Meet our Keynote speakers!

Prof. Alastair Morrison

Research Professor – School of Management and Marketing, University of Greenwich
Vice President, International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA)
Co-Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Tourism Studies (IJTC)
CEO, Belle Tourism International Consulting (China)

Keynote : Green brings green: The power of sustainable destination branding in urban marketing and development

In this presentation, the concept of green destination branding is discussed as a trend emerging among cities. Evidence is discussed of the strategies used by specific cities to demonstrate their sustainability and stewardship commitments. The presentation concludes by arguing that tourism cities’ marketing, branding, and communications in future years must evolve toward a new paradigm that addresses climate change and excessive temperature, pollution, crises and disasters, resilience, overtourism, rising sea levels, and other sustainability challenges.


Professor Alastair M. Morrison is a Research Professor at the University of Greenwich in London, UK and has been associated with the university since 2015. He was formerly a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, USA in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In an analysis by Ryan (2005),

Professor Morrison was placed among the five most prolific contributors in the world to the academic journals in tourism and hospitality management. He has published approximately 300 academic articles and conference proceedings, as well as over 50 research monographs related to marketing and tourism. Approximately 115 of his full-length academic articles have been in SSCI-listed journals. He is the author of five books on tourism marketing and development, Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2019); The Tourism System, 8th edition, (Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2018); Global Marketing of China Tourism (China Architectural & Building Press, 2012); Hospitality and Travel Marketing, 4th edition (Delmar Publishers, Inc., 2010); and Tourism: Bridges across Continents (McGraw-Hill Australia, 1998). In addition to English, his books are now available in Simplified Mandarin, Traditional Mandarin, Korean, Portuguese, Greek, and Slovak. He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Tourism Cities. He also co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Tourism Cities (2020).

Professor Morrison received several teaching awards and honours at Purdue University. He is a Founding Member of the Purdue University Teaching Academy and his name has been entered in Purdue’s Book of Great Teachers. He was awarded The Best Teacher Award from The Society of Professional Journalists and The Mary L. Matthews Award as the Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences (CFS). Eta Sigma Delta twice selected him as the RHIT Professor of the Year. CFS chose him twice as its nominee for The Purdue University Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. He was selected as one of the winners of Purdue University’s Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, Purdue University’s most prestigious award for undergraduate teaching. Gamma Sigma Delta, the honour society of Agriculture, Consumer and Family Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine, honoured him with the Award of Merit for outstanding teaching at Purdue University in March 2002. In 1998, the International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators (IST&TE) selected Professor Morrison as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to tourism education.  In addition, he has been elected as a Fellow of the world’s most elite organization of tourism scholars, the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (IAST).

Professor Morrison has served as the President of the International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA), Chairman of the Travel & Tourism Research Association (TTRA) – Canada Chapter, Board member of the CenStates TTRA Chapter, Vice President of the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (IST%TE), and Chairman of Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME).  He was awarded the distinction as one of the first recipients of the Certified Travel Marketing Executive (CTME) designation from ATME. He has designed and presented the Destination Marketing Planning, Travel Information & Research, International Tourism & Convention Marketing, and Communications and Technology in Destination Management courses for the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (IACVB) as part of its Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Program. He is the Vice-Chair of the Expert Committee of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF).

He is the former Associate Dean for Learning and Director of International Programs in the College of Consumer & Family Sciences (CFS) at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.  CFS had 2,200 students and Professor Morrison was responsible for undergraduate and graduate education.  His specific responsibilities included overseeing undergraduate student services, undergraduate instruction, curriculum planning, honours program, international programs and study abroad, multicultural programs, service learning, grade appeals, and other matters relating to the academic affairs of CFS.

In addition to having lived and worked in five different countries, Professor Morrison has had a wide variety of experience in the global tourism industry.  Most recently he has conducted training programs and provided marketing and development advice for approximately 40 countries around the world.  He has also developed and coordinated training programs held at Purdue University on behalf of the World Tourism Organization for eight South Asian countries and the China-Tibet Tourism Bureau.  He was a Visiting Professor at the Scottish Hotel School, University of Strathclyde and was the Queensland Tourist & Travel Corporation Visiting Lecturer at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.  Prior to joining the Purdue faculty, he worked in Canada as a management consultant in hospitality and tourism, most recently as President of The Economic Planning Group of Canada.  In his consulting career, he specialised in tourism and hospitality marketing planning and research, project evaluation and feasibility studies, tourism planning and development.

Prof. Tiger Bihu Wu

Professor & Director –  The International Center for Recreation and Tourism Research, Peking University

Keynote : Cultural Sedimentation and Cultural Sustainability: From Place Writing to Destination Making

The Topic presented in this Keynote speech aims to cover 2Ss for the conference, Sustainability and Smart. Prof. Wu has set a library on Experoutination, i.e. exploration and experience en route and at destination, or historical collections on travel, voyage, adventure, exploration all around the world. This library supports him in the thinking, research and creation process of ideas on cultural sustainability and digital humanity research, with artificial intelligence aided to make a destination more sustainable developed and managed. Under the umbrella of cultural sustainability, we bring new understanding to sustainability of tourism, because sustainable development have been more considered from natural ecological perspective before.


As a fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, Prof. Bihu Wu (Tiger WU) is one of the most known and active scholar in the field of tourism development and planning in China. He is a Professor at Peking University that he joined since 1997 and where he is conducting specialized researches in the area of tourism development, planning and management and where he teaches Urban and Regional Tourism Planning, City Tourism and Recreation Planning, for both post graduate and undergraduate students at College of Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University.

He is the founding member and the Director of the International Center for Recreation and Tourism Research (iCRTR) at Peking University. He was also the founding member of the Department of Tourism Management at East China Normal University in Shanghai, where he studied and worked for 17 years. He was Visiting Professor at Purdue University (USA) in 2000 and 2005, Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2009. Dr. Wu acts also as consultant in regional tourism planning and research, domestic tourist market studies, resort and historical site planning and design and management. Most recently he has conducted training programs and provided tourism planning and development advice in many provinces and municipalities in China.

Ilona Beliatskaya

Junior Research Fellow – Estonian Business School Tallinn / Helsinki

Keynote : Smart cities start with communities: urban commons and sense of place

Smart cities as social phenomena based on community-building practices. The widely acknowledged concepts of smart cities have been argued for their technocracy neglecting the interest of urban stakeholders. The complexity of smart cities grounds on multiple decision-makers who play an integral part in constituting this phenomenon. The diversity of urban stakeholders ranging from citizens to international travelers and visitors play an important role in smart city development. The UN’s SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) calls for action to make cities more sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and safe. Initially proposed by Ostrom (1990), the framework of governing commons justifies the role of a collective decision-making process regarding shared urban resources. The commoning process in urban areas invites collaborative activity of bringing various stakeholders to co-create and co-produce the common services in urban areas.


Ilona Beliatskaya is a lecturer and researcher in smart cities, e-tourism, and digital wellbeing. Currently, she works as a Junior Research Fellow at EBS, where she also studies in a doctoral program. 

Her research focus lies in the evolution of modern cities which are grounded on the sense of community involvement, social inclusion, and sustainable practices, yet following the digital transformation to ensure a better quality of life. Also, Ilona is experienced in digital marketing for service industries (tourism, wellness, hospitality) and certified event organizer. She is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship, and innovations with roots in CESEE countries, and an advocate of slow travel.