWTO tourism master plan projects in China at provincial level. These provinces included Sichuan, Yunnan, Shandong, Guizhou, Hainan, Anhui and Heilongjiang. He was instrumental in the development of the China Best Tourism City scheme.
Jordi Tresserras Juan is the director of LABPATC – Laboratory of Heritage, Creativity and Cultural Tourism at Universitat de Barcelona. From 1999, he is academic coordinator of Cultural Management Postgraduate Program at Universitat de Barcelona. He was assistant professor of cultural tourism at New York University (2001). President of IBERTUR – Network of Heritage, Tourism & Sustainable Development. Expert for cultural tourism (mainly associated to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Intangible Cultural Heritage and Creative Cities) for international organizations (Council of Europe, European Union, IADB, ILO-UN, OEI, SEGIB, SICA, UNESCO, UNWTO, World Bank) and national cooperation agencies (AECID, Alliance Française, Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo, Cooperation Suisse, Hivos, GIZ). Member of UNESCO Chair “Culture, Tourism, Development” coordinated by Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbone, European Cultural Routes University Network (EURUN) coordinated by European Institute for Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe , European Network of Cultural Tourism (ECTN), ICOM and ICOMOS.
Amareswar Galla is an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Professor Galla is the founding Executive Director of the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, (www.inclusivemuseum.org). In the past, he was Professor & Director of Sustainable Heritage Development programs, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, at the Australian National University, Canberra and Australia’s first Professor of Museum Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. He also worked for five years as the International Technical Adviser for the transformation of post-apartheid heritage institutions and National Parks in South Africa; Guest Curator of International Projects with the Vietnam National Department of Cultural Heritage. He is the Editor-in-Chief of three research journals dealing with Sustainable Heritage Development: International Journal on the Inclusive Museum, Chicago; International Journal on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Chicago & (co-founder, 2nd &3rd Ed-in-Chief) International Journal on Intangible Heritage, Seoul. His recent edited publication is World Heritage: Benefits Beyond Borders, Cambridge University Press, November 2012. ( French & Korean 2013).
Hansjürgen Schmölzer is the executive manager of CREATIVE AUSTRIA, a communication & transfer platform for contemporary cultural & creative activities between culture and tourism. He is also founder & owner of BSX Schmölzer GmbH, a cultural & tourism marketing consulting group. With his agency he was responsible for the marketing project development and management of projects like Graz 2003 cultural capital of Europe, Vienna Mozart Year 2006, Linz 2009 cultural capital of Europe, Haydn Year 2009 and series of other mayor European museums, festivals and cultural institutions. He is a publisher and producer of cultural print magazines, film- & TV-productions and also works as a lecturer at several universities. As a consultant, he has been working for the OECD, the Kulturausschuss & Tourismusausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages and for several ministries, municipalities and a series of other cultural institutions and media companies. Among numerous other awards, Hansjürgen Schmölzer was awarded with the Globe Award for the worldwide best marketed cultural touristic project (Graz 2003) and with the Austrian “Staatspreis Marketing”.
Helena Egan joined TripAdvisor in 2008 as the first dedicated destination marketing specialist in Europe, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. In her five and a half years at the company, her key focus was to build relationships within the destination marketing organisation sector, and educating the industry on the benefits of leveraging user-generated content. Helena was appointed Director of Industry Relation in September 2014 and in this newly created role she leads industry relations’ efforts for TripAdvisor, acting as a liaison for hospitality trade associations and government organisations, building awareness about the benefits, resources, policies, products and services of TripAdvisor. Helena also acts as an ambassador to the global hospitality sector, opening communication channels with leading trade and tourism associations. Prior to joining TripAdvisor, Helena lead regional sales and strategic partnership efforts at NORTHSTAR Travel Media in London, frequently presenting at key industry events across 14 countries. Previously, she has held positions at Hot Recruit, Euro London, VisitBritain and Tumlare, and brings over 16 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. For the past 13 years she has lived in London, and prior to that, in six countries across Europe and in the U.S. She holds a MA from the University of Helsinki.
Jaesung Rhee is an expert in the tourism field, he has been in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. Before elected as Executive Vice President of International Tourism, he served as the Executive Director of the Convention Bureau, the Overseas Marketing Department and the Intra-bound Tourism Department, and Director of the London branch office of KTO. As the EVP of International Tourism, he launched Korea’s new tourism brand, “Imagine Your Korea” in 2014, and successfully promoted Medical and MICE tourism. He played a big role in attracting 14 million foreign tourists to Korea for the first time in 2014. He also serves as the General Advisor for the Aviation Policy & Consumer Protection Committee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the Incheon Development & Tourism Corporation, and is a member of the International Events Committee at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea etc. Rhee received his Ph.D degree in Tourism at Kyung Hee University in Korea.
Penelope Denu has been Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) and Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR), located at the Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg, since November 2011. Her role is to implement and promote the Council of Europe’s cultural routes programme as well as countries’ accession to the EPA. The EICR ensures that new projects for cultural routes wishing to join the programme are provided with assistance in preparing for certification, and helps, advises, promotes and evaluates the Council of Europe’s 29 certified routes. The Executive Secretary also coordinates joint action on cultural routes with the European Commission and with other organisations in the field (UNWTO, OECD, European Travel Commission…).
Marcela Bacigalupo is the Executive Secretary of the National Tourism Secretariat (SENATUR), under the Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay. She heads the institution responsible for national tourism and holds a degree in Foreign Trade, with the following post-graduate studies: Sustainable Tourism Management, Business Management, University Education, Results-Based Project Management, and a Master in Business Administration degree. She has completed specialized courses on: Tourism Micro businesses, Empowerment of Women in Tourism, Project Management Methodology and Comprehensive Executive Management, among others.
John Delaney is senior vice president, marketing and sales for Seabourn, where he is responsible for the overall marketing efforts, brand management, global sales, revenue management and public relations. Delaney spearheaded Seabourn’s efforts to partner with UNESCO. In 2011, he participated in an Expert Meeting at Switzerland, resulting in the development of the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme. In 2014, Seabourn and UNESCO announced a unique alliance to help protect World Heritage. Delaney has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry at many major corporations, including Carnival Corporation & plc, Holland America Line and The Walt Disney Company.
Kishore Rao (India) has Master’s Degrees from India and Cornell University, USA and has worked with the Government of India since 1976 in various capacities in the Central Government and in different States of the Union. He has worked with IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature, from July 1999 to January 2005, and was a member of its global World Heritage Panel from 2002 to 2004. Kishore Rao joined UNESCO in February 2005 as Deputy Director of its World Heritage Centre and was appointed its Director in March 2011. He has been responsible for the implementation of UNESCO’s 1972 World Heritage Convention from the perspective of a State Party, the Advisory Body, and the Convention’s Secretariat (UNESCO) over the past 30. He has written and published numerous professional papers and articles related to heritage conservation issues.
Yoshinori Ochi joined the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) as Director of the Board and Secretary-General in June 2013.JATA is a public/private sector corporate membership association with 1,119 active members, 473 associate members, and 599 allied members (as of July 2014). JATA organizes JATA Tourism EXPO Japan, which is internationally recognized as one of the largest travel events in the world. Ochi also manages this event as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Ochi has over 35 years long career in the international travel industry. He started his travel industry career with Kinki Nippon Tourist (KNT) Co., Ltd. He worked for KNT as General Manager of Overseas Travel Department and Senior Managing Director of KNT Head Office. Before joining JATA, he was President of United Tours Co., Ltd., a subsidiary company of KNT. He has long experience in and profound knowledge of travel risk management.He graduated from Waseda University, Faculty of Politics and Economics.
Dr. Laura Cepukaite (born 31 January, 1979) is the Head of Tourism Policy division of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania. She is a Doctor of Social Sciences, Management and Administration. Her other activities include lecturing at the Universities, writing scientific papers, participating at international projects as expert and researcher in tourism management field, etc. Dr. Laura Cepukaite speaks Lithuanian (native), English, German, and Russian languages. She holds Master degree in International Tourism Administration (Mykolas Romeris University), Master degree in Geography studies and Bachelor in Geography studies (Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences).
Excellency, Dr. Neb Samouth was born on October 5, 1979. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics and Management in Lumière Lyon II University, France, in 2002. He continued his education at the same University and received Master’s degree in Economic Science in 2004 and Ph.D in Economic Sciences in 2007. Excellency, Dr. Neb Samouth, has been appointed as Director General of Tourism of the Cambodia Ministry of Tourism since 2013. From 2008 to 2013, he was positioned as Deputy Director General of Tourism of the Cambodia Ministry of Tourism. He is also holding position as Secretary General of the National Committee for Clean City Assessment as well.
Charles Landry developed the concept of the ‘creative city’. Its central idea is how cities in transformation can think, plan and act with more imagination in order to address the dramatic changes happening around them. Charles helps cities transform their thinking so that they reassess their potential and can plan their future with greater purpose and originality. He assesses the interplay and the impacts of deeper global trends and attempts to ground these in practical initiatives. He is an authority on creativity and its uses and how city futures are shaped by paying attention to the culture of a place. He inspires, stimulates, challenges and facilitates transformation.
H.E. Dato' Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz was appointed as the Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia,on May 15, 2013, taking over from Dato’ Sri Ng Yen Yen (Tourism) and Dato’ Sri Utama Dr Rais Yatim (Culture) . Dato’ Seri Mohd Nazri was born in Ipoh. He is the son of late Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who once served as Member of Parliament for Padang Rengas in 1974, and the Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom . He received his education at the Victoria Institution Kuala Lumpur and the Malay College Kuala Kangsar . He furthered his studies at the Inns of Court School of Law in the United Kingdom and was accepted as a Barrister-at-Law at the Lincoln’s Inn. Upon completion of his studies, Dato’ Seri Nazri started his career as an advocate and solicitor in Malaysia. Not long after, he started his own legal firm, Nazri Aziz & Wong . He began his political career in 1978, when he was appointed an EXCO in UMNO Youth and contested for that position in 1980 and won. He was appointed as a Senator in 1991 and stood for the General Elections in 1995. He won the seat of Chenderoh, and subsequently, Padang Rengas after the realignment of the electoral boundaries by the Election Commission in 1999 .He was then appointed as Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Deputy Minister of Finance II, and served as the Minister of Entrepreneur Development until 2004. Dato’ Seri Mohd Nazri was fondly known as the de facto Law Minister of Malaysia when he was the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department from 2004 to 2013. He helmed legal-related departments including the Attorney General’s Chamber, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (formerly Anti-Corruption Agency), the Prime Minister’s Department Legal Affairs Division, Parliamentary Affairs, Witness Protection Unit, Legal Aid Department, National Security Council and many more.
Sandra Howard Taylor, the Vice-Minister of Tourism of Colombia, was born on the island of Providencia. She holds a degree in Social Communication and Journalism from the Universidad Externado de Colombia with a specialization in Cultural Management and Administration. Ms. Howard has worked as a reporter for various national media outlets. She managed the Joint Cultural Fund of San Andrés from 1995 to 2001. She occupied the post of Secretary of Education of the department and, until her as appointment as Vice-Minister in 2013, she served as Manager of Caracol Radio in the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.
H.E. Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa is the Minister of Culture of Bahrain. She is recognized for her extensive efforts in promoting art, culture and the revival of heritage. She has been planning activities in culture and the arts centers on the promotion of intellectual dialogue and artistic expressions from around the world. She has been endorsing cultural discourse and understanding; elevating thought and local expression. She is marketing Bahrain globally as a cultural center through heritage and culture projects and preserving local history, raising awareness and accentuating heritage for the youth of today and tomorrow.
Donald E. Hawkins is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy at the George Washington University, and Professor of Management and Tourism Studies in the School of Business as well as Professor of International Affairs in the Elliott School of Foreign Affairs. In 2003, he received the first United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ulysses Prize in 2004 for individual accomplishments in the creation and dissemination of knowledge. He was appointed as Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General for the UNWTO Knowledge Network in 2012. He is the Chairman of Solimar International and Volunteers for Economic Growth.
Javier Bello is the Mayor of Alcalá de Henares, having taken possession of the office in June 2012. Mr. Bello is a native of the city, where he spent most of his youth and earned his degree in Law. He is the President of the Group of World Heritage Cities of Spain. He began his professional career in the banking sector (BBVA) in the city of Seville. He holds an MBA from the ESADE Business School and has completed the Management Development Programme at the IESE Business School. He rose to become Chief of Human Resources Management for Spain and Portugal at BBVA, where he worked for 15 years, three of which while based in South America. As Mayor of Alcalá de Henares, a notable part of his work has been devoted to improving the efficiency of the local government through the use of new technologies to connect with his constituents. He aims to showcase the more than 2000 years of history of the city, which was included in the World Heritage List in 1998, and is committed to taking an active part in the future of Alcalá de Henares, which is growing bigger every day and is constantly striving to be at the vanguard of its time.
Ms. Pansy Ho is the Managing Director of Shun Tak Holdings Limited, a conglomerate listed in Hong Kong with core businesses in property, transportation, hospitality and investments. Ms. Ho also holds numerous other key executive roles, including Co-chairperson and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited. Determined to promote travel and tourism as a driver of economic growth, Ms. Ho serves an Executive Committee Member of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Vice President of the China Chamber of Tourism, Member of the Macau SAR Government’s Tourism Development Committee, and the first Ambassador of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Foundation. She is the Founder and Chairman of the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, and Secretary General of the annual Global Tourism Economy Forum. Ms. Ho is active on the international scene especially in staging educational, arts and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong, Macau and the rest of the world. She is the Committee Member of UNDP – Peace & Development Foundation, International Advisory Board Member of Sotheby’s, and the first Ambassador for the Louvre in China. She has been serving as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Peru in Macau since 2006. Committed to contribute to the economic and social fabrics of Hong Kong, Macau and China, Ms. Ho serves as the Standing Committee Member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Beijing, Standing Committee Member of the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce, and Vice Chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Women.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture since March 2012 was born on the 24th October 1954. Alain St.Ange was formally the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) directly elected Member of the People’s Assembly for the La Digue Constituency (1979), and the Seychelles National Party (SNP) directly elected Member of the National Assembly for the Bel Air Constituency (2002). In 2009 he was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles, and in 2010 promoted to the position of C.E.O of the Seychelles Tourism Board. He was elected the first President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation in 2012. This organisation that comprises of the islands of La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Mayotte and Seychelles has earlier this year re-elected Minister St.Ange for a second term of office. Alain St.Ange has authored or co-authored a number of books. Alain St.Ange studied Hotel Management and Tourism in Germany and France. He has worked in Hotels and Restaurants in Seychelles, the Channel Islands and in Australia.
Mr. Rifai is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) based in Madrid, Spain. He holds this position since 1 January 2010. He was unanimously elected at the 18th session of UNWTO General Assembly (October 2009), following the recommendation of the UNWTO Executive Council made in May 2009.
From March to December 2009 he was UNWTO Secretary-General ad interim. From February 2006 to February 2009 he was Deputy Secretary-General. From January 2003 to February 2006, Mr. Rifai was the Assistant Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Prior to this appointment, Mr. Rifai served in several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan as Minister of Tourism and Antiquities; Minister of Information; and, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. During his term as Minister of Tourism, Mr. Rifai served as Chairman of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
From 1997 to 2000, he was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jordan Cement Company, one of the largest public shareholding companies in Jordan; and directed the first large-scale privatization and restructuring scheme in Jordan. Mr. Rifai was also actively involved in policy making and developing investment strategies in his capacity as Director General of the Investment Promotion Corporation (IPC) in Jordan (1995-1997). From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Rifai headed Jordan’s first Economic Mission to Washington DC, promoting trade, investments, and economic relations between Jordan and the USA.
Mr. Rifai began his career as Professor of Architecture, Planning and Urban Design at the University of Jordan from 1973-1993. He received his Ph.D. in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia – USA (1983); and a MSc. in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago – USA (1979). He also attained a B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo in 1973.
Mr. Rifai is a Jordanian national born is 1949. He is married and has five children.
H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, took his position as Minister of Tourism of the Royal Government of Cambodia for his second term in September 2013. From 2007 to September 2013, he was also Minister of Tourism after serving as a secretary of State of Tourism of Cambodia since 1993. H.E. Dr. Thong Khon was the Mayor of Phnom Penh Municipality from 1985 to 1990 and Vice-Mayor of Phnom Penh Municipality from 1983-1985. From 1979 to 1983, he was the Chief of Assignment Committee of Phnom Penh Municipality.
He is actually holding a wide range of chairmanship of other entities such as: President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), Chairman of National Committee for Tourism Professional of Cambodia, Chairman of the National Committee for Clean City Assessment and Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee for facilitating the travel and transports of tourists and travelers at Poi-Pet international border check point and other international borders check points. Besides, he has held some other positions as a chairman and vice-chairman of inter-ministerial commission within the Royal Government of Cambodia.
H.E. Dr. Thong Khon holds a PhD degree in Tourism Management (Ecotourism) from the National University of Economic, Hanoi, Vietnam in 2011. He was awarded, in April 2014, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of University by the University of Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) in recognition of his distinguished service to develop a sustainable and responsible tourism especially in the CBET and the pro-poor tourism in Cambodia. In 1995, he also earned a Diploma of Doctor of Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine of Phnom Penh and followed by the graduation of a Diploma of post-graduate in Public Health and Community from the Faculty of Medicine of Nancy, France in 1997.
HE. Dr. Thong Khon was awarded many titles and decorations such as a World Leadership Award, presented during the World Ecotourism Conference in 2011 and a Gwanghwa Medal, in 2008, by HE. Roh Moo-Hyun, Ex-President of the Republic of Korea. He was awarded a Cheatopaka Medal by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. HE. Dr. THONG Khon speaks English, French and Vietnamese. He was born on 23 November 1951 in Kampong Thom Province.
Mr Pérez de Armiñán has been the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO since September 2014. Mr Pérez de Armiñán is the holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Law obtained in June 1973 from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), in Spain. Since then, he specializes in Public Law, Culture and Heritage.
Mr Pérez de Armiñán began his professional career in June 1977 with the Spanish Parliament, where he held a number of positions until 1986, most notably: Director of Foreign Relations and Secretary of the Parliamentary Delegations at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament-Spanish Cortes Generales Joint Committee. From 1986, he was Legal Advisor to the Public Works, City Planning and Housing Committee of the Spanish Senate. Mr Pérez de Armiñán was concurrently assigned to the Spanish Government for the period 1980 to 1983 where he served as Director-General of Cooperation with the Regions, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Culture, Director-General of Fine Arts, Public Archives and Libraries and Member of the Council of Patrimonio Nacional.
Mr Pérez de Armiñán has also been Director of several prominent Cultural Foundations and Institutions in Spain, including: Director of the Fundacion Caja Madrid (1996 to 2002), Secretary-General of the Fundacion Colegio Libre de Emeritos, Madrid (2002 to 2012) and President of Hispania Nostra which is an Organization Member of Europa Nostra Federation for Cultural Heritage (2003 to 2011). He was also a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum (1993 to 2003) and since 1996 is a lifelong Member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. From December 2012 to May 2014, Mr Pérez de Armiñán was the Director-General of the Fundacion José Ortega y Gasset-Gregorio Marañón in Madrid and Secretary-General to the University Research Institute affiliated to the Foundation. Of Spanish mother tongue, Mr Pérez de Armiñán is proficient in English and French. He is also the author of many publications and articles.
H.E. Mrs. Phoeurng Sackona is the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia. From 2008 to 2013, she was the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia and President of Direction Board of ITC. From 2003 to 2008, she was the director of Institute of Technology of Cambodia. She started her career as a staff member in the Ministry of Industry in 1987. Since 2013, she is a member of Council Administration Board of French Speaking Universities Network (CA) (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie AUF), representing Pacific Asia Region, and a member of Cambodian National Council for Women (CNCW) In 2002, she earned a doctorate in Food Sciences (Microbiology) from Bourgogne University, France and a DEA of Microbiology in 1998 from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Biologie Appliquée à la Nutrition et de l'Alimentation (ENSBANA), Bourgogne University, France. Mrs. Phoeurng Sackona has a Certificate of Academic and Project Management, from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. Mrs. Phoeurng Sackona speaks English, French and Russian.She was born on October 8, 1959 in the Pursat province, Cambodia. She is married and has one daughter.
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