Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr Marianna Sigala

Dr. Marianna Sigala

Professor of Marketing and Director of the International Hotel School
Newcastle Business School, The University of Newcastle,
Australia

Title: “Innovative wine tourism experiences”
Marianna Sigala is Professor of Marketing at University of Newcastle, Australia. Professor Sigala has followed an international academic career. She previously held the position of the Professor of Tourism and the Director of the Centre for Tourism & Leisure Management at the University of South Australia (2015 – 2021). She has also been an academic staff at the University of Strathclyde, Westminster University (UK), and Sheffield Hallam University (UK, Professor of Digital Transformation & Tourism), as well as at the University of the Aegean and the University of Piraeus (Professor of Marketing, Greece). Her academic credentials are combined with her professional experience in the tourism industry. Her interests include services and experience management, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in tourism and hospitality, as well as wine tourism. She is a widely published and multi-awarded authority: nine books, numerous papers in academic journals, and (keynote) presentations in international conferences. She has a long record of leadership and participation in international research projects funded by various entities such as the E.U., the Council of Europe and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. She is a past President of EuroCHRIE and a past member of the executive board of ICHRIE and IFITT. She currently serves at the executive board of CAUTHE. She is the co-editor of the Journal of Service Theory & Practiceand the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management. In 2016, she has been awarded the prestigious EuroCHRIE Presidents’ Award for her lifetime contributions and achievements to tourism and hospitality education. Since 2020, Professor Sigala is also appointed as Research Fellow of CAUTHE.
Prof. Tom Baum

Prof. Tom Baum

Professor and Head of the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation,
Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK

Tom Baum is a Professor and Head of the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation in the Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK and a specialist in the study of employment, education and training in the context of the international tourism and hospitality industry. Tom has published ten books and over 175 scientific papers in the context of vocational education and training. He has supervised over 35 PhD students to completion and acted as External Examiner to over 50 doctorates in 6 countries. Tom has worked with a variety of international agencies in his area of specialisation, including the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, UNWTO, COMCEC and the EU.

Professor Tom Baum’s academic interests address the social and strategic contexts of low skills employment, with particular focus on hospitality and tourism. This interest stems from over 40 years of experience in the strategic planning and development of vocational and professional education and training, as a research director within the public sector, as an educator in universities and as consultant to the private sector and to public sector, internationally funded projects across five continents. A key focus of my work addresses the role of public and private stakeholders in planning and HRD for the diverse employment environment of hospitality and tourism. Much of Professor Baum’s strategic development work in this area has been located in Global South country contexts in Asia and Africa. He also collaborates in research which addresses related areas of employment including migrant work and episodic, events volunteering. In all his work in these areas, Professor Baum has adopted a critical perspective on work and the workplace in frontline services that include hospitality, tourism and retail and use academic research as the basis for advocacy or intellectual activism designed to promote change. In this context, Professor Baum is a founder member of the Global Hospitality Research Alliance (GHRA), a community of scholars from around the world with a common commitment to promoting change to work, the workplace and working conditions in hospitality. Post-COVID, Professor Baum has been actively engaged with a number of policy-focused initiatives that have focused on this area, including the Scottish Fair Work Convention’s Inquiry into Hospitality and the ReWage report on hospitality pay and working conditions in the UK.

Plenary Speaker

DR. Y. VENKATA RAO

DR. Y. VENKATA RAO

Professor of Tourism Studies
Department of Tourism Studies
School of Management & Dean - Students' Welfare
Pondicherry University (A Central University)
India

Title: “HR in Tourism : Talent and Technology for Diversification of Tourism Products”
With a distinguished academic background, Dr. Rao holds a First Class in MHRM, First Rank in M.A. (Religious Studies), and a Ph.D. in HRD. Over 27 years, Dr. Rao’s teaching and research expertise at the postgraduate level has focused on Sectoral MBA Programs in two Central Universities, covering areas such as Tourism Studies, International Business, General MBA, and MHRM. As a Professor for approximately 9 years, Dr. Rao successfully completed six research projects funded by prestigious entities, guiding 12 Ph.D. scholars into roles as Assistant Professors. In academic administration, Dr. Rao served as the Dean of Students Welfare, Head of the Department for eight years, and held key positions, showcasing leadership as the Coordinator of UGC-SAP and Chairman of the Board of Tourism & HRM. Dr. Rao’s commitment to students’ careers is evident through a robust industry-institute network, facilitating placements for 400 MBA-Tourism students, and coordinating international academic exchanges. Contributions extend to formulating the Tourism Policy for the Government of Puducherry, serving on committees, and actively participating in addressing Covid-19 challenges. A prolific academic, Dr. Rao authored numerous papers, books, and organized conferences globally, reflecting a commitment to advancing knowledge and education. Recognitions include a Gold Medal, Academic Fellowship, Best Teacher Awards, and representation of the Government of Puducherry on international visits, including those supported by a United Nations Fellowship.
Dr. Erkol Bayram

Dr. Erkol Bayram

Associate Professor
vice-dean in tourism faculty
Department of tour guiding
University of Sinop,
Turkey.

Title: “Women as a Diversifier in Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Digital Entrepreneurship Perceptive”

Dr. Erkol Bayram is currently an Associate Professor and vice-dean in tourism faculty, department of tour guiding, University of Sinop, Sinop, Turkey. Dr. Erkol Bayram has worked as an internal trainer and teacher in the tour guiding arena. Her doctorate is in Tourism Management from the Sakarya University, Turkey, and she completed her dissertation research on Tour Guiding in Turkey. Her core subjects are Tourism, tour guiding, tourism policy and Planning, women studies. Erkol Bayram has also worked as a professional tour guide in the tourism sector. She has many book chapters in the international arena and published her books as an editor and author in the national arena.  She has been invited for many talks/lectures/ panel discussions by different Universities and countries. She has a member of eminent journals in advisory board editor and she published articles  in tourism and Management areas.

Dr. Ruth Sabina Francis

Dr. Ruth Sabina Francis

Programme Director and Senior Lecturer
School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events
Taylor’s University
Malaysia

Dr. Ruth Sabina Francis is a distinguished Senior Lecturer and Programme Director within the School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Events at Taylor’s University. Her extensive academic and professional background includes a Doctorate in Hospitality and Tourism, Certification as a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), an M.Phil. in Business Administration, an MBA in Human Resources, and a BSc. in Hotel and Catering Management. Dr. Francis specializes in Hospitality Management and Rooms Division Management, accumulating over two decades of combined experience in both industry and academia. Renowned in the hospitality industry for her exceptional proficiency in Rooms Division Management, Dr. Francis received the esteemed Young Women Achiever award in Hospitality for the year 2016 from the Center for Women Empowerment in India, recognizing her outstanding contributions to teaching and learning practices. As a certified Train The Trainer professional, Dr. Francis has conducted numerous training programs for personnel in the Malaysian hospitality sector, drawing from her seven years of industry immersion and exposure to sustained quality management. During her tenure as Housekeeper in Chennai, she exhibited leadership by providing comprehensive training to numerous staff members in the realm of housekeeping. Dr. Francis has established herself as an accomplished researcher with expertise spanning Human Resources, Emotional Intelligence, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the hospitality field. Her scholarly work is featured in prominent journals, including publications in Scopus indexed journals. Additionally, she actively participates as a reviewer for various journals, notably serving as a valuable contributor to the Scopus indexed body, e-review of Tourism Research.

Prof. Athula Gnanapala

Prof. Athula Gnanapala

Professor in Tourism Management
Dean / Faculty of Management Studies
Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
Co-editor in Chief - South Asian Journal of Tourism & Hospitality (SAJTH)

Prof. (Dr.) Athula Gnanapala is a distinguished Professor of Tourism Management associated with the Department of Tourism Management at the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka (SUSL). Currently, he is serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies at SUSL. He has also served as the acting Vice-Chancellor of SUSL for nearly six months. Additionally, he has previously held the positions of Head of the Department of Tourism Management and Programme Coordinator for the MSc. in Ayurvedic Hospital Management degree programme.

In 1997, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism Management from Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. Subsequently, in 2003, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Management from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Later, in 2011, he completed his Doctoral degree in Tourism Management at the School of Business at Xiamen University, P.R. China.

Prof. Gnanapala currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the South Asian Journal of Tourism and Hospitality. He has an impressive record of research publications, including 25 books and book chapters, over 50 articles in refereed and indexed journals, and more than 70 presentations at international conferences. He is highly regarded in his field, serving as a reviewer for nationally and internationally recognized academic journals, as well as a consultant, editorial member, and scientific committee member. Additionally, Prof. Gnanapala provides his service as a supervisor and examiner for postgraduate and Ph.D. students.

Prof. Gnanapala is an active member of various professional and academic bodies in Sri Lanka and abroad. He is a member of the Board of Study of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), as well as the Vice President of the Professional Business Coaches Association – Sri Lanka (PBCA). He is also the Country Coordinator for the CESTour project of the European Union, as well as the GIS-based Education Cooperation Project for Mountain Disaster Resilience Improvement in South Asia. In addition, he serves as the Chairman of the Subject Benchmarks Preparation Committee (Tourism and Hospitality) of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka.

According to the criteria set by the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka, Prof. Gnanapala is classified as a Tier 4* researcher. His academic publications have received 1200 citations, with an h-index of 17 and an i10-index of 22.

Mrs. Gayangi wirasinha

Mrs. Gayangi wirasinha

Managing Director
Abercrombie & Kent
Sri Lanka

Mrs. Gayangi Wirasinha is the Managing Director of Abercrombie & Kent Sri Lanka since its inception in 2013. Prior to this role, she has served as a Director of United Holidays for 11 years, where played a pivotal role in establishing the tourism carrier in 2002.
Mrs. Gayangi wirasinha’s active involvement in the tourism industry is further evidenced by her current position as a Committee Member of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO). In the past, she held significant positions, including Vice President and Treasurer for SLAITO, showcasing her commitment to the growth and development of the industry. Additionally, she served as a Board Member of Sri Lanka Tourism at the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau.
As a dedicated professional, she is a present member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors, highlighting her commitment to best practices and corporate governance. Her extensive work experience spans Information Technology, Mobile Telecommunication, and Exports.

Education has been a cornerstone of her professional journey, with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, obtained in 2002. To further enhance her business acumen, she pursued an Executive Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Colombo.
Her passion for the tourism industry extends to a love for travel, having explored 35 countries and over 50 destinations worldwide. This globetrotting experience has fueled her enthusiasm for new tourism product development, contracting, and asset management.
Beyond her professional pursuits, she has enriched her cultural understanding by studying and living in Japan. This international exposure has contributed to her holistic approach to business and cross-cultural collaboration. Overall, her journey reflects a commitment to excellence, continuous learning, and a deep passion for the tourism sector.

Call for Plenary Speakers: ICOHT Conference 2024

We are thrilled to announce the “Call for Speakers” for the ICOHT 2024, centered around the theme “Diversification and Expansion of Tourism Products.” We invite passionate and knowledgeable individuals from diverse backgrounds to share their expertise, insights, and experiences at this groundbreaking event.

As a plenary speaker, you will have the opportunity to address a diverse audience of passionate attendees and share your expertise, insights, and experiences. We are specifically looking for speakers who can inspire and provide actionable strategies for transforming the ICOHT 2024.

Tracks:

  • Digitalization, Al, big data and new technologies in tourism
  • Crisis Management and Resilience Building in Tourism
  • Sustainable Tourism Development and Hospitality Management
  • Waste Management Technologies in the Hospitality Industry
  • Transformative power of understanding hidden disabilities within the travel industry
  • HRM in tourism
  • Tourism and Marketing/ Management
  • Tourism and Innovation
Tracks:
  • Tourism and Technology
  • Tourism and Infrastructure
  • Future of Tourism (Space tours)
  • Women in Tourism
  • Law Enforcements
  • Business Tourism
  • Innovation in tourism
  • Event Management and Tourism Stakeholder Involvement

Apply Now

If you are ready to embark on this exciting journey with us and contribute to the success of the Conference, please complete the Application Form below.

The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2023. All submissions will undergo a review process by the conference board, and selected speakers will be notified. If you are selected, you will be informed about the further process and the applicable registration fees

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a catalyst for change and inspire our international audience.

REGISTRATION FEE TABLE - SPEAKERS
Fee (Physical)
Fee (Virtual)
Time Slots
Plenary Speakers
440 USD
250 USD
30 Minutes

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