List of Speakers



Back to congress webpage


Scientific Director of the Congress:

Mr. Christopher Hinteregger
Kohl & Partner Hotel & Tourism Consulting



Mr. Márcio Favilla, Executive Director, UNWTO

Mr. Enric López, CETT Scholl of Tourism, Hospitality & Gastronomy, Spain

Mr. Marti Rafel, VallNord, Andorra

Ms. Esencan Terzibasoglu, UNWTO

Mr. Miguel Pedregal, Caldea-Inúu, Andorra

Mr. Douglas Pate, Andorran Business Confederation

Ms. Cathy O’Dowd, Rock climber, mountaineer and author, South Africa


Session´s Experts

Mr. Francesc Camp, Minister of Tourism and Trade of the Principality of Andorra

Mr. George Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration

Mr. Davide Codoni, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Switzerland

Ms. Ana Cristina Gozalo, Turespaña, Spain

Mr. Mathias Schattleitner, Tourism Marketing Schladming-Dachstein, Austria

Mr. Eric-A. Balet, Groupe Téléverbier SA, Verbier, Switzerland

Mrs. Nathalie Saint-Marcel, Cluster Montagne, France

Mr. Jordi Ramot, Wikiloc - Authentic Outdoor Experiences, Spain

Mr. Alfonso Torreño, Nevasa - Grandvalira, Andorra

Mr. Philippe Sudres, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), France

Mr. Richard Adam, Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG, Switzerland

Mr. Martin Gaffuri, Running Marketing Coordinator, SCOTT Sports, Switzerland

Mr. Bruno Lalande, REPUCOM, France

Ms. Eva Stravs-Podlogar, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Slovenia

Mr. Chris DoyleAdventure Travel Trade Association Europe (ATTA)

Mr. Christopher Hinteregger, Kohl & Partner Hotel & Tourism Consulting

Mr. Willy Fux, Cluster Montagne, France

Mr. Veikko Halonen, Vuokatti Sport, Finland

Mr. Marcelo Garcia Leyenda, Villa La Angostura, Argentina

Mr. Enric Torres, Andorra Turisme

Ms. Imma Jiménez, Andorra Development and Investment Agency

Mr. Albert Llovera, Rally driver and former alpine skier, Andorra

Mr. Ferran Latorre, Mountaineer, traveler and discoverer, Spain

Mr. Xavier Florencio, Former professional road bicycle racer, Spain

Mr. Jean-Philippe Monfort, Cluster Montagne, France

Ms. Cathy O’Dowd, Rock climber, mountaineer and author, South Africa

Ms. Franziska Thiele, Ostfalia University of Applied Science, Germany

Mr. Andy Schimeck, Marmot Mountain Europe, Germany

Ms. Catherine Germier-Hamel, Millennium Destinations, Republic of Korea/ France

Mr. Alfredo Ferreyros, Explorandes, Peru

Ms. Mia Rowan, Communication and Advocacy Specialist Mountain Partnership Secretariat, FAO



Speakers' and Experts' Biographies

Click on the youtube icon to watch the sessions of the speakers

Christopher Hinteregger, Austria

Christopher HintereggerChristopher is the Head of “Tourism Destinations International” at Kohl & Partner Hotel & Tourism Consulting, an Austrian based tourism consultancy with offices and local contacts in ten countries.

Mr. Hinteregger studied tourism management at the renowned IMC in Krems, Austria and joined Kohl & Partner in 2003. During 2008/09 he worked for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Horwath HTL in Moscow, Russia. In 2009 he re-joined Kohl & Partner.

He is a specialist in tourism destination development and has implemented projects in Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Hercegovina, China, Croatia, Hungary, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. Go to Top


OPENING SESSION: Sport Tourism as an opportunity for mountain destinations. Public initiatives at national level and the basic requirements for success

Mr. Márcio Favilla, UNWTO

Favilla Lucca de Paula

Mr. Márcio Favilla is currently Executive Director for Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) based in Madrid, Spain.
From April 2007 and until he joined UNWTO in 2010 he was Vice Minister of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency of Brazil. Prior to this appointment, he was Brazil’s first Vice Minister of Tourism (2003-2007) where he played a key role in the structuring of the first exclusive Ministry of Tourism in Brazil. He was also engaged in many of UNWTO’s activities as Head of the Brazilian delegation to all General Assembly and Executive Council sessions and Chairman of the UNWTO Commission for the Americas in 2006.
From 1999 to 2002 he worked at the Ministry of Development, Industry and International Trade as Head of the National Department for Business Registry among other positions. Mr. Favilla was in Belo Horizonte from 1980 to 1998, first at the Development Bank of Minas Gerais and then the State Secretariat for Finance of Minas Gerais.
Mr. Favilla has a MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands, where he specialized in Regional Development Planning (1985-1986). He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (1979).

Francesc Camp, Andorra

Francesc CampMr. Francesc Camp has been Minister in the Government of Andorra since May 2011. He started his professional career at PRM International Consultants where he worked from 1991-1994. He then became managing partner in Francesc Camp Marketing Research which he left in 2001 only to become Marketing Director at the Crèdit Andorrà Bank, a position which he held until 2009. Prior to his appointment as Minister he acted as Managing Partner of Hamilton Business & Web Analytics.

Mr. Camp graduated in Economic Sciences from Toulouse University of Social Sciences and holds a Bachelor & Masters degree in Statistics and Econometrics from the same University. His further education includes a Course of Higher Management at ESADE Barcelona and an Advanced Course on Internet Marketing and Social Networks at ICEMD Madrid. From 1992-2001 Mr. Camps lectured as a Professor of Marketing Research at the University of Barcelona, the Open University of Catalonia and various MBA. Go to Top


George Chogovadze, Georgia

Mr. George Chogovadze - Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees in Business Administration from the European School of Management.

Mr. Chogovadze has broad experience of working in both the private and public sectors. He began his professional career at Swissair - Swiss Airlines and held several managerial positions at various prominent tourism companies, such as LTD Central Travel. In 2009, he became a Board Member and a Chairman of the Events and Public Relations Commission at the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia (ICC), after which he served as the Deputy Head of the Economic Affairs Department at the Tbilisi City Hall. Since November 2014, Mr. Chogovadze holds the position of the Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration.Go to Top


Davide Codoni, Switzerland

Davide CodoniDavide Codoni has been Assistant Director for Tourist Policy of the Swiss Confederation since 2010.

He is responsible for the development of transversal tasks, particularly with the national sports policy, and for promoting innovation and collaboration in tourism. In 2016-2017 he is presiding the Europe Commission of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

During his career he has worked in the areas of finance and diplomacy. Davide is an economist, having studied in Washington D.C. and Geneva.Go to Top



Ana Cristina Gozalo, Spain

Ana Cristina Gozalo

Ana Cristina Gozalo has been a member of the Senior Body of Civil State Administrators since 1991, and has developed her career above all internationally as the person responsible for international relations of the State Department for sports for four years, when she took part in the organisation of Barcelona 92, and from 1995 to 2001, in the State Department for tourism.

In the last 14 years, she has worked almost uninterruptedly in Spanish tourism marketing in the issuing markets, as the assistant director of the Spanish Tourist Office in London, directror of the Spanish Tourist Offices of Geneva, Zurich, and later also Frankfurt. The United Kingdom and Germany being the main issuers of tourists for Spain, she has had the opportunity to start up some of the most ambitious marketing plans of Turespaña in both countries, with multidisciplinary activities promoting destinations, advertising, support to the commercialisation of tourist products, support to the commercialisation of tourist companies, Marca España etc, aimed at the principal tour operators and general and specialised media, tourist associations and companies, specialists in MICE and the target audience.

For some months she has been responsible for marketing sports and tourism for Turespaña, the tourist promotion body of the Spanish State Department for Tourism, with its headquarters in Madrid.Go to Top



Session 1: Outdoor and Adventure Tourism products need promotion: What are the new marketing tools for mountain destinations?

New technologies provide the mountain resorts with further opportunities in their marketing efforts. This session focuses on the recent trends and most effective tools which enable the mountain destinations reach a broader audience.

Enric López, Spain

Eric LopezEnric is the director of the “Tourist Company Management” University Master’s Degree in the speciality of “E-Tourism: online marketing and commercialisation strategies”, and is responsible for the marketing area of the Degree and Postgraduate studies of the CETT University School of Tourism and Hostelry – University of Barcelona.

In the area of “eTourism” he is a researcher and expert in subjects related to the online and mobile presence of tourist organisations: communication, commercialisation, online reputation, entrepreneuring… etc. and is a habitual speaker at meetings, talks and events on this subject. He is also on several scientific committees of academic congresses in his area of knowledge.

Along with Nextel Treval, he is the joint director of the "Online and mobile presence of the wellness sector in Spain" study, joint director along with Vivential Value of the project "Tourist intelligence for competing in the Chinese market: Online reputation of Spanish hotels in the view of Chinese tourists", and joint director along with and Netquest, of the Observatory of Rural Tourism in Spain 2013, 2014 and 2015. Go to Top

Mathias Schattleitner, Austria

Mathias SchattleitnerMathias Schattleitner grew up in tourism with his parents' hotel establishments. After 5 years of higher level tourism school at Bad Hofgastein he started to study at the FH University of Salzburg: Management & Development of Tourism Offers. Parallel he started to work besides the studies at Ski amadé, the biggest ski alliance of Austria. He spent 10 years at the management team of Ski amadé, at last as deputy director.

In the year of 2013 he took over to the management of Schladming-Dachstein as managing director of the tourism destination management company. Schladming-Dachstein hosted the FIS Alpine Ski World Championship in 2013 (and 1982), which was a very important impulse for the further successful development of the whole mountain region. In fact Schladming-Dachstein is part of the best performance tourism regions of Austria. Go to Top

Eric-A. Balet, Switzerland

Eric BaletMr. Balet graduated in law from the University of Geneva in 1980 before also earning a Master's degree in Commercial and Industrial Sciences from the same university one year later.

Already during his studies he had been working as a journaliste for the sport pages of « Journal du Valais » and he joined « La Tribune de Genève » in 1981 where he held various positions and was member of the editorial board as Deputy Secretary General (1986-1991) and member of the Executive Board as Production Director (1991-1993).

In 1993 he decided to change the business and worked as Director (until 2003) for the cable car company Télécabine de Vercorin (until 2003) where he also acted as chair of the board of directors from 2001- 2011. In 2003 he accepted a new assignment with its current employer, Téléverbier S.A. and worked as general manager until 2015. Since November 2015 he is CEO of Groupe Téléverbier SA, the company which runs the cable cars in the Swiss destination Verbier in the canton of Valais.

Among other assignments as member of the board for various Swiss companies he is also active in the Valais and Swiss Cable Car Association, in the later he currently serves as first Vice President. In 2008 Mr. Balet won the Swiss Mountain Award for the invention of the Geosnow, a technology which allows to measure the snow depth with snow groomers. Go to Top

Nathalie Saint-Marcel, France

Nathalie Saint-MarcelBorn in the French Alps, Nathalie Saint-Marcel graduated in foreign trade from the University Savoie Mont Blanc. In 2009, she earned a MBA in Strategy & Management for sports companies.

She started her career in 1995 as junior consultant in the International Department of the Savoy Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She specialized herself on mountain development and sport sector. In 2005, she got involved in the creation of the Mountain Industry Cluster - CIM in the Rhône-Alpes region.

In 2012, the CIM Cluster merged with the France Neige International association: the Cluster Montagne was born. It currently gathers more than 180 members: companies, institutions, training and research centers. As a non-profit organization, Cluster Montagne represents and promotes, throughout the world, French know-how for sustainable mountain tourism development. Cluster Montagne supports the development of mountain management projects throughout economic intelligence, performance, innovation, international development and human resources. More than 60 actions are organized each year for the members in France and on “mountain markets” abroad. Cluster Montagne also coordinates a collective think tank about the future mountain, aiming at developing a more sustainable, more interactive, more secure, more concerted, more accessible, more playful and more effective mountain. Nathalie Saint-Marcel is deputy manager of this organization of 8 collaborators, located in the heart of the French Alps.Go to Top

Jordi Ramot, Spain

Jordi RamotA computer engineer by profession, Jordi started his career in 1999 in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in both the public and private sector. He has taken part as a speaker in different conferences such as Geotourism Congress 2009 in National Geographic (Washington DC), Educational Travel Conference 2010 (Rhode Island) and as a member of the Scientific Committee of the SIG Free Software Meetings (Girona).

On a business stay in Canada he discovered the outdoor environment of British Columbia and began to develop as a hobby what would later become the Wikiloc platform, a place to share outdoor routes around the world. Wikiloc is now a community formed by millions of outdoor enthusiasts with more than 4 million routes in 190 countriesWikiloc has been awarded by companies of the like of Google, National Geographic and Ashoka Changemakers.

Jordi Ramot is a passionate lover of mountain skiing, mountain bike and trail running, and has won extreme endurance competitions such as the Celestrail 2014 (Andorra Ultra Trail Vallnord)Go to Top


Session 2: Hosting sport events : A suitable tool to enhance the added value for a destination vs. a cost-intensive exercise with limited return on investment

Many mountain destinations host annual or prestigious one-time sport events to maintain demand and attract visitors during off-season and to improve the brand and positioning of the resorts. This session highlights the strategic approach to maximize the benefits and return on investment in this process.

 Marti Rafel, Andorra

Martí RafelMartí Rafel started his professional career at Ciacome SA in 1985 and collaborated with a Radio and TV Station in Barcelona. He was the Marketing Manager for HTM Sports Ibérica for Spain, Portugal and Andorra (1994/1995) and responsible for the Ski Show in Barcelona and Madrid between 1993 and 1998. Besides this assignment he managed the Ski School and the Technical Sports Center at Boí Taüll Ski Resort in the Pyrenees of Cataluña, where he became also responsible for events. He worked as advisor and editor for Revista Solo Nieve from 1995-2001, before he started working in Andorra, first as Director of General Services (2001-2005) and later as Manager (2006/2007) at Pal Arinsal/Vallnord. Since 2007 he is the General Director of Vallnord Ski Resort.

Mr. Rafel is seven times champion of Spain in Freestyle Skiing and participated in the Olympics in Calgary '88 (Canada) and Albertville '92 (France ). He holds an MBA from the business school EASEM and has completed training in Accounting and Finance at IESE in Barcelona. He has participated in numerous seminars and trade shows related to sport and tourism.Go to Top

Alfonso Torreño, Andorra

Martí RafelAlfonso Torreño has a Degree in Economics and Business Studies from Madrid Autonomous University and an MBA from the Business Institute (Institut d’Empresa).

Torreño started his professional career at the PortAventura leisure theme park in Tarragona as the Head of Promotions and Sponsorships, and following a brief period as Accounts and Strategic Planning Manager with the Blawcel advertising group in Madrid, he returned to PortAventura as Marketing Manager.

He is now Marketing and Sales Manager for Grandvalira-Nevasa, which he joined in 2008 as Marketing Manager thanks to his great experience in the field of marketing and communication aimed at tourism.Go to Top


Philippe Sudres, France

Philippe SudresPhilippe Sudres is Communications Manager for Amaury Sport Organisation, a company which creates and organises leading international sports events. Specialised in the “out of stadium” sector, A.S.O. has internal control of all of the jobs related to the organisation, dissemination and marketing of sports competitions.

With a diploma from the French School of Press Attaches in 1982, Philippe Sudres was brought into the Company of the Tour de France in 1983 as press service assistant. Responsible for the press service of the Tour de France from 1989, he took responsibility for the relations with the television stations in 1994 from Amaury Sport Organisation, created in 1992. In 1999, he rejoined the management committee of the Tour de France before taking on the press services for all of the A.S.O. events in 2001.

He was appointed Communications Manager of A.S.O. in 2008 and his work includes the management of events such as the Tour de France, the Dakar Rally, the French Golf Open, the Schneider Electric Marathon of Paris and the Tour de France à la Voile sailing race.Go to Top

Richard Adam, Switzerland

Richard Adam

Richard Adam, Australian national, German origin, has grown up in the tourism and hospitality industry and worked his way into mid-level management positions in Europe, the US, Australia and Asia prior to academic education.

After his university graduation in business management and behavioral sciences in Germany and the US, he has been working for an internationally leading strategy consultancy and was then assigned as Director Marketing & Development for a private corporation in real estate, hotels, medical, golf courts and cable cars, mainly operating in Spain and Germany. He was then appointed as Inaugural CEO for the new Marketing & Tourism Authority for the German State of Bavaria, which become an industry benchmark in his tenure. After successful ten years in office he was asked to run the Munich 2018 Bid for Winter Olympics. He then shaped his own company for project and business development between Asia and Europe.

Since march 2015 he is appointed CCO and board member of “Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG”, one of Switzerland`s largest cable car and ski resort operators, furthermore the largest operator of hotels, restaurants and peripheral services in the area. His objective is to restructure approach to market and develop new revenue streams and source markets for one of the world`s most prestigious mountain resorts with a 150 years of history in mega events. Go to Top

Martin Gaffuri, Switzerland

Martin GafurriWith a Master degree in Marketing and a Master II in Communication from a French business school, Martin started his professional career in the sports industry. With Salomon first where he’s work in product management for footwear trail running, then at Adidas still in product management for Beijing Olympics in Cycling and Triathlon, and finally Scott Sports as Running Communication assistant.

He’s spent 5 years as an entrepreneur creating two digital startups still related to sports. He came back to Scott Sports headquarters in Switzerland, as Running Communication and sports marketing manager in early 2015.

When not in the office or at events, you’ll find Martin in the mountains, doing what he loves most: Trail and alpine running.Go to Top


Bruno Lalande, France

Bruno LalandeBruno Lalande joined Repucom in November 2012 in the newly-created position of Head of Strategy EMEA, based in Paris. He began his career in 1993 by co-founding Acccess Press International (API), a research institute specializing in media sponsorship and editorial. In 2000, he joined Kantar Media where he led Kantar Sport and the Department of Information at Kantar Media. He joined Lagardère Unlimited in November 2011 as Secretary General for Europe and Africa.

A sports marketing specialist, Bruno is also involved in various training courses at institutes such as Sciences Po Paris, HEC and Toulouse. He is co-author of the book Marks and Measures, a decade of sport business (RLT).Go to Top




Session 3: Positioning of Adventure Tourism in the global marketplace: quality visitor experience and the challenge to define the line between authenticity and artificiality

Mountains are perfect locations for adventure tourism and therefore many mountain destinations develop spectacular facilities to attract new customers. This session explores the long term strategies to develop sustainable adventure tourism products while avoiding an artificial superstructure.

Esencan Terzibasoglu, UNWTO

Esencan TerzibasogluMs. Esencan Terzibasoglu has been working in the UNWTO since 2001 and is currently Director of the Destination Management and Quality Programme, which is relatively a recent concept and activity concerning tourism governance at national and particularly at regional and local level. "Quality" has recently been integrated in the same programme which will mainly focus on destination quality as a parameter for competitiveness. 

She studied "urban and regional planning” in the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey and worked 25 years in the public sector in Turkey and abroad where she held senior management positions in tourism master planning, tourism investment policies and legislation, site planning and conservation of cultural heritage sites, vocational tourism training, international relations and lastly, in tourism promotion and marketing (8 years as the Director of the Turkish Tourism Office in Madrid, in charge of Spain, Portugal and South America) before joining the UNWTO.

During her various posts in the public sector, she also contributed as an international expert to some research projects and initiatives conducted by international organizations such as UNEP, particularly on “sustainable tourism development and management” in the Mediterranean coastal zones. Besides being an official delegate in the meetings of regional and international organizations like WTO (UNWTO), UNESCO, HABITAT, OECD Tourism Committee, MEMMTA, etc., she was invited to contribute to many conferences, seminars and workshops with technical papers/presentations. Go to Top

Eva Stravs-Podlogar, Slovenia

Eva Stravs-Podlogar

Eva Štravs Podlogar graduated in 1987 and holds a Bachelor of Science. She started her professional career as sales clerk in Bled Hotel Tourism Company where she worked until 1991 when she joined the ski manufacturer ELAN first in the position of Head of Purchasing and from 1995 to 1997 as Assistant Director for Sportswear and Sales
In 1998 she went back to the public sector and was working for the Institute for Tourism Promotion of Tourism Bled. In 2001 she became Director of this entity and in 2006 she completed a training program at IEDC GMP (General Management Program) with the presentation of the project work "Implementation of PPP (public private partnership) in the destination Bled as a basis for the further development of tourism. 
From June 2009 until the end of 2012, Ms. Štravs Podlogar had been President of the Institute Council of the Slovenian Tourist Board where she had been actively involved in shaping the Slovenian tourist offer. In 2015 she left Bled Tourism only to accept a position in the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in Ljubljana as Acting Director of the Tourism and Internationalisation Directorate.Go to Top

Chris Doyle, Adventure Travel Trade Association Europe

Chris DoyleSince 2004, Chris has played a key role in the strategic direction and development of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, which serves more than 1,100 members (including tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents, accommodations and industry partners) in 90 countries worldwide, each sharing a commitment to the sustainable development of adventure tourism.

In addition to serving as European Editor for AdventureTravelNews, the leading digital journal for the adventure travel trade, he oversees the ATTA's development efforts throughout Europe. He travels frequently in collaboration with public and private organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and development agencies as an ambassador and facilitator of best practices and long-range responsible tourism development planning.

Chris, who resides in Sweden and is an avid trail runner, also directed the content and execution for each of the ATTA’s first 11 Adventure Travel World Summit conference, now considered by many to be among the tourism trade’s top annual gatherings. Go to Top

Willy Fux, France

Willy FuxWilly Fux has been involved in mountain tourism for 25 years. He started his career in service encounter and direct customer contact situations, evolved towards sales & marketing then strategic positions in different mountain destinations. He was involved in a ski school, worked for accommodation providers, a tour operator and 2 tourism boards.

In 2008, Willy stepped aside from in-resort operations to offer his expertise through industry-specific market research, developing customer intelligence with an experiential twist. His clients include mountain resort operators, tourism boards, accommodation providers and developers, as well as a few start-ups.

He has been a guest lecturer in France (Université de Savoie, INSEEC Chambéry) and conducts guest lectures on the topic of experience marketing at MCI Innsbruck.Go to Top



Session 4: How do mountain destinations react to the new customer who represents a healthy and active lifestyle?

Skiing will remain the main travel motivation for mountainlikers in the future – yet, the new customer trends with healthy and active lifestyle patterns urge the mountain destinations to adapt to change, diversify the product and attract niche markets. This Session will showcase success stories.

Miguel Pedregal, Andorra

Miguel PedregalMiguel Pedregal earned his Executive MBA at the IE Institute (Instituto de Empresa) of Madrid. 

He started his professional career as area manager for DUNKIN DONUTS in Madrid (1998-2003), and was later business manager and regional director for the ASPRO OCIO group in the Balearic Islands (2004-2009).

After this asignment he worked as general manager of CALDEA in Andorra until 2011. From 2011 to 2015 he held the same position in the FUN4U sports club in Madrid. In 2014 he rejoinded  CALDEA – INÚU spa and wellness centre of Andorra and has been working as general manager there since. Go to Top 


Veikko Halonen, Finland

Veikko Halonen holds a MBA and is managing director / CEO of Vuokatti Sports Institute. He has been managing and consulting ski resorts and holiday resorts for over 30 years and is a well-known specialist in tourism management. He has been working in ski resorts in Lapland and has been builder of Ski-tunnel and Snow board tunnel of Vuokatti.

Vuokatti is Finland`s 6th largest ski center with over 700.000 overnight visitors yearly. Vuokatti is also a year-round destination specialized in skiing and family holidays. Main facilities are cross-country tracks, ski-tunnel, downhill slopes, three golf courses and a spa. Vuokatti Sports Institute is a highly qualified, appreciated and developing education center specialized in “snow-how”. The institute offers a good education environment for high-level sports education as well as a state-of-the-art and internationally significant training center for Nordic skiing.

The Vuokatti Sports Institute is widely recognized as promotion center which develops wellness and health in workplaces and is also known for its surrounding nature and snow-related activities. Vuokatti is qualified as Olympic Training Center of Finland. “Snow-how” is developed in cooperation with various national associations, the University of Jyväskylä and Snowpolis. Ski training customers come to Vuokatti from more than 40 different countries each year. Go to Top

Marcelo Garcia Leyenda, Argentina

Marcelo studied Hotel Company Administration at the Escuela Argentina de Negocios, Agricultural Production Engineering at the Universidad Católica Argentina and has done a specialised course in ecotourism at Cambridge University.

He now holds the post of Strategic Project Coordinator of the municipality of Villa La Angostura (Argentina). From 2011 to 2015 he was Secretary for Tourism of this municipality and before that had held several posts in the world of hospitality and tourism. He was president of the Enviatur public-private consortium.

In 2012 he received the prize for Public Management 2012 of the Bitácora - El Mensajero Awards for the service vocation that allowed Villa La Angostura to rise out of the ashes of the Puyehue volcano (Buenos Aires - Argentina), and in 2013 was recognised with the El Puye de Oro prize for the recovery of tourist demand in Villa La Angostura following the eruption of the Cordón Caulle Puyehue in the municipality of Puyehue, Chile.Go to Top

Enric Torres, Andorra

Enric TorresEnric has a Diploma in Tourism from the University of Gerona and a Degree in Tourist Destinations from the Le Mirail University of Toulouse.

His work has led him to different positions of management and responsibility both in the private sector (accommodation and travel agencies) and in the public (Andorra national and local public administration). In 2006 he was Director of the Government Tourist Department and in 2008 was a driving force behind the creation of the company Andorra Turisme, of which he was the first CEO. Andorra Turisme is the public company responsible for implementing and controlling tourist marketing actions in order to improve Andorra’s competitiveness as a tourist destination.

In 2010 he became Director of the Product Club of the parish of Canillo (Andorra) in order to promote an entity of public-private collaboration to position Canillo as a mountain destination all year round, to work on producing a distinctive offer and to increase the number of proposals and products available to customers and consumers. Since 2012 he has been Director of Product and New Projects for the company Andorra Turisme. His area includes a group of 4 collaborators, and is responsible for defining, developing and managing a wide range of cultural and sports products, with special emphasis on those in which coordination with the private sector is necessary for the correct structuring of the offer and its further commercialisation in the principal tourist markets and segments.Go to Top

Imma Jiménez, Andorra

Imma JiménezImma Jiménez earned a degree in sociology with the University of Barcelona in 2002 before specializing in the world of human resources with a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management at EADA and a management development program at ESADE in 2008.

Dedicated to people management since 2003 in different sectors: collective restaurants, in a retail company and above all in the electrical sector. In 2015 she became a Director of the Agència Econòmica Andorra Desenvolupament i Inversió to lead the team and develop projects around the country’s diversification and economic opening through the Actua initiative.

At the end of 2015, Actua started up a sports cluster in order to create synergies between institutions and companies of Andorra and its neighbouring countries to consolidate Andorra as a sports tourism destination. Another sector that Actua is actively enhancing is that of medical tourism, which has many synergies with sports tourism.Go to Top


Session 5: Athletes as testimonials

In recent years, internationally recognized sport athletes (active or retired) and celebreties contribute to the promotion and marketing activities of mountain tourism by testimonial advertisement. This Session will discuss the key advantages of this type of promotion efforts.

Douglas Pate, Andorra

Douglas PateDouglas holds an Engineering Honours Degree from Bath University, studying part of the course in French. He began in the steel industry, moved to oil and then to IT with Olivetti. IT was the stepping stone to Leningrad in 1989 where he built a multi-dimensional British-Soviet Joint Venture “Astrelle” which became one of the first three IBM PC registered dealers in the former Soviet Union.

His career path took him in Denmark where he started one of ultimately the most successful distributors of high quality professional hair products in Scandinavia. He arrived in Barcelona in the late ‘90s staying in the high quality beauty product business and set up a nationwide distribution company.

Douglas has been actively involved in competitive sport. Although an extremely competent golfer he became President of the Danish Australian Football League (1995), has represented GB, Denmark, Catalunya and Andorra and has coached the Catalunyan and Andorra Australian Rules Football selections to European Championships. Douglas is the Australian Rules Football umpire with most European Championships (8) to his credit. In 2014 in London was awarded the role of umpiring the Women’s European Final. He is currently the Ambassador for Sports (CEA) for Andorra and International Liaison Officer for the Andorran Cycling Federation.Go to Top

Albert Llovera, Andorra

Albert Llovera

Albert was brought up amidst the skiing elite. At just 17 he was the youngest sportsperson to take part in the 14TH WINTER OLYMPICS in Sarajevo 1984. One year later, while participating in the European Cup in the same city, tragedy struck his professional career and an unfortunate accident finished with a cruel diagnosis: broken dorsal vertebrae. From then on his life would be in a wheelchair.
After 30 years, Albert has learned to live with his disability and has shown that his determination can overcome obstacles of any size. His spirit and determination have made him the only driver in the world with a physical disability who, driving only with his hands, has managed to reach the podium as a winner alongside drivers with no kind of disability, quite a feat!. Albert has had to follow a long and difficult path full of shadows and obstacles. He now offers the same competitiveness and reliability as any elite racing driver as his experience and training have allowed the development of new technologies applicable to the motor world. His car racing record is long and varied, having participated several times in the Spanish Rally Championship. He has competed in 4 Dakars, the first at the wheel of a Tatra truck and has managed to complete two of them.
He graduated as an orthopaedic technician and has an orthopaedic store in the Principality of Andorra. In 2010 he was appointed first ambassador of UNICEF from Andorra. In 2011 he published an autobiography called “No Limits”. He spends part of his time sharing his experience with motivating conferences and talks.Go to Top

Ferran Latorre, Spain

Ferran Latorre

Born in Barcelona on 18 October 1970. He studied Industrial Engineering at the UPC until the 4th year and trained as a photographer and camera operator. He is also a sports technician and high mountain guide. Alpinist, photographer and cameraman, as well as sports journalist. For twelve years he worked as a cameraman on the Spanish television program “Al Filo de lo Imposible” (On the verge of the impossible). He works with several programs of the Catalan circuit of Televisión Española and with Televisió de Catalunya, on sports programs of the RAC1 radio broadcaster and with written media such as the La Vanguardia newspaper and specialised magazines
In 2008 and 2011 he won the prize for mountain journalism of the Torelló Mountain Cinema International Festival. He has twice won the Golden Ice-Pick, the top prize awarded by the FEDME, in 1995 and 2008. The first was in recognition of “the best activity of the year” for his rock climbing (he climbed routes 8b and A5) and ice climbing, much of which was done in the Alps. In the Himalayas, CAT14x8000 is Ferran Latorre’s personal project and dream of freedom. The challenge consists of being the first Catalan to crown the 14 highest summits on Earth without artificial oxygen. This has only been achieved by 24 alpinists in the world, the first being Reinhold Messner in 1986. Ferran has three left to reach the fourteen: Everest, Makalu (his next challenge), and Nanga Parbat.
His sports curriculum also includes his climb of the difficult Gasherbrum IV (7925 m) which received the award for the best activity of the Himalayas in 2008. He has also opened rock climbing lines in Greenland and the Antarctic (Queen Maud Land), and in other not so distant ranges.Go to Top
Coming soon...

Jean-Philippe Monfort, France

Jean-Philippe MonfortBorn in the French Alps, 37 years old and more than ten years’ experience in international mountain sports & tourism management.

After several years living in Africa, Jean-Philippe Monfort obtained his French High School baccalaureate in Yaoundé – Cameroon. Jean-Philippe returned to France where he graduate from a business school specializing in marketing of sports products and services. After several years in the outdoor sports industry, Jean-Philippe Monfort is in charge of the international development for the French association dedicated to mountain development: Cluster Montagne.

Cluster Montagne represents and promotes the French know-how for sustainable mountain tourism development throughout the world. With a solid experience in the field of developing tourism destination in the mountains and a perfect knowledge of international markets, its main mission is to support the development of mountain territories through a tourism strategy. Go to Top



Session 6: Hiking: Re-invention of Hiking -an indispensable activity for mountain tourism

Hiking is one of the leisure activities with the longest history in mountain terrain. Nonetheless it had been labelled as boring and old-fashioned and lost its attraction among the younger generation. The new boom of outdoor and nature-related hobbies has led to a re-launch of hiking which now attracts new hiking enthusiast. This session longs to provide reasons for the recent development and tries to show future implications for mountain destinations.

Cathy O’Dowd, South Africa

Cathy O’DowdSouth African mountaineer Cathy O’Dowd has been living in Andorra for 16 years. She was the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest from both sides and more recently was a member of the team that did the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno ridge. In May 2016 she will be undertaking a ski ascent of Mount Logan, 2nd highest peak in North America.

Cathy is an acclaimed international speaker, focusing on building high performing teams when operating under intense stress in the face of high risk and overwhelming challenges. She has shared her insights with corporate audiences in more than 40 countries on six continents.

She is the author of Just For The Love Of It, a New York Times bestseller about her Everest expeditions. She is a passionate rock climber, alpinist and ski mountaineer, who loves to share the stories of her experiences through speeches, writing and photographs.

For more information visit Twitter @CathyODowd. Instagram @Cathy_ODowd  Go to Top

Franziska Thiele, Germany

Franziska ThieleFranziska Thiele studied leisure and tourism geography, social psychology and tourism management at University of Hanover and University of Trier. During her studies she worked for a small destination management organization near Hanover which is well known for outdoor activities in Lower Saxony, Germany.

In 2012 she started as a research fellow at the Institute for Tourism and Regional Research of Ostfalia University of Applied Science. Franziska Thiele is editor of the book “Tourism and Innovation”, co-author of the study “German Hiking Market 2014” and was also leading a study about hiker’s perception and acceptance of wind turbines and other alternative energy sources.

Besides her research activities in outdoor and nature tourism she is a lecturer for basics in tourism management, online marketing and service quality. Her latest research project is about the effects of nature activities on health promotion. In her PhD thesis Franziska Thiele analyses the reported tourist experiences in hiking travel blogs and their implications to improve the experience quality of hiking trails. Go to Top


Andy Schimeck, Germany

Andy SchimeckMr. Andy Schimeck is, since 2003, the Managing Director for Marmot Mountain Europe GmbH. Marmot is a global outdoor and sports lifestyle brand, selling outdoor, mountaineering, snow sports and lifestyle clothing, packs, tents, sleeping bags, and outdoor accessories based in Germany, a subsidiary company of Marmot Mountain LLC in Rohnert Park, California.

Prior to this engagement, from 1999, he worked as a Brand Manager - General Agent for Haglöfs Scandinavia AB, a Sweden headquartered manufacturer of technical outdoor equipment, clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags and footwear. Before that he was working with Blizzard, the Austrian ski company as sales and marketing director Germany, also working with the Austrian head office on product development and global strategy.

He graduated in Management Studies from the European Collage of Business and Management in London in 2009 and got his MBA from the Liverpool John Moores University in 2010. Since May 2014, he is chairman of the FGO (German Outdoor Industry Association) and Vice President of the BSI (Association of the German Sporting Goods Industry). Further Mr. Schimeck is ski instructor Level 3 DSLV and did his Mountain Guide Education with the VDBS (no final examination due to an Paragliding accident). Go to Top


Catherine Germier-Hamel, Republic of Korea/ France

Catherine Germier-HamelCatherine Germier-Hamel, currently serves as Founder and CEO of Millennium Destinations, a Seoul-based network of experts dedicated to the development and promotion of sustainable tourism destinations, businesses and products.

Over the past 20 years, Catherine has gained international experience in strategic and operational marketing, communications and business development, in various fields such as tourism, hospitality, education, environment, water and power utilities, etc. With a growing commitment to sustainable development and environmental issues, she has undertaken several assignments as Consultant or Project Director within the framework of international cooperation and technical assistance projects, mostly in developing countries, France, and the Republñic of Korea where she has been living since 2005.

She has dedicated the past ten years to sustainable tourism, particularly as Director of Global Programs at the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation (2008-2014) and then as Tourism and Hospitality Consultant.

Catherine holds a Master degree in Management and Business Administration and a vocational degree in Sustainable Tourism Development. She is also Country delegate of François Tourisme Consultants and AMFORHT - World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Training – for the Republic of Korea; Founding Member of PlayForest, a Seoul-based cooperative promoting nature-based tourism ; and Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council - GSTC. Go to Top


Alfredo Ferreyros, Peru

Alfredo FerreyrosAlfredo Ferreyros founded Explorandes in 1975, last year was the 40th Anniversary, a pioneering adventure travel tour operator with four offices in Peru. Since its inception Explorandes has been a leader in exploring and developing trekking routes as well as rafting unchartered rivers and opening up areas to tourism. Innovation and social responsibility have been a centre piece of the company´s actions, having been the first tour-operator in the Americas to have achieved an ISO 14001 Certification in 2004 and recently a Rainforest Alliance Verified partner on sustainability.

Explorandes in the meantime is a national tour operator offering nature and culture based travel for visitors, as well as adventure activities. Three years in a row Explorandes has received the World´s Leading Green Tour Operator award granted by the World Tourism Awards (WTA). He has participated as Director in several tourism concerns, has been a member of the Board of national tourism associations, and three times President of the Peruvian Association of Adventure Tourist and Ecotourism (Asociación Peruana de Turismo, Aventura y Ecoturismo - APTAE) Apart from having launched trekking in the Andes, Alfredo is a conservationist active on issues related to the environment, natural resources and socio-cultural traditions. He has also held Government positions as an advisor, consultant and member of Boards.

He has founded and been on the Board of various enviromental NGO's, concerned with cultural preservation and conservation of biodiversity. He is presently on the Advisory Board of the Adventure Travel and Trade Association (ATTA) since 2010.Go to Top

Mia Rowan, The Mountain Partnership

As Communication and Advocacy Specialist at the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, which is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy, Mia Rowan promotes sustainable mountain development.

She has also worked as newswire writer, television news producer, magazine editor and translator. While growing up in Alaska, she learned her Tlingit ancestors’ traditional way of life. Memories of food-gathering expeditions up the mountain with her grandmother inspire her work every day.Go to Top



Back to congress webpage.