Please let us introduce our brilliant keynote speakers:

Keynote speaker 1: We are delighted to announce Professor Dianne Dredge, Founder & Director of The Tourism CoLab and Visiting Guest Professor of Lund University, Sweden as one of the keynote speakers for the conference.

With a background in urban and environmental planning, policy, tourism management and community engagement, Dianne is an interdisciplinary boundary spanner who employs user-centred design approaches to help build tourism and visitor economies for the benefit people, places and the planet.  She draws from a career in consulting and higher education, and has provided policy research and advice to international organisations such as the European Commission and the OECD as well as to dozens of local governments across Australia and internationally. Dianne holds a guest professorship at Lund University, Sweden and in 2019 she established  The Tourism CoLab.  The Tourism CoLab  works with businesses, communities tourism organisations and governments  to co-design  practical collaborative solutions for destinations and transformative visitor experiences. Dianne is Member of the International Academy for the S

tudy of Tourism and Past Chair of the Tourism Education Futures Initiative. She is a thought leader and change maker, and advocates for the creation of responsible, inclusive and regenerative tourism and visitor economies.

Keynote Topic: Transitioning to the Next Economy: What’s tourism got to do with it?

Keynote speaker 2: Gavin Bate is a high altitude mountaineer and since 1991 founder of adventure travel company Adventure Alternative and NGO Moving Mountains. The company has always focussed on its ethos and explores the connection between social enterprise and sustainable tourism, with a particular focus on fair and just employment practices. The charity was formed after many years working as an aid driver in east Africa and working in the slums of Kenya with street children. Gavin draws on his experiences of leadership over three decades of expeditions around the world, including six ascents of Mount Everest which raised £2million for his charity, as well as many years travelling through developing countries and investing in a number of social enterprises.

Gavin’s work in the field of tourism reflects a strategy that is based on a model of social enterprise that reconciles profit with poverty reduction, capitalism with compassion, and corporate responsibility with community ownership. Elements of this strategic approach are reflected in the use of “impact mapping” to justify expenditures with the charity; its focus on the sustainability of projects, so that partner communities do not fall into the trap of complacency or reliance; its embrace of local empowerment whereby partners in, say, Kenya, Nepal, or Borneo, are equipped with the means to set up their own local Moving Mountains non-profit; and its adoption of a “start small, think big” mentality, which allows projects to progress organically over a long period, generating, therefore, trust and accountability.

Gavin regularly lectures on travel and tourism as well as leadership and mountaineering, and in 2018 he was given an Honorary Doctorate by Guelph University in Canada “in recognition of your accomplishments in the field of sustainable tourism, social enterprise and international development. You have raised the life quality and life expectancy of communities around the world. Your travel company models for the business world a strategy worth emulating and aligns with the University of Guelph’s mission to “Improve Life “.