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Innovation and the Future of Tourism

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Sustainable tourism is a key component of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. This session will feature case studies of innovative and green tourism initiatives with a look ahead at how the tourism industry can recover beyond the global pandemic.

Speakers

Vice President, Grupo Puntacana

Jake Kheel

Jake Kheel is a sustainability innovator, author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. For sixteen years he has confronted social and environmental challenges in the tourism industry as Vice President of Grupo Puntacana Foundation in the Dominican Republic. The foundation has pioneered numerous ground-breaking initiatives, launching the first Zero Waste project in the country, as well as leading one of the most expansive coral reef restoration initiatives in the Caribbean.

Under his leadership, Grupo Puntacana Foundation has received numerous international awards for its environmental programs, including awards from World Tourism and Travel Council, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, and National Geographic Traveler.

His book, Waking the Sleeping Giant: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Business to Save Our Planet, uses examples from his vast experience in Punta Cana to demonstrate how companies can drive breakthroughs in sustainability.

Jake is on the Board of the Center for Responsible Tourism (CREST) and former President of the National Association of Businesses for Environmental Protection (ECORED) in the Dominican Republic, an association of nearly 100 prominent companies committed to sustainability.

Jake co-directed and produced the award-winning documentary film Death by a Thousand Cuts, which explores Dominican-Haitian deforestation and escalating human conflict on the border. The film was acquired by Participant Media and Univision and screened at three dozen international film festivals. He is currently producing a hosted documentary series, Island Naturalist, to be released in 2022.

Jake has a Master’s in Environmental Management from Cornell University and a B.A.from Wesleyan University.

Managing Director, Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC)

Mohamed Raaidh

Mohammed Raaidh was appointed as the Managing Director of Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) with the primary goal of contributing to the economic growth of the nation by expanding possible avenues of the tourism sector through the systematic and planned development of integrated tourism in this industry.

Mr. Raaidh has worked directly with the former President, His Excellency Dr.Mohamed Waheed Hassan, as the head of the Official Residence Staff. His vast experience in ASEAN region countries make him a strong player within his network of tourism, transportation, and import/export industries.

Furthermore, with an active background in the law enforcement, crime prevention and legal motivation, Mohamed Raaidh has spent more than 4 years rigorously laying out legal frameworks and drafting far-reaching laws.

His vision is to integrate community-based tourism in the Maldives and to bring local island tourism to new heights.

Project Manager, Scottish Islands Passport

Kirsten Gow

Kirsten Gow has worked alongside her job-share partner Sarah Compton-Bishop to develop a new digital resource for exploring Scotland’s islands which keeps island communities at the heart of what they do. Working to an island-centred ethos, Kirsten has been responsible for the technical development of the project as well as proactively working with islanders to ensure the project meets the aspirations, needs and capacity of individual islands.

The Scottish Islands Passport is a Scottish Government’s Programme for Government Commitment and forms part of the National Islands Plan.

Kirsten also works part time for Rural Housing Scotland, a charity which supports community-led housing development in Scotland’s rural and island areas to tackle locally-identified housing need and grow sustainable communities. She is due to commence her PhD studies with the University of Aberdeen in October 2021 with a focus on in-migration to Scottish islands to build balanced and sustainable population profiles.

Chair of the CHTA Education Foundation and Chair of St Lucia National Conservation Fund

Karolin Troubetzkoy

Karolin Troubetzkoy is the Executive Director, Marketing and Operations of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, a position she held since 1986.

From March 2010 to January 2016 and again from 2018-June 2021, Mrs Troubetzkoy served as President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA).

Mrs Troubetzkoy was appointed President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in January 2016, for the term 2016-2018, with her presidency coming to an end in June 2018 at which point she became and served as Immediate Past President until October 2020. Mrs Troubetzkoy was only the second woman to serve as President in CHTA’s 50+ year history.

When her CHTA Presidency came to an end, Mrs Troubetzkoy agreed to take on and still serves in the role of Chairperson of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation and in this position continues fundraising in the industry to make available scholarships and training opportunities.

In Jan 2019, she was appointed Envoy to the Caribbean Challenge Initiative to bring awareness and build up resilience of the marine and coastal resources in the Caribbean. In July 2020, she accepted the Chairmanship of the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund and in this capacity, has joined the board of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.

She is the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Saint Lucia and is a citizen of Saint Lucia. On May 24, 2019 the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed on Karolin the Order of Merit to acknowledge her work as Honorary Consul and her volunteer leadership in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean to promote sustainable operations, building resilience and mitigating effects of climate change.
She holds a degree in business administration with majors in both tourism marketing and hotel and restaurant management from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. She speaks four languages: German, French, English and Italian.

Regional Director of Tourism, Madeira Tourism Board

Dorita Mendonça

Dorita Mendonça, Regional Director of Tourism of Madeira Islands, graduated in Business Administration and Management, with postgraduate degrees in Gestão.Com and Strategic Management and Tourism Development.

On a professional level, after some experience in the private sector, joined the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture of Madeira, in 2002, as Head of Division for the Financial and Heritage Management department. From 2011 to 2015 was nominated Promotion Director, at the Regional Directorate of Tourism, being, at the same time, a Member of the Board for the Madeira Promotion Bureau.

Afterwards, until October 2017, held the position of Head Director of Information and Touristic Projects, being responsible for Tourism Information, which includes not only the Madeira Tourist Information Offices’ management as well as projects and initiatives’ development towards the enhancement, qualification and enrichment of the touristic product. Additionally, from 2015, is a Guest Assistant Lecturer at Madeira University.

Azores DMO Coordinator, Government of the Azores

Carolina Mendonça

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