Regional Vice Presidents

ITSA’s work around the world is led by a team of RVPs, who volunteer their time to support ITSA’s regional members, organise events and build networks for collaboration.

Australasia – Dr Clare Liu, Auckland University of Technology

Biography coming soon….

Contact: claire.liu@aut.ac.nz

Australia and New Zealand – Dr Denis Tolkach, James Cook University

Dr Denis Tolkach is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management at James Cook University, Cairns. He teaches various subjects in Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events and Masters of International Tourism & Hospitality Management. Prior to joining James Cook University in 2020, Denis worked as an Assistant Professor at School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Denis has earned a PhD degree at Victoria University, Melbourne in 2013. The topic of his thesis was Community-based tourism in Timor-Leste: A collaborative network approach. Since then Denis has developed research in areas of sustainable tourism, ethics in tourism, community-based tourism, nature-based tourism and tourism in Small Island Developing States. He is particularly interested in social, cultural and political issues related to tourism.

Denis has published his research in top tourism journals such as Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Sustainable Tourism and Tourism Geographies. He is on editorial board of Tourism Recreation Research and International Journal of Tourism Research.

Denis is a co-creator of Travel Professors YouTube channel. This channel provides short videos filmed at tourist destinations around the world that discuss current trends and issues in tourism and relate them to academic research.

Africa – Professor Dr Cine Van Zyl, University of South Africa

Biography coming soon…

Contact: Vzylc@unisa.ac.za

Caribbean – Dr Annemarie Nicely, Purdue University

Annmarie Nicely is associate professor at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Purdue University in the United States. Her research area is behavior modification in hospitality business and tourism communities. She is the lead researcher of the Visitor Harassment Research Unit at Purdue. She is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research. Annmarie is from the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. She is International Tourism Studies Association’s Regional Vice-President for the Caribbean Region. 

Contact: ajnicely@purdue.edu

Central Asia – Dr. James Yip

Biography coming soon…

Contact: jamesyip1@gmail.com

China – Dr Mimi Li, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr. Mimi Li joined the School of Hotel & Tourism Management as Assistant Professor in 2007. She got her Bachelor’s degree from Peking University in China, her Master’s degree from University of Waterloo in Canada, and her Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in the U. S. A.

Dr. Li is an active researcher. She has published over 50 articles on referred journals including Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, and Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. She has been developing focused areas of research on tourist behavior, hospitality and tourism marketing, and China tourism. Dr. Li is the leading author of a bilingual textbook on hospitality and tourism marketing, and editor of three edited books. She has also been active in seeking grant opportunities. She is the Principle Investigators of multiple research grants, including the highly competitive Hong Kong SAR Government Research Grant Council General Research Fund, and the Natural Science Fund of China research grant. The total amount secured was over HK $2 million.

Dr. Li has also been actively engaged in community service through sitting in editorial boards of journals, association committees, and reviewing submissions for referred journals. Dr. Li is the associate editor of Tourism Planning and Design, she also sits in the editorial board of Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, Journal of China Tourism Research, and International Journal of Hospitality and Event Management. She is the guest editor of three special issues of Journal of China Tourism Research, and one special issue of Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing.

Dr. Li is keen on translating academic research into practice by leading or participating in consultancy projects. She has been involved in over 20 consultancy projects in tourism marketing in Hong Kong and the US, and in tourism planning in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

China – Professor Dr. Maoying Wu, Zheijang University

Biography coming soon…

Contact: maoyingwu@zju.edu.cn

China – Dr Ying Zhang, Minzu University

Biography coming soon…

Contact: zhangyingmuc@163.com

China – Professor Dr. Zhang Jie, Nanjing University

Biograhphy coming soon…

Contact: 0013203@zju.edu.cn

Eastern Europe – Dr. Mirsolav Vujicic, University of Novi Sad

Prof. dr Miroslav Vujičić is associate professor at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences. Main field of interest is decision making processes, project management, product development, cultural tourism and has proficiency skills in data gathering, analysis and interpretation of mathematical and statistical methods. He has published 26 research papers at Scopus indexed journals and has more than 271 citations in Scopus database. Programme Leader, BA Hons tourism. RVP for Eastern Europe in ITSA network. Department coordinator for international affairs and students and staff mobility. Member of Department Accreditation team has experience in creating study programs, managing quality assurance. He is main evaluator for impact assessment of European Capital of Culture Novi Sad 2022. He is experienced project manager and researcher:
• Erasmus+ CB in HEI “Strengthening Capacities for Tourism Changes in WB – Building Competences for Quality Management of Heritage and Cultural Tourism” (CULTURWB), 574193-2016
• Strategic Partnership for Youth “Digitisation and Culture for new generations” (DiCultYouth), 2018-2-CY02-KA205-001362).
• INTERREG-IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Hungary-Serbia WATERTOUR: Development of water tourism on waterways connecting Hungary and Serbia. HUSRB/1602/31/0204.
• H2020-WIDESPREAD-2020-5 “Twinning for the advancement of data-driven multidisciplinary research into hydro-climatic extremes to support risk assessment and decision making” (EXtremeClimTwin), 952384
• CA19142 “Leading Platform for European Citizens, Industries, Academia and Policymakers in Media Accessibility” (LEAD-ME)
• Erasmus+ JMM “Strengthening European Cultural Identity through Interdisciplinary Heritage Studies” (euCULTher). 611433-EPP-1-2019-1-RSEPPJMO-
Beside mentioned ongoing projects he implemented several national and international projects and was also engaged as expert on SEE, INTERREG, RCC projects.

Contact: miroslav.vujicic@dgt.uns.ac.rs

Mediterranean Western Europe – Dr. Teresa Agular Quintana, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Teresa Aguiar Quintana is a Full time professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) in the Economics, Business and Tourism Faculty in Gran Canaria island (Spain) since 2007. She is currently the Transference and dissemination director of the Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic development (Tides) at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. She has published academic cases study books in Síntesis editorial and in Cambridge Scholars Publishing and more than 20 book chapters. She has also published several scientific articles in Journal Citation Reports (JCR) like Tourism Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Business Research, Tourism Management Perspectives, Cornell Hospitality Quaterly and Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.


Her participation in international conferences is extensive, publishing in the book of proceedings in the CBTS conferences in the Applied Sciences University in Munich and in the Free University of Bolzano in Italy. She has also been the Chair of the I, II, III and IV International Spring Symposium on Challenges in Tourism Development (SSTD 2016, SSTD 2017, SSTD 2018, and SSTD 2019) organized by Tides in Expomeloneras, Gran Canaria. She has also been a member of the Scientific and Organizing Committee in several conferences.
Finally, some of her Research proyects are: “The quality of hotel services in the municipality of San Bartolome de Tirajana in Gran Canaria”, project founded by the Innova Programme.

Other projects founded by the Gran Canaria Tourism Board measured the “Quality perceived by the customers in 4 star hotels in Spain” and “Branding strategy in Gran Canaria island destination”. She participated in a Pilot project: Kuoni-Towards Travelife, with a partnership between Tides and Leeds Beckett University in the last decade. She also signed a research project with the Canarian Tourism Council about Retrospective analysis in Tourism and, recently, she signed a research project to study strategies for recovery of the MICE tourism after Covid, project founded by the Gran Canaria Convention bureau in 2021.

Contact: teresa.aguiar@ulpgc.es

Mexico and Central America – Professor Blanca Camargo Ortega, University of Monterrey

I am a Full Professor of tourism in the Business School at Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico. Originally from Colombia, I have a Master´s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University and in International Tourism Management from AILUN in Italy. I received my doctoral degree from Texas A&M University and my research is oriented towards sustainable tourism with a focus on ethics and justice in tourism development, marketing and management. I am a member of the Mexican Academy of Tourism Research (AMIT) and México´s National System of Researchers (SNI, level I). My teaching philosophy is one of student engagement, critical analysis, and knowledge co-creation for sustainability in hospitality and tourism.

Contact: blanca.camargo@udem.edu

Middle East – Dr. Mahmood Ziaee, Allameh Tabatab’i University

Biography coming soon…

Contact: mdziaee@gmail.com

North America – Dr Laurie Wu, Temple University

Dr. Laurie Wu is an associate professor at the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University.  As a service marketing researcher, Dr. Wu’s research focus on Service Experience Design & Marketing, and Technology Innovation & Digital Marketing.  Her work has been published in top tier journals such as Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Travel Research and Tourism Management, among others. Dr. Wu has served on the editorial board, review committee, and/or as a reviewer for numerous hospitality and tourism journals and conferences.

To date, Dr. Wu’s research has been awarded over $125k of grant funding by organizations such as China National Tourist Office, Shanghai Tourism Office and National Social Science Foundation of China. She has been invited to speak at many international and industry conferences. Her work has also been recognized with awards such as Conference Best Paper Award at the 3rd Annual Hospitality Finance & Tourism Economics Conference, Best Paper Award at the 16th Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism. She also earned Dean’s Teaching Fellow and Fox Crystal Apple Award at Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University, and the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Wu attained her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management, with an area of study in Services Marketing, from Pennsylvania State University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management from China’s Fudan University, which recognized her as its Outstanding Graduate of the Year. Beside her research and teaching commitments, she enjoys spending time reading, hiking and traveling with her family.

North East Asia – Dr Chiemi Yagi, University of the Ryukus

Biography coming soon…

Contact: yagic@tm.u-ryukyu.ac.jp

Pacific Islands – Professor Stephen Pratt, University of the South Pacific

Professor Stephen Pratt (Ph.D.) is Professor in the School of Business & Management at the University of the South Pacific (USP). He was appointed to this position in September 2018. Previously he was Assistant Professor at the School of Hotel & Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University from January 2013. He completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.  He obtained a Bachelor of Economics and Masters of Economics from the University of Sydney. His research interests include sustainable tourism development (economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism), tourism in small island states and tourists’ (mis)behaviour.

Stephen is an Executive Council Member of International Association for Tourism Economics, on the Board of Directors of The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) and Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Tourism Research, Wakayama University.

He is co-creator of the popular YouTube channel, The Travel Professors. The aim of this channel is to provide brief overview of current trends and issues in tourism and relate them to academic research.

Russia – Dr. Svetlana Stepchenkova, University of Florida

Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management at the University of Florida. She obtained her doctoral degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University in 2009. Her research interests are destination marketing, branding, and positive image building. She studies tourist behavior and the effectiveness of destination promotion efforts in situations of strained bilateral relations between nations. She is also interested in usability of user-generated content for managerial decision-making and marketing communications.
Svetlana actively publishes her research in the top tourism journals. In 2018-2019, she received University of Florida Term Professorship Academic Achievement Award as a recognition of research productivity, specifically, publications, extramural funding, and national and international presentations. She has published 60 peer-reviewed articles and made 70 conference presentations. Her works have received more than 5000 citations.


Svetlana is the academic manager of a collaborative agreement between the University of Florida and N. I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia. The activities have included curriculum development, course delivery, student mobility programs, faculty training programs, seminars to disseminate best practices, and collaborative research. Svetlana also conducts research with colleagues from premier universities in Mexico, China, South Korea, and Spain.

Svetlana serves as an Editorial Board member for Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, Tourism Management Perspectives, International Journal of Tourism Cities, and Hospitality and Tourism opensource publication. In her spare time, she loves to hike and to watch thriller and mystery movies.

Contact: svetlana.step@hhp.ufl.edu

South Asia – Abhishek Bhati, James Cook University Singapore

Biography coming soon…

Contact: Abhishek.Bhati@jcu.edu.au

South East Asia – Dr.Hera Oktadiana, James Cook University

Biography coming soon…

Contact: hera.oktadiana@jcu.edu.au

South-East Asia, Dr Devi Kausar, Universitas Pancasila Jakarta

Devi Roza K. Kausar is an Associate Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Tourism, Universitas Pancasila, Jakarta. She was the Chair of the 8th ITSA Biennial Conference that was held hybrid on December 2, 2020.

Devi has a PhD in International Development from Nagoya University – Japan, a Master’s Degree in Tourism Management from Curtin University – Australia, and a Bachelor of Economics from Padjadjaran University – Indonesia. She also holds a Certified Hospitality Education certification from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and is also a Certified Research Reviewer for the Ministry of Research & Technology. Her research interests include cultural heritage tourism, sustainable tourism, rural development, and disaster mitigation in tourism.

She has been involved in various projects in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, particularly in the field of rural tourism, tourism planning and tourism education. Recently, she was involved as one of the experts drafting the Management Plan for Borobudur Temple Compounds World Heritage Site in Central Java to be submitted to UNESCO under the coordination of the Directorate General of Culture, Ministry of Culture and Education.

Devi is also active in several professional organizations, both at national and regional level as Board Members, such as with the Association of Indonesian Tourism Tertiary Education Institutions (HILDIKTIPARI), Indonesia Tourism Experts Association (ICPI) and ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA).

Email: devikausar@univpancasila.ac.id

Western Europe – Professor Dr. Wolfgang Arlt, COTRI

M.A. in Sinology (1984), PhD Political Sciences (2002), FU Berlin. Chinese language studies on Taiwan (1977) and in Hong Kong (1980), first visit to Mainland China in 1978.


Prof. em. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS has been working throughout his career with China and with tourism. After a decade as bookseller and publisher of China-related publications, organiser of major exhibitions and fairs in Europe and China and as CEO of a tour operator company bringing European leisure tourists to China in the 1980s, he acted as CEO of an inbound tour operator bringing Chinese delegations to Europe in the 1990s. From 2002 to 2020, he held tenured professorships until retirement at two German universities. He has also been visiting professor or researcher at a number of universities in China, UK, Australia and New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society and a Research Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. He has published a number of books and articles about China’s outbound tourism, is widely quoted in global media including CNN, BBC, South China Morning Post, China Daily etc. and in the Top 1% of persons followed on LinkedIn.


Since 2004 he leads the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, providing online trainings (in cooperation with Hong Kong Polytechnic University SHTM), consulting and quantitative data for governments and companies around the world.


Since 2021, he is also the Founding Dean of the HATT Business School Institute of the World Tourism Forum Institute (Secretary General: Dr. Taleb Rifai, former S.G. of UNWTO).

Contact:arlt@china-outbound.com

United Kingdom and Ireland – Dr Cristina Maxim, University of West London

I am a scholar in Tourism Management, with over ten years of teaching experience in various higher education institutions in the UK. With a BA in Economics and an MA in Public Administration, I was awarded a VC scholarship to conduct a PhD research at the Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University, examining the planning and management of tourism in London.

I am also an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Tourism Cities, and I regularly review papers for other international academic journals. 

My portfolio includes research papers published in peer reviewed academic journals, focusing on challenges of tourism development in word cities and sustainable tourism planning and management; book chapters published with prestigious international organisations and publishers such as the UNWTO and Routledge; and conference papers presented at recognised international events.

I am currently working on a number of research projects that look at world tourism cities, sustainable tourism, tourism planning and management, and local government.

Contact: coming soon

USA and Canada – Dr. Xiaoxiao Fu, University of Central Florida

Biography coming soon…

Contact: Xiaoxiao.Fu@ucf.edu

Vice President for IJTC – Dr Andres Coca-Stefaniak, University of Greenwich

Dr. J. Andres Coca-Stefaniak is Associate Professor of Tourism and Events at the University of Greenwich (London, UK), co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Tourism Cities, co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Tourism Cities and formerly Head of Research, Thought Leadership and International Partnerships at the Association of Town and City Management.

His research interests include urban tourism, smart cities, smart tourism destinations, place management and marketing, traditional markets, small business competitiveness, transformational tourism, and the management of sustainability in events and tourism destinations.

Andres has a 19-year track record in securing and managing large externally-funded research and knowledge exchange projects with combined cumulative budgets to date in excess of €12 million and serves on the editorial board of a number of journals, including the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, the Journal of Hospitality, the Journal of Tourism Futures, the Journal of Place Management and Development, and Smart Cities. He is also an associate editor for Sustainability and Event Management.

Contact: A.Coca-Stefaniak@greenwich.ac.uk