Keynote Speakers

Dr. Paul Willie

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP),
Past President (2015 – 2019) HFTP Ontario,
Chairperson (Certification Advisory Council – CHTP) HFTP Global,
Member (Education Advisory Council) HFTP Global,
Member (Professional Certification Advisory Program) HFTP Global,
Faculty Representative (Niagara College Student Chapter) HFTP Global,

Dr. Paul Willie has been with Niagara College since 2003. He teaches predominately in the Bachelor of Business Administration Hospitality Honours Degree program. His areas of expertise include accounting, finance, hotel management, revenue management, international business and strategy.

He started working in the hotel industry at the age of 15 in the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Willie has held a variety of management positions and has provided professional services to governments and corporations in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, The Cayman Islands, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Florida, and Guyana.

Dr. Willie holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hotel and Food Administration, an MBA with a Hospitality Management concentration and a Doctorate Degree in International Business. Complimenting his University degrees, Dr. Willie also holds eight professional certifications. From 2015 to 2019 he served as President for the Ontario Chapter of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) association which has about 5,000 members worldwide. He has authored/coauthored numerous journal articles, text books, webinars, podcasts, and has served on a variety of tourism related boards.

Dr. Mihee Kang

Dr. Mihee Kang

Director Asia-Pacific,
Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC),

Dr. Mihee Kang serves the GSTC as Director for the Asia Pacific region in addition to authorized trainer and destination assessor. She is also Managing Director of K TOURISM, a consultancy providing solutions tor tourism destinations and businesses.

She has taught and researched on ecotourism and sustainable tourism at Seoul National University and other universities since she got her Ph.D. degree in 1999 at Seoul National University, one of Korea’s top-level universities. As the first Ph.D. in ecotourism in South Korea and a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) Young Scientists Awards 2000 winner, she has been involved in sustainable tourism policy development and planning and sustainability assessments of various types of destinations in S. Korea and other countries over 20 years.

She has served a number of key positions in both domestic and international organizations such as Korean UNESCO MAB Committee, Korean Geopark Committee, Korea Islands Foundation, Korea Trails and Culture, Jeju World Heritage Committee, Korea Forest Education Committee, Asian Ecotourism Network, etc. She has actively participated in numerous research projects and ODA projects in Korea and abroad including Australia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, etc and many others. Dr. Kang has published many articles and books including a recent book about ecotourism in Asian countries.

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Yanki Hartijasti

Assistant Professor,
Faculty of Economics and Business,
Universitas Indonesia,

Yanki is affiliated with Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia. She earned MBA degree from University of the Philippines. She also obtained Master of Science and Doctor in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Universitas Indonesia. After gaining fifteen years of professional experiences in various industries as Human Resources practitioner, she then decided to take the plunge into the academic world.

Since 2010, she has been invited to share her knowledge and disseminate her research findings as a visiting professor, keynote speaker, panelist, or jury in Asia and Europe. She is also active as a member of peer-reviewed academic journal in different countries. Yanki is a vigorous member of various international conference associations aligned with her research and publications which focus on leadership and organizational culture, human resource management, cyber behavior among multi-generational workforce and travelers, as well as sustainable tourism studies.


Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications,
Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited,
Sri Lanka.

Sumith De Silva, earned his Ph.D. in Business Management and Marketing, from the Management and Science University (MSU), Malaysia, in 2020. He is a Practicing Marketer (SLIM), Certified Professional Marketer (Asia) (Asia Marketing Federation), holds an MBA, specialized in Marketing obtained from Sikkim Manipal University (India). He earned his B.Sc. (Mgt.) special degree from the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. He is a Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and he serves as the Vice President (Sri Lanka) of the Academy for Global Business Advancement (AGBA), USA. Sumith is a member of the Asia Pacific Institute of Event Management (APIEM) and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Sri Lanka.

Sumith brings his expertise in Strategic Marketing, Marketing Research, Strategic Planning, Uplifting Services and he represents several visiting faculties of leading government and private universities for leading MBA, MSc, and bachelors’ degree programs. He has assisted over 10000 students, employees, business professionals, and entrepreneurs to grow through training and coaching in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Chaozhi ZHANG

School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-sen University, China
Vice President, Institute of Belt & Road Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, China
Chairholder, UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Tourism in UNESCO Designated Sites

Dr. Zhang Chaozhi is a professor of sustainable tourism at Sun Yat-sen University China. He is UNESCO Chair holder of UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Tourism in UNESCO Designated Sites, he is listed on the board of heritage and sustainable tourism related international organizations such as ICOMOS ICTC, IUCN WCPA, UNWTO MCSTO, WEF GFC and serves as a number of top tier journals board member. He has published more than 100 papers in top peer reviewed journals, and actives in heritage conservation and tourism development affairs such as practitioners training, policy consultant in China and rest part of the world.

Dr. Jinlin Zhao

Director of Graduate Programs
Director of Asia & Pacific Development
Editor in Chief– International Hospitality Review
Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Florida International University, USA

Dr. Jinlin Zhao is Director of Graduate Program and Professor in Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU) since 2000. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Tech in 1994. He started his teaching career at Western Carolina University (WCU) in U.S., fall 1992. He was the founder of Hospitality Management degree program and was granted tenure and promoted an associate professor in 1999 at WCU.

Dr. Zhao research lies in competitive methods, international business environment, impact analysis, and multinational corporate strategy. He edited and co-edited five books, such as The Hospitality and Tourism Industry in ASEAN and East Asian Destinations: New Growth, Trends, and Developments (2021), Handbook of Hospitality Strategic Management in 2008, Tourism Destination Management. Principles and Practice (2010) and The Hospitality and Tourism Industry in China: New Growth, Trends and Development (2018). He co-authored three IHRA White Papers: In into the new millennium (1995), The restaurant revolution (1999) and Leading hospitality into the age of excellence (2000). He has also published many refereed articles in several research journals and gave more than 100 presentations at international hospitality conferences.

Dr. Zhao has given hotel management seminars and presentations in China since 1995. He worked as a foodservice manager for three Olympic Games: 1996 Atlanta, 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He worked as Training Manager for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Catering Project, in which he was in charge of recruiting and training 7000 temporary employees. He also worked as a Human Resource expert for 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. He was a secrete shopper for NCL and Asian food consultant for RCL. He has been a visiting professor at several universities in Asia. In 2015, he is named "Overseas Master" by Shanghai Education Commission and teaching and consulting at Shanghai Institute of Tourism. He was awarded a Fulbright specialist in 2016 and was invited to be an expert at Northern Demark University College in the summer of 2016. He gave lectures and courses in uniersities in Mainland, China as well in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Japan.