European Tourism Day 2018
Speakers biographies
Elise Allart
TUI Group
Since 2016 Ms Allart has been appointed the Executive Director Programmes & Operations of TUI Care Foundation. She has been heading the Dutch foundation since its start in 2011. Before her appointment in the executive team, Ms Allart worked for TUI, the world’s number one tourism business. From 2002-2016 she was Manager Sustainable Tourism for TUI Benelux, which comprises of TUI Nederland and TUI Belgium. Her responsibilities were setting up and implementing the corporate social responsibility strategy and policies. During this period TUI Nederland and TUI Belgium obtained numerous awards related to sustainable tourism. Next to her role for TUI Care Foundation, Ms Allart represents TUI Group in several international working groups related to child protection. On behalf of TUI Group Ms Allart holds the Chair in The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism and is also present at meetings of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection by the World Tourism Organization. Ms Allart studied tourism and hospitality management at NHTV Breda University in the Netherlands, Dalarna University in Sweden and Northern Arizona University in USA. Her Master’s degree in European Tourism Management was completed at Bournemouth University in the UK and Savoie University in France. Ms Allart is married and lives with her husband and two children in the Netherlands.
Antonio Barreca
Federturismo Confindustria
Mr Barreca has worked for the Economic Department of the Presidency of the Italian Council. He later relocated to Brussels and served as Head of EU Affairs for Federturismo Confindustria for 10 years. He has worked for the Economic and Social Committee and with the European Parliament. He served as Senior Advisor for Tourism for the Region Sicily in 2014. He has been a member of the Tourism Sustainability Group of the European Commission (since 2011) and the Vice President of the Tourism Committee at the Italian Organization for Standardization (UNI). He has been managing national and international activities in the field of standardisation of the tourism sector (since 2008), has attended the world annual meeting of the ISO TC/228 as the Italian delegate, and is a professor at LUISS university and LUISS Business School. Mr Barreca graduated with a degree in political sciences from LUISS University (in Rome), obtained a PHD in Public Law from the University of Perugia, and attended two executive courses at the John Kenney School of Government at Harvard University in 2013 and 2015.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska
European Commission
Ms Bieńkowska has been the EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in the European Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker (since 2014). She was the Minister for Regional Development of Poland (between 2007 and 2013) and the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Poland (2013-2014). As the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Infrastructure and Development, she was in charge of the strategic development system of the country, including the effective investment of European funds. Her work resulted in the full absorption of EU funds from the 2004-2006 budget and the successful distribution of almost EUR 68 billion granted to Poland (for the years 2007-2013). She managed the process of the preparation of the efficient EU funds implementation system from the EU budget for the years 2014-2020. Apart from the European funds, her tasks in the Polish Government included the management of transport infrastructure (roads, railway, air traffic and ship transport) and issues related to construction and housing. Between 1999 and 20017, she worked for the local government of the Silesia Region in Southern Poland.

Marina Bylinsky
ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International)
Ms Bylinsky joined ACI EUROPE in September 2015, and she is responsible for the coordination of all aspects of the association’s environmental strategy. In this regard, she represents ACI EUROPE in various high-level EU, ECAC and EUROCONTROL fora. She also monitors the administration and ongoing evolution of the global carbon standard, an Airport Carbon Accreditation that belongs to ACI EUROPE. Ms Bylinsky is a graduate of the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris where she graduated with a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics, following a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Prior to joining ACI EUROPE, Marina worked as a Senior Consultant at BearingPoint in France and in Belgium. During this time, she worked on several projects with the European Commission, the SESAR Joint Undertaking and EASA.
Lonneke De Kort
Ms De Kort is the CEO of the sustainable hotel booking site ‘’. After a long career in fashion in senior management positions, she decided to use her experience and capabilities to transform the travel industry towards a more sustainable sector. According to Ms De Kort: integrating sustainability into everyday activities (in an easy and understandable way) is the only way to advance this transition forward, and bookdifferent is an important vehicle to reach this goal. By adding evidence-based green indicators as an additional layer on the offered accommodations and destinations, consumers and companies are able to book the most sustainable option. With the recent launch of the SME and Corporate bookings tool, takes the next step in creating demand for sustainable travel by corporates and organisations to prove the economic value for the travel sector.
Lowri Evans
European Commission
Ms Evans was appointed Director-General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs on 1 September 2015. From 2010 to 2015, she has been the Director-General in DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Prior to that, she has worked in several policy areas in the European Commission, notably in competition and employment. She started her professional career in audit and accountancy with Deloitte.
Juan-Jesús García Sánchez
Amadeus IT
Mr Sánchez works as Head of Industry Affairs Europe at Amadeus IT. In his role, he leads relevant Amadeus strategic initiatives undertaken with industry and regulatory bodies such as the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Travel & Technology Trade Associations. He also represents Amadeus at relevant tourism organisations like the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), and provides assistance in the definition of programs and policies to foster tourism and economic growth. Mr Sánchez graduated with a PHD (which focussed on strategies of Spanish tourism companies via mobile) from Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid. He is also a member of AECA’s (Asociación Española de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas) Tourism Committee.
Kerstin Howald
Ms Howald has been working as the Secretary for the tourism sector at the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors (EFFAT) and as Coordinator of the European Trade Union Liasion Committee on Tourism (ETLC), a cooperation of European and International Trade Union Federations that has been organising workers in the tourism sector since 1995. EFFAT is a union involved in the tourism sector that pursues decent work, fair remuneration, high-quality qualification and training, equal opportunities and workers’ rights for all employees in the hospitality sector (through social dialogue, European Works Councils and shaping European social, labour and tourism policies). She graduated with a BA in Applied Business Languages and International Management and with another degree in Chinese and business studies from the Bremen University of Applied Sciences.
Elizabeth Köstinger
Federal Minister For Sustainability and Tourism
Elisabeth Köstinger was born on 22 November 1978 in Carinthia and grew up on a small family farm at St. Paul in Lavanttal. In 2009 she was elected Member of the European Parliament, and was spokesperson for agricultural, environmental and women’s affairs of the delegation of the Austrian People’s Party until 2017. From 2011 to 2017 she was Deputy Head of Delegation of the delegation of the Austrian People’s Party to the European Parliament, from 2014 onward also Vice-President of the European Parliamentary Association. Köstinger was the President of the Ecosocial Forum Europe and Vice-President of the Ecosocial Forum Austria. In May 2017 she became the Secretary-General of the new People’s Party; in the same year she was elected Member of the National Council as well as President of the National Council. Since 18 December 2017 Elisabeth Köstinger has been Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism. The responsibilities of the Ministry comprise agriculture and forestry, environment, climate protection, energy and mining, tourism, and regional policy.
Jan Lundin
Swedish Tourism Innovation Center
Mr Lundin has a long experience in the travel and tourism industry and has held several senior positions in Sweden and internationally. He started his career in the tour operator and airline industry, and has held senior commercial positions in the travel distribution company, Amadeus Marketing. He has funded several companies, was one of the pioneers in spearheading the mobile commerce arena, and founded one of the world’s first companies that develops mobile travel applications. As the Secretary General of the Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry Federation and the CEO of the Swedish Tourism Innovation Center, he works daily with business development and innovation processes at national and international level, with a focus on building a green and sustainable tourism industry. Mr Lundin international engagement is primarily with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) through the joint development programs that focus on innovations and sustainability, as well as several project initiatives with the EU. He holds several board member positions in both private sector and non-profit organisations, and holds a business degree from Stockholm University.
Jesper Manniche
Centre for Regional and Tourism Research
Dr Manniche is a senior researcher (PHD) at the Centre for Regional and Tourism Research in Bornholm, Denmark. He has 20 years of experience in researching innovation in tourism and food businesses in rural areas. In recent years, a core field of his research has been the circular economy. According to his research, he believes that the circular economy holds significant potentials to transform the tourism sector (especially for production and sustainable consumption) into ‘transformative tourism’. Dr Manniche and his colleagues have written a comprehensive 150 pages handbook (which can be found at to help with an overall system transition towards a circular economy in tourism, providing numerous real-world examples of how businesses can reduce their use of natural resources by implementing circular regenerative and restorative principles and businesses models. This useful handbook argues that the tourism sector, despite its bad sustainability record, is key to encouraging an overall system transition towards a more circular and economy system.
Ossi Martikainen
European Committee of the Regions
Mr Martikainen is the local councillor from Lapinlahti in eastern Finland, and a former Special Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development. He has been a member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) since 2004 and is currently chairing the CoR Commission for Natural Resources (NAT). The NAT Commission is responsible, among other policy portfolios, for tourism. His opinions, studies and meeting notices can be found on the NAT Commission website ( Mr Martikainen is also a member of the European Jury that selects European Capital of Smart Tourism. He holds a master degree in social education and is an active farmer.
Claudio Milano
Ostelea School of Tourism & Hospitality - University of Lleida
Mr Milano is an Italian anthropologist with a background in economics. He has over 10 years of experience working as a consultant and a lecturer in the international tourism development sector. He is also the Director of the Ostelea School of Hospitality and Tourism Master Program in Sustainable Tourism Destinations and Regional Tourism Planning (at the University of Lleida in Barcelona, Spain). He has held several positions in the tourism sector, and he has worked and collaborated with international and governmental agencies and academic institutions on human rights, rural development and tourism issues in India, Peru, Senegal, Chile and Brazil. He is also a team member of a consortium of researchers that receives funding from the European Parliament to study Overtourism in the EU.
Renaud Muselier
European Parliament
Mr Muselier has been a member of the European Parliament since 2012. In his role: he has served as Vice-President of the French delegation to the EPP Group; Vice-President of the delegation to the ACP-EU; and a member of the Transport and Tourism Committee. He has also been the President of the Europe Committee of the Association of French Regions (since 2015), and the President of the Provence-Alpes- Côte d'Azur Region (since 2017). Earlier on in his career, he served in many leading positions such as: the President of the Arab World Institute (2011-2013); the President of the Cultural Council of the Union for the Mediterranean (2009-2013); the Secretary of State in charge of Foreign Affairs (2002-2005); a member of the French Parliament in the National Assembly (1993-2012); and the Deputy Mayor of Marseille (1995-2008).
Pia Pakarinen
City of Helsinki
Ms Pakerinen has been the Deputy Mayor for the Education Division in the City of Helsinki since 2017. As Deputy Mayor, she serves as the Chairperson of the Education committee and is a member of the City Board. She joined the Court of Justice of the European Union as a lawyer-linguist and lawyer-revisor (1995-2000). She was the director of Helsinki Region Charmer of Commerce (2014-2017); the CEO of Helsingin Yrittäjät ry and HyPoint Oy (2011-2014); and she was also a marketing and sales professional, an entrepreneur and a bank clerk (1980-1990). Ms Pakarinen holds two master degrees in laws and political sciences from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.
Gianluca Pastorelli
Mr Pastorelli has been the Head of Diesis for 15 years. He has contributed and carried out activities to serve the needs and priorities of social economy enterprises all over Europe, with a strong focus on sustainable development goals and inclusive growth. Fair and responsible tourism has been an important topic to him for many years. In 2008, Mr Pastorelli was among the cofounders of the European Alliance for Responsible Tourism and Hospitality (EARTH), the first European Network created by experts of responsible tourism; and he was appointed to the European Coordination Committee of the International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO – OITS). He is also a European activist and a member of the Board of the Association Jean Monnet – a European association that promotes and revitalises the work and thoughts of Jean Monnet, one of the Founding Fathers of Europe.
Antti Peltomaki
European Commission
Mr Antti Peltomäki is Deputy Director-General of the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate-General since February 2012. In this function, Mr Peltomäki is responsible for Single Market Policy, Regulation and Surveillance; Industrial transformation and Advanced value chains; Consumer, Environmental and Health Industries; and Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing Directorates. Mr. Peltomäki is also the Commission representative at the Management Boards of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Before that, Mr Peltomäki was Deputy Director-General in the Information Society and Media Directorate General where he was firstly responsible for research cooperation in the context of the seventh research framework (2007-2013) and thereafter for regulatory policy in the telecommunications, media and internet fields. Mr Peltomäki has also worked as Head of the Commission's representation in Helsinki in 2006 – 2007. Prior to joining the Commission in 2006, Mr Peltomäki worked for almost ten years in the office of the Prime Minister of Finland, initially as State Under-Secretary, then State Secretary for EU affairs. A lawyer by training, Mr Peltomäki began his career as a coordinator of international research and training courses at the Helsinki University of Technology.
Eija Raasakka
Multidimensional Tourism Institute, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Ms Raasakka has a degree in hotel and tourism management and in vocational teacher education. Since 1997, she has been working in the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, first as a Lecturer and then as a Project Manager in the RDI department. Prior to her academic career, she worked in the tourism sector in Finland, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Greece and Spain. She has expertise in project management, tourism and hotel management, and in tourism safety. Ms Raasakka is also the contact person of the lead region of Lapland in the thematic network of Digitalisation and Safety for Tourism on the Smart Specialisation Platform for Modern Industrialisation. She leads the Arctic Tourism Safety Cluster in Lapland and the sub-theme of Tourism Safety in the University of Arctic.
Hélène Rozé-Cénet
Ecolodge La Belle Verte
Ms Rozé-Cénet has a background in tourism and has more than 12 years of professional experience working in France and abroad. Based on her passion for ecology and tourism, she created the Ecolodge ‘La Belle Verte’ in 2012, mainly for sustainable ecology tourism activities. The ecolodge has been awarded the European Ecolabel (since 2016), and it was also awarded the 1st prize for sustainable tourism on the accommodation category in 2017. Ms Rozé-Cénet’s desire is to share her passion and know-how in sustainable, fair and slow tourism.
Nathalie Saint-Marcel
Cluster Montagne
Ms Saint-Marcel has been the Deputy Director of Cluster Montagne, an association that represents and promotes French know-how for sustainable mountain tourism development (since 2012). She obtained a Master’s degree in Management, International Trade and Foreign Languages (in 1995) and a MBA in Strategy and Management for Sport Companies (in 2009). She started her career as a consultant in the international department of the Savoy Chamber of Commerce in France (1995-2008). From 2008 to 2011, she was in charge of the development of the CIM cluster (Cluster des Industries de la Montagne) and the merger with the association FNI (France Neige International).
Petra Stušek
Visit Ljubljana
Ms Petra Stušek is Managing Director of the Ljubljana Tourist Board. Ms Stušek is also a Board Member of International European Cities Marketing, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the competitiveness and performance of Europe’s leading leading tourism cities. Prior to these roles, Ms Stušek had a leading role in foreign and domestic communications at the Ljubljana Tourist Board, reporting directly to the CEO. In recent years, her team has won several prestigious titles, such as the “WTM Responsible Tourism Award 2017 – Best for Communication”, “WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow” 2015 award for Ljubljana as the most sustainable destination in the world, and the “Digital Tourism Think Tank” award for web portal content. Ljubljana also won the 2016 ETIS and Accessible Tourism Joint Award in the category "Environment and accessibility as a catalyst for sustainable and responsible growth". Furthermore, the promotional campaign celebrating Jože Plečnik's year in 2017 won the Emerging Europe Tourism Campaign of the Year 2018 award. With this campaign, Ljubljana Tourism paid homage to the great architect who shaped Ljubljana as a city. Ms Stušek has been active in the field of tourism since she was 18. For several years she was also an active member of the National PR Organisation, leading the central communication section for PR experts from different fields and organizing debates with different communication specialists. Ms Stušek holds a degree from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and completed post-graduate studies in the Faculty of Economics for a Master’s degree in Tourism and Sales. She also successfully completed a course at the “Slovene School of Public Relations”, to gain further expertise in the field. She is a passionate runner, cyclist, climber, skier and, of course, traveler with passion.

Istvan Ujhelyi
European Parliament
Mr Ujhelyi joined the Hungarian Socialist Party in 1993, where he has served in many leading positions. For example, he was the State Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (between 2006 and 2008) and for the Prime Minister’s Office in the Cabinet of Gordon Bajnai (2009-2010). During the past years, he has initiated tourism related programmes, such as the EU-China Tourism Year 2018 and the European Capital of Tourism project called ‘European Capital of Smart Tourism’, including the Europe-China OBOR Culture & Tourism Development Committee. He was also the Political Mentor for the FreeInterRail-programme (DiscoverEU) in 2016, and was appointed as special ambassador for the UN World Tourism Organisation in 2018. He graduated with a law degree from the József Attila University in Hungary (2002).
Karmenu Vella
European Commission
Mr Vella is the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission. He was first elected to the European Parliament in 1976 and has been re-elected nine consecutive times. During his political career, he has served as the Minister for Tourism and Aviation (2013-2014), the Tourism Minister (1996-1998), the Minister for Public Works (1981-1983), as well as a Member of the Maltese Parliament (1976-2014). He has also held various senior positions in the private sector. Mr Vella obtained his Master’s degree in Tourism Management from the University of Sheffield in 2000, and his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering in 1973.