Members for 2021 - 2025 | 2023 - 2027
The appointment of the members of the World Committee for the 2021 - 2025 and 2023 - 2027 periods was approved by the 24th UNWTO General Assembly in December 2021 and 25th UNWTO General Assembly in October 2023 respectively.
Professor of Tourism, Hospitality and Heritage Studies, Helwan University
Professor of Tourism, Hospitality and Heritage studies at Helwan University in Egypt. Ms. Belal is the Undersecretary for Culture Cooperation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) and the founder and director of the Helwan University International Relations Office (IRO) and the founder and ex-director of Helwan University Marketing Center.
She is the representative of MoHESR in the National Commission for UNESCO as well as in the Egyptian Delegation for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Ms. Belal is a member of the board of directors for the Joint Master in Heritage Conservation & Sits Management between Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany and Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt. She is also member of the Supreme Committee of the Ministry of Higher Education to develop the academic bylaws and curricula for the Egyptian newly established National universities as well as Higher Institutes of Tourism & Hospitality as well as member of the steering committee member of the university strategic plan entrusted with internalization pillar and trainer at the ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
President, Basque Country Ethics Cluster
José Ignacio chairs since 2015 the Basque Country Cluster of Ethics Foundation whose mission is to contribute to the knowledge and application of ethical values in individuals, companies, social organisations and public institutions. He has previously chaired the Social Council of the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Alava/Araba Committe of UNICEF. In addition, he has been Secretary General and Deputy Director General of Caja de Ahorros de Vitoria y Álava, Caja Vital Kutxa and Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Álava, financial institutions whose profits were destined to develop social welfare in their areas of activity.
He has also been a member of their foundations and a member of the board of entities dependent on these institutions. He has also been vice-president of the Basque Writers' Association and arbitrator and mediator in the Basque Labour Relations Council. Graduate in Law from the University of Deusto and in Economics and Business from the Commercial University of Deusto, he has been a lecturer in Labour Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Deusto and in Commercial and Labour Law at the UNED University.
He is a member of the Bar Associations of Álava and Madrid. He is the author of six books of poetry: El ámbar Gótico, Poética de la Tierra Herida; Poesía para seducir a la tristeza; 20 Poemas de Jazz para Haití; Un poeta ante la guerra; El bosque herido, and the novel Los círculos del deseo. He has also written numerous opinion articles, lectures and essays, including: Una aproximación a la Ética de las Fundaciones and La responsabilidad de los avales en la contratación mercantil. Besides, he has chaired the conferences on Ethical Leadership, Ethics and Communication, Ethics and the Climate Challenge, and The Consequences of War.
Chief Executive Officer, Zagreb Tourist Board
Ph.D. Martina Bienenfeld has been the CEO of Zagreb Tourist Board since June 2014 where she’s developing a tourist offer of the Croatian capital, with a special emphasis on the development strategy, sustainable planning and destination management. Ms Bienenfeld positions Zagreb as a year-round destination, developing special types of tourism such as cultural, health and MICE tourism in cooperation with the tourist industry and the public and private sectors. Likewise, she endeavors to develop tourism in a sustainable and safe manner, and with the creation of a year-round offer, she strives to ensure to Zagreb’s visitors more comfortable and quality-based stay in the capital. With a vast knowledge and experience in field of tourism in, both, private and public sector, she’s often a panelist, lecturer or presenter at various conferences and, also, a member of several working groups for diverse tourist projects in Croatian capital. During her work in Zagreb Tourist Board, Zagreb became a successful tourist destination and a winner of some key national and international awards such as three times Best European Christmas Market (2016, 2017, 2018), Best in Europe by Lonely Planet magazine (2017), Champion of Croatian tourism (2018) and Best in Sustainability (2021). Additionally, Ms Bienenfeld was elected as a member of the Working Group of the President of the Republic of Croatia for the development of the identity and brand of the Republic of Croatia (2018 – 2019) and, since 2019, she’s the coordinator and member of the Working Group for the Implementation of the Framework Strategy of the Smart City of Zagreb through the Smart City Hub platform. Also, she’s a Steering Committee member of SKAL club Zagreb and is a winner of Woman of the Year Award (2015), Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award (2016) and Vision Manager Award (2017).
Partner, Yelpo & Facal Law Firm and Tourism Law Teacher, Universidad de la República Carrera Abogacía
Doctor in Law, Adjunct Professor of Tourism Law at the Faculty of Law, University of the Republic of Uruguay. Specialist in Tourism Law. Academic Advisor to the Ministry of Tourism of Uruguay and member of the Tourism Observatory.
He has been appointed Academician by the Argentine Academy of Tourism. He is an Expert appointed by the World Tourism Organization. Member of the list of experts CIPT UNWTO. He has been awarded by the tourism business community of Uruguay with the Premio Sol al turismo, the highest award for his work for the sector.
Drafter of several bills, as well as books and publications on the legal framework of tourism. Advisor to the Uruguayan Chamber of Tourism. Advisor to AHRU (Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Uruguay). Advisor to various tourism companies and trade associations in the sector. Recently appointed Member of the Ethics Committee of the UNWTO. Partner of Estudio Yelpo y Facal Abogados.
Chairman of Win-Store Group
Mr. Gemunu Goonewardene, the Chairman of Win-Stone Group, has over 48 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He is a Non-Executive Board member of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings as well as Marino Leisure Holdings. During his tenure as the Chairman of the Tourist Hotels Classification Committee from 2018 to 2022, he spearheaded initiatives to mandate sustainable and green practices within the industry.
Formerly during his career with Aitken Spence, he was Vice President, responsible for Resource Planning & Development, Food & Beverage Services and Facilities, as well as a Director of Aitken Spence Resources (Pvt) Ltd responsible for overseas recruitment. He is the mastermind behind the 'Heritance Cuisine', widely served in Heritance Hotels, where local ingredients and traditional techniques fuse together with international gastronomical influences. He was a key member of the team that worked alongside Geoffrey Bawa in developing the Heritance Kandalama Hotel and introduced pioneering strategies that integrated eco-friendly designs and environmentally sustainable practices into the hotel's operations. Their efforts led to the establishment of the hotel as a global benchmark for sustainability and service excellence.
As his latest endeavour, he founded "Ceylon Food Trails", an organization that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lankan cuisine and promotes sustainable agricultural practices. With a focus on supporting local communities and preserving culinary traditions, the mission is to provide an authentic and immersive experience for travellers while fostering economic growth at the grassroots level. As an advocate for responsible tourism, he firmly believes in the transformative power of sustainable practices and their potential to drive positive change for both local communities and the environment.
Looking ahead, he remains committed to contributing to the industry's journey toward achieving net-zero targets, ensuring a vibrant and sustainable future for generations to come. .
General Secretary, International Union of Food, Agriculture, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations (IUF)
Sue Longley joined the IUF in 1994 and was responsible for establishing the IUF's new agricultural workers trade group and developing the IUF's work in the agricultural sector. Prior to this she worked for the IUF's UK affiliate, Unite the Union (then known as the Transport and General Workers Union).
As the IUF's agricultural and plantations officer she travelled extensively in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.
Her work included extensive cooperation with organisations involved in CSR and ethical issues.
These included: Fairtrade International The Common Code for Coffee, International Cocoa Initiative, and Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation.
Legal and human rights experience include: Secretary to the Workers Group responsible for the development of ILO Convention 184 and Recommendation 192 on occupational health and safety in agriculture.
IUF representative in the UN Human Rights Council Working Group drafting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
Originally from Manchester, she is now based in Geneva (but continues to support Manchester United with unfailing loyalty).
Dean, School of Business and Economics, South Eastern Kenya University
Dr. Joseph Nzomoi is an eminent economist with over 20 years' experience in local and international agricultural and economic policy environment, International Trade, Export Promotion and Facilitation, Policy Advisory as well as University teaching and Research.
Over the years, Dr. Nzomoi has served in various capacities including as Senior Economist and Research Manager at the Central Bank of Kenya, Director (Analysis & Planning) at Kilimo Trust in Uganda, Business Transactions Advisor (to the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture in Rwanda), Senior Policy & Institutional Development Specialist (USAID, Rwanda), Senior Technical Advisor (Netherlands Development Organization) and Exports & Trade Advisor (Rwanda).
As a consultant, Dr. Joseph Nzomoi has worked on projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda and Botswana. Currently Dr. Nzomoi is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at South Eastern Kenya University where he is also the Dean, School of Business and Economics. He holds a Bachelor's and Masters degrees in Economics from the University of Nairobi and a PhD degree in Agricultural Economics and Resource Management, from Moi University. As an academic, Dr. Nzomoi is widely published in international peer reviewed journals. He also serves as a reviewer in some of these journals and has supervised many postgraduate students. From 2009 – 2012, Dr. Nzomoi served as a member of the Steering Committee for the development of Kenya's Tourism Satelitte Account (TSA). In April 2009 he attended the 5th UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics whose theme was, Tourism: An Engine for Employment Creation held in Bali, Indonesia.
In November 2009 Dr. Nzomoi once again attended a UNWTO Capacity Building Workshop and Regional Seminar on Tourism Statistics that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Former Chief Executive Officer, Skal International
Former CEO of Skal International for 6 years (November 2016 until October 2022) , Daniela Otero led the world´s largest network of Travel and Tourism professionals, with nearly 14,000 members and a global presence in over 100 countries.
She was member of the Board Directors of UNWTO Affiliate Members from 2019-2021.
Specialized in business strategy and with more than 25 years of international experience in the public and private sectors, Daniela Otero has worked leading teams in the areas of marketing, communication and institutional relations.
Owner and General Manager, Eurasia Tourism Ltd.
Ms. Diker served to the World Committee on Tourism Ethics of UNWTO as "alternate Member "between 2013- 2017 and 2017 –2021.
In her home country Ms. Diker was Adviser to the President of TURSAB / Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, between 2013-2017 where she served as Secretary- General of the Association for 6 years and as an Executive Board Member for 4 years. During her mandate, from 2003 to 2013, 5 consecutive election terms, shewas responsible for 12 working committees, she was also a board member of ITO (Istanbul Chamber of Commerce)'s Specialized Committee on Culture & Tourism and the Committee of the Travel Agencies and Tourism Transport Companies. (2009-2013).
She is currently member of the "Tourism for All Committee "of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. A member of Women in Logistics and Transportation, WILAT (Turkey) FCILT Member (Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport), and a long-standing Member of SKAL Istanbul Port.
She is founding president of Turkey – Namibia Business Council at DEIK (Foreign Economic Council of Turkey) and continues serving for the second term.
She frequently shared her expertise about Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Turkish tourism industry during the pandemic era in national and international virtual meetings.
Her professional career continues as Owner – General Manager of Eurasia Tourism Ltd. founded as a family company in 1993 organizing inbound and outbound tailor-made tours and travels. In her early years she was awarded as the "Best International Travel Agent of the year 2004".
She is a member of Trustees of Turkish Cultural Foundation (TKV) specializing in exchange student programs. She herself was an Exchange student to Pa, USA, as an 80'AFS'er she completed her university and master studies in Turkey.
Alternate Member (2021-2025)
Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Bangladesh Chapter
Chairman & Founder, SH'otel Hospitality Management & Consultancy Ltd
Shahid Hamid FIH served as an Executive Board Member of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) from 2018 to 2020. Incidentally, he is the first Bangladeshi to be elected to the post in the history of PATA. He represented Bangladesh on the Board of PATA between 2014 and 2018 and is, currently, serving his fourth consecutive term as Chairman of PATA Bangladesh Chapter. He received a Fellowship from the Institute of Hospitality, UK in 2011.
He is a Board Member of SKAL International Bangladesh and is also on the Advisory Board to the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation of Bangladesh. Aside from his Honors Degree in Political Science and Masters' Degree in Public Administration from Dhaka University, he is also a Cornell University Alumni from having successfully completed Sales & Marketing courses and the General Manager's Program in Hotel Management. His career of 44 years has seen him serving across the globe, including posts in international chain hotels in North America, South and Southeast Asia, and Australia. Over the last decade, he received numerous awards and recognitions, including a "Lifetime Achievement Award", from international and Bangladeshi hospitality panels.
Shahid is considered one of the forerunners of modern-day hospitality and tourism industry in Bangladesh. He is the Chairman and Founder of SH'otel Hospitality Management & Consultancy Ltd., a company that he originally established in 1996 and which has played an active role in the development of numerous award-winning hospitality products in Bangladesh. In his long career, Shahid kept himself affiliated to an impressive number of travel-based associations, including but not limited to International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE), Cornell Hotel Society (CHS), and Bangladesh International Hotels Association (BIHA). During its inception, he also served as the Chief Advisor to Regency Hospitality Training Institute (RHTi), the first ever vocational foundation in Bangladesh to be affiliated with American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute (AHLEI), Institute of Hospitality (IoH) UK, and Centre of City & Guilds UK.
It is Shahid's life goal to establish the first ever training and application hotel in Bangladesh catered to the brand culture of global chains for the improvement of service standards in his home country and true global emancipation of Bangladesh hospitality workforce.
Alternate Member (2021-2025)
Professor of Marketing and Tourism, University of Nottingham Business School
Professor Marina Novelli (PhD) is a globally renowned Tourism and International Development expert and professor of Marketing and Tourism at University of Nottingham and former professor of Tourism and International Development at the University of Brighton (UK).
Her contribution to the study of tourism is associated with the concept of Niche Tourism, elaboration of the Overtourism phenomenon and empirically grounded studies on sustainable tourism in Africa. She distinguishes herself for her inclusive leadership practice and excellence in collaborating with multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholders and multi-cultural teams making her a preferred research partner and a particularly active member of the global tourism community.
With a background in economics and a keen interest in international development, she has written and advised extensively in the field of international tourism policy, planning, development and management in Africa, Europe and Asia for institutions such as the World Bank, the EU, UNESCO, UNIDO, the UNWTO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, National Ministries and Tourism Boards, Regional Development Agencies, private sector and NGOs.
She brings a vast set of skills through her extensive advisory roles, which focus on: diagnostic, monitoring and evaluation studies, sustainable development and responsible management approaches; alternative and niche tourism product development; value chain diversification and regeneration; community-based development; impact assessments; training needs analysis, workforce capacity building, train-the trainers programmes and curriculum development; governance and institutional development; CSR and inclusive growth; service standards and optimisation in hospitality and tourism.
Prof. Novelli's work has demonstrated to have considerable impact on the sector (see for example: https://impact.ref.ac.uk/casestudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=39773) with implications far beyond tourism, by contributing to more effective economic growth, improved environments and more inclusive societies. She is committed to generating new knowledge on ways in which tourism can play a key role in sustainable development by stimulating local economies, conserving the environment, developing people and changing lives.