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Keynote speakers

Willingness of local residents to participate in protected area enhancement in the urban/rural fringe: Harnessing the potential of enlightened mass tourism

Professor David Weaver, Griffith University, Australia

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David Weaver is a Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, has held academic positions in Canada, Australia and the US, and has published more than 120 journal articles, book chapters and books on tourism-related themes. His widely adopted textbooks include Tourism Management (Wiley Australia, 5th ed.), Ecotourism (Wiley Australia, 2nd ed.), and Sustainable Tourism: Theory and Practice (Taylor & Francis). David maintains an active research agenda in sustainable destination management, ecotourism, protected area visitation, and resident perceptions of tourism, delivering keynote presentations on these subjects around the world. He recently obtained funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to examine the willingness of visitors to National Parks in the Gold Coast hinterland of Australia to participate in activities that enhance the environment of those sites. In his keynote, he will focus on the differences between local residents and other visitors with regard to their potential for participating in park enhancement as well as associated motivations and barriers. The results can help to achieve ‘enlightened mass tourism’ that combines the economies of scale of mass visitation with the ethical imperatives of alternative tourism.

Mobile positionining as an innovative tool in vistor management and monitoring

Professor Rein Ahas, University of Tartu, Estonia

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Rein Ahas, PhD (1966), is a Professor of Human Geography at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He has been elected to the position of researcher-professor at the Estonian Academy of Sciences since 2013 and is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Location Based Services (Taylor & Francis) and Travel Behavior and Society (Elsevier).
Research interests of prof. Ahas include the study of spatial mobility and tourism, seasonality and climate change impacts. He has been actively involved in the developing of mobile positioning based research methodology for mobility studies and tourism geography. Mobile positioning is a promising method for studying space-time behavior of tourists in less populated areas and for monitoring visitor flows in national parks.  


Visitor Management at UNESCO World Heritage Properties

Peter Debrine, Senior Project Officer , Sustainable Tourism UNESCO

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Mr. DeBrine joined the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 2011 as a Programme Specialist where he is spearheading the implementation of a new World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme. Previously he was the Director of the World Heritage Alliance at the United Nations Foundation—a global community of travelers, members of the travel industry, government groups, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations working together to preserve and protect World Heritage sites while supporting local communities.  
With extensive experience in sustainable development and tourism, Mr. DeBrine held the position of Deputy Director of the International Tourism Partnership for the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum where he worked with major hotel companies to create practical sustainability strategies and tools for the tourism industry.  Previously, Mr. DeBrine worked as a Forestry Officer for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization where he helped shape an international partnership for sustainable development in mountain regions. This builds on his many years as an environmental campaigner for WWF working on climate change, endangered species and sustainable tourism issues in the US and Europe. Mr. DeBrine holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Colorado. 

We regret to announce that Svetlana Persova cannot attend the conference due to urgent unforeseen circumstances.