Following discussions with our Macedonian hosts, we have reached the conclusion that we have no choice but to postpone this event due to the current political situation. This decision has not been reached lightly or easily but we jointly believe this is the right thing to do at the present time. 

 We still have every intention of running the event when the situation concludes  and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for  your interest and commitment to join us. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause to your schedule.



Macedonia Tourism Summit 2017

The government of Macedonia is hosting the first ever thought leadership summit on 19 and 20 June 2017 in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

The conference will be run as a partnership between Travel Weekly and PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) and is sponsored by Tourism Macedonia.

The two main topics of the Summit evolve around crisis management and on building tourism bridges between Asia and Europe. Effective crisis management has become a global norm and one of the prerequisites for managing and retaining consumer confidence and resilience.

The tourism flows between Asia and Europe are one of the key drivers of tourism growth.
The Summit has been designed to provide practical insights, share best practices and facilitate dialogue between senior industry and public sector representatives.


Sunday, 18th June


Monday 19th June


Duncan Horton, Group CEO, Jacobs Media Group


Lela Krstevska, Director, Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism, Macedonia


Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UN World Tourism Organization 


Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism and Hospitality, Dubai Holding; Chairman, WTTC 


Our speaker will give an overview of where crisis management is today, what are the main issues and what issues were raised from our Summit in November; what are the key considerations  when dealing with crises; how are western crisis management guidelines adapted to differing regional cultures and settings. What is the indigenous capacity? Hotel resilience? Are you translating for regional requirements?  The Speaker will then be challenged by a panel of experts. 

Professor Lee Miles, Dean Crisis/Disaster Management, Bournemouth University, UK
BBC Worldwide
Ibrahim Osta, Chief of PartyUSAID Building Economic Sustainability Through Tourism Project
Liam Morrisey, CEO, MS Risk Ltd


Crisis communications are regarded as essential today and having a dedicated Crisis Communications Plan is highly advisable. How do such plans handle and accommodate cultural aspects so that the right message gets across?  Can you count on everyone to stick to key messages during crisis? How can relations be successfully established with the media?  And do you have the right networks and stakeholder relationships in place to support your key messages at the right times? Is dedicated media training in crisis important, can it ensure crisis communications plans work in reality?

Public and private sector representatives will debate how government issuances of travel advisories must be addressed via the communications plan. Messaging internally and externally before, during and after a crisis.

Ian Taylor, Executive Editor, Travel Weekly Group/Lee Hayhurst TWG

Sandra Carvao, Director of Communications, UNWTO
Ashley Toft, Managing Director, Explore Worldwide
Phil Kelly, Co-Director and Head of Human factors, HBP Training 


The Plan is in place, but what insurance is necessary? What products are available for businesses? What coverages should travelers have? What legal counsel should you have to ensure your position is sound?  Do you outsource to call centers with hundreds of on-site language capabilities?   

Joanna Kolatsis, Partner, Hill Dickinson LLC 

Robert Rowntree, VP Operations, Kenyon International
Duncan Alexander, Director, Cognizant

Afternoon Keynote Speaker

Alain St Ange, Former Minister of Tourism for the Seychelles


This workshop will take two case studies and build the applicable crisis management plan.  Specialists will work with the delegates to build the plans and then evaluate them.  What needs to be included, how to train internally, how to establish an external contacts list, process and procedure the day of the event AND how to punt, if what happens wasn’t planned for!  Aftermath procedures and processes to get back to normalcy.

Ian Taylor, Executive Editor, Travel Weekly Group/Lee Hayhurst TWG

Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO, Destination DC
Mmatsatsi Ramawela, CEO, TBCSA, Travel Business Council South Africa


Plans in place, training ongoing, communications working but a crisis happens and how do all our processes and procedures help the traveller. What are the expectations of the traveller? Has your communication plan been effective in building confidence in the market?  What are some real life outcomes?  We will hear from three travellers who were caught in a crisis and see how planning helped or hindered.

Duncan Horton, Group CEO, Jacobs Media Group

Mario Hardy, President and CEO, PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association)
Macedonia/ Slovenian travel journalist / bloggers


Daniela Wagner, International Partnerships, Connecting Travel


Tuesday, 20th June


Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA 


Lela Krstevska, Director, Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism, Macedonia 


Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President International & Public Affairs, Etihad Airways (to be confirmed)


"With more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year, tourism has become a powerful and transformative force that is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people. The potential of tourism for sustainable development is considerable.  As one of the world’s leading employment sectors, tourism provides important livelihood opportunities, helping to alleviate poverty and drive inclusive development." - United Nations Secretary-General, Banki-moon 

This session will be looking into innovative solutions on building cross continental bridges in a sustainable and responsible manner for a long-haul development plan. To create a plan with high yield and endurance, what are the key elements stakeholders have to be mindful of?

Sandra Carvao, Director of Communications, UNWTO
Gabriella Crescini - Head of acquisitions, Swiss Contact
Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism and Hospitality, Dubai Holding; Chairman, WTTC
Axel Granitz, CEO, ITO – International Tourism Organisation AG

Question and answer session.


International air traffic is forecast to increase by an average of 4.3% per annum over the next 20 years. Demand for air travel will increase by a factor of two and a half over the period. Will there be available infrastructure? What would the economic and social impacts look like if capacity cannot meet demand? Coping with Growth or Gearing Up for Success?

Speaker:  John Grant, Director, JG Aviation Consultants

Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President International & Public Affairs, Etihad Airways
Dr. M. Sani Şener, Board Member and President, CEO - TAV Airports Holding


With sustainable development in mind, we will look at the data published via PATA’s APAC Visitor Forecast Report and conversely, the European growth forecasts for outbound to Asia and inbound from Asia.  Where do the predications meet and how can we build /capitalize on traffic going each direction? Where are the opportunities?

Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA

Helena Egan, Global Industry Relations Director, TripAdvisor
Peter Jordan, Senior Analyst, Toposophy – substitute?
Sebastien Cron, Vice President Sales, ForwardKeys


The data shows opportunity is available east to west and west to east but how do we maximize our efforts.  What difference in marketing strategies apply to each region?  We will look at best practices from global marketing firms who regularly struggle with fine tuning messaging, social media, pricing tactics, creative direction and advertising to encourage business between Asia and Europe.  The session will focus on travel companies employing technology and innovation.  (Format to be determined)

Duncan Horton, CEO, Travel Weekly Group

Mathew McDougall, CEO, DigitalJungle

Dan Batchelor, Amadeus TBC

TCVB, Tokyo Convention and Visitors’ Bureau

BBC Worldwide TBC


The need to deliver an exceptional consumer experience is resulting in a move away from working with generalists and established talent in the creation of innovative concepts. Driving transformation through the creative economy and investing in future talent creation. 

Catherine Turnbull, Chief Operations Officer, Gres and Delibasi 

Ha Lam, Founder,
LoAnn Halden – Vice President Communications, IGLTA
Student – Young Tourism Professionals - Skopje University



Safety and security are the number-one concern of those travelling hence, planning, training and communication must take into account all those who touch the traveller. To open cross-industry dialogue and begin the process, the International Travel Crisis Management Summit was born. From across the globe, public and private sector senior-level decision-makers come together forth is knowledge-sharing event. Speakers include government officials, heads of international corporations,
academics, journalists and leading industry executives.

In the last two years alone there have been a number of high-profile incidents that required the industry to demonstrate its crisis management credentials in order to maintain consumer confidence.

Global crises embodied in terrorism, environmental disasters and civil unrest present major challenges to the travel industry. Yet a consolidated industry-wide approach to these events has never been provided. In response to this pressing need, Jacobs Media Group has launched the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS), which will take place on 19 - 20 June, 2017 in Skopje, Macedonia.

During the last decade, the world has suffered $1.3 trillion in crisis-related damages impacting the lives of 2.7 billion people. Crisis mode is the new norm. Terrorism in capitals; cruise ship groundings or on board illness; massive oil spills, airline events, civil unrest, corporate malfeasance and natural disasters require the travel provider to think differently. For any travel business, corporate or leisure, to cope successfully, it must instill confidence in its clients and be ready to implement robust and well-tested policies. It is essential to strike a balance between safety, policy, risk management and business interests, all without creating fear.

Attendees will understand the line between civil and private sector responses, what resources are available, share lessons learned and connect with experienced providers. There will be advice on how to walk the image line and understand social media’s role and most importantly, how the industry can influence governments to instil confidence in the travelling public.

Designed for senior decision-makers, the ITCMS has been developed in conjunction with major media companies to provide critical thought leadership for the travel industry, key associations, social media and technology companies, governments, destinations, insurers, crisis management companies and assistance providers, all of whom have a stake in effective crisis management implementation.

In 2015, the Jacobs Media Group (parent of Travel Weekly Group) acted to address an increasing problem in the industry. With crises having become the new norm, it became apparent that it was up to the travel and tourism industry to determine what could be done to improve the confidence of the global traveller as well as the resilience of businesses and destinations.

It was eminently clear that although there were many NGOs, trade associations and governments addressing these issues, the message was not trickling down to the traveller.

With multiple industries supporting the sector, such as insurance, communications, public relations, advertising, technology and global enterprises, all stakeholders need to communicate across their sectors in a practical manner that allows for the sharing of best practices, product innovations, lessons learned and engagement with the public sector.

To facilitate this interaction, Jacobs Media Group launched the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (ITCMS). After the first event in 2016, it was clear that not only was an international event needed annually, but also regional events to cover the specific requirements of the region in a practical manner through workshops as well as sessions, panels and debates. The ITCMS brings together leading figures from across the globe, along with officials, politicians, ministers, PR and insurance professionals, journalists, and assistance and crisis management experts, who all share best practices, and discuss emergent threats and post-event communications. Attendees learn about distinctions between civil and private sector responses and what resources are available; share lessons learned; and connect with experienced service providers.

Designed for senior decision-makers, the ITCMS has been developed in conjunction with major media companies to provide critical thought leadership for the travel industry.

ITCMS 2016 website

PATA set to build new tourism bridges at Skopje conference

The Pacific Asia Travel Association is to bring its successful Global Insights Conference format to Europe as part of the Macedonia Tourism Summit 2017. The PATA Global Insights Conference (PGIC) Europe Edition takes place at the Marriott Hotel in Skopje on Tuesday June 20th with the theme ‘Building Tourism Bridges’.

The conference, hosted generously by Tourism Macedonia, is part of a three-day programme that also embraces the International Travel Crisis Management Summit (June 19th) presented by the Jacobs Media Group and Travel Weekly.

“Taking the successful PGIC format to Europe is a significant step forward for our Association,” explained PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “Destinations across Europe are seeking to exploit the exponential growth in outbound travel from many influential source markets in the Asia Pacific region and national tourist organisations are recognising the important and influential role played by PATA in building bridges between destinations and markets on different continents. This conference reinforces the value of PATA membership for Tourism Macedonia in seeking to attract more visitors from markets such as China, Korea (RoK), Japan and Australasia.”

The conference programme will include sessions on sustainable development, aviation and tourist industry trends/forecasts with an impressive gathering of international expert presenters and panellists. PATA’s commitment to support Young Tourism Professionals around the world will be covered in the session ‘Bright Ideas - Future Trends’.

“We are working with Tourism Macedonia to invite contributions from tourism students in Skopje. Their views, as 'tomorrow’s tourism leaders’, will be an important component in the conference programme,” added Dr. Hardy.

* The inaugural PATA Global Insights Conference was staged in Auckland in October 2015. The success of that first event prompted a return to Auckland in September 2016 and there is demand from other markets in Europe, Middle East and Asia to embrace the PGIC concept

PATA media contact: 

Paul Pruangkarn                                          
Director - Communications 
Bangkok, Thailand                           
Tel: +66 2 658 2000                                        


…the timing of this event is perfect…
Dr. Taleb Rifai Secretary General WTO

…sharing best practices and collectively working towards solutions helps everyone…

Elena Koutoura Greek Minister of Tourism



Duncan Alexander
Director – Travel & Hospitality

Duncan is the Director for Consulting Business Services, Travel & Hospitality, at Cognizant and is based in the UK.

Helena Egan
Director, Global Industry Relations

Helena joined TripAdvisor in 2008 as the first dedicated destination marketing specialist in Europe, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Elliott Ferguson
President and CEO
Destination DC

Elliott Ferguson serves as President and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC.

Phil Kelly
Co-Director and Head of Human Factors
HBP Training

Phil is a personal and organisational development specialist. He utilises his experience gained from 12 years serving in the Royal Air Force as a trainer and educator to work with companies in order to maximise the performance of their biggest asset, their people.

Joanna Kolatsis
Partner and Head of Aviation & Travel
Hill Dickinson

Joanna began her legal career as Group Head of Legal for a vertically integrated tour operator in 1998. In 2008 she joined the boutique aviation practice, Gates and Partners.

Gerald Lawless
Head of Tourism and Hospitality, Dubai Holding; Chairman
World Travel and Tourism Council

Gerald Lawless started his career with Forte Hotels which culminated in him setting up and growing Forte’s operations in the Middle East. After a 23-year career with Forte Hotels, he joined Jumeirah in 1997 and helped establish it as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world.

Lee Miles
Professor of Crisis & Disaster Management
Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre

Lee Miles is the Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management at Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), which has an international reputation for excellence in the provision of disaster management education, training and technical assistance. 

Liam Morrissey
MS Risk Ltd

Liam Morrissey was commissioned into the Canadian Forces in 1987. He served as a combat arms officer and held command and staff roles of increasing responsibility releasing early as a Major.

Dr Taleb Rifai
Secretary General
United Nations World Tourism Organization

Taleb Rifai is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He began his four-year term on 1 January 2010 and has been elected for a second four-year term, starting January 2014, by the 20th Session of UNWTO General Assembly held in August 2013.

Robert Rowntree
Vice President Operations
Kenyon International Emergency Services

Robert Rowntree joined Kenyon in 2001 and has been involved in a wide variety of deployments worldwide. He led Kenyon’s response for major air accidents in France, Russia, Dubai, Namibia, Italy, Libya, Canada and Algeria.

Ian Taylor
Executive Editor
Travel Weekly Group

Ian Taylor is executive editor of Travel Weekly Group in the UK, reporting online and in print for Travel Weekly and the daily Travel Weekly Business:am. He is responsible for much of Travel Weekly’s analysis of the travel and tourism sector and regularly moderates industry events. Ian is a career journalist who has worked in travel for most of the last 17 years.

Sandra Carvão
Chief of Communications and Publications
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Sandra Carvão is Chief of the Communications and Publications at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Spokesperson for the Organization since April 2010.

Lela Krstevska
Director of the Governmental Agency for Tourism

Mrs. Lela Krstevska has been part of the tourism industry for about 25 years. She is certified hotel and real estate investment expert, as well as negotiator and asset management professional. She is Director of the Governmental Agency for tourism since 2015th.

Mario Hardy
Chief Executive Officer

Dr Mario Hardy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
on November 1, 2014.

Mmatšatši Ramawela

Mmatšatši Ramawela’s career South Africa’s travel and tourism industry spans over 20 years. It was her curiosity as a Bachelor of Social Science and Humanities student at the University of Cape Town, which sparked her interest in the industry. After graduating, she started her career in Cape Town within the FMCG manufacturing sector and later moved to the retail sector in packaging, merchandising and buying whilst pursuing her interest in the sector in her spare time.

Ha Lam

Ha Lam co-founded in 2013. is a sharing economy platform for unique and private local experiences, connecting people who desire to experience local culture with those who are looking to offer specially designed tours. Currently, the platform focuses on creating unique local experiences in 98 countries and 635 cities with over 6,000 hand-picked tours.

Roy Graff
Managing Director EMEA
Dragon Trail Interactive

Dragon Trail Interactive is the leading travel and hospitality focused Chinese digital marketing agency, focused exclusively on assisting destinations and travel companies to reach and engage with Chinese travellers through digital marketing and social media. Roy joined the company in 2017, having  more than 20 years experience working with China’s tourism and
retail sectors in business development, PR, digital marketing, training and recruitment.



Skopje Marriott Hotel

Plostad Makedonija 7
Skopje, 1000 Macedonia
+389 2 510 2510


Accommodation Information

Marriott Hotel

The Marriott Hotel where the conference will be held is offering delegates a special rate for the event. To book your room click on the link below:

Book your group rate for Macedonia Timeless

Marriott Skopje
Plostad Makedonija
7 (Entrance from str. Maksim Gorki)

Holiday Inn

The Holiday Inn, which is a 5 minute walk from the Marriott is also offering a special rate for the event. To book your room click on the link below:

Book your room at Hotel Holiday Inn Skopje for Macedonia Summit

Holiday Inn Skopje
Filip Vtori Makedonski, 5
Macedonia, Republic of

Travel Information

From the UK

There are direct flights with Wizz air from London Luton (LTN) to Skopje (SKP) daily with exception of Mondays and Fridays.

Departs LTN at 08.55 and arrives at SKP at 13.05 local time

There are also direct flights with Wizz air to Ohrid (OHD) on selected days.

If you would like to take part in the full event programme including the Fam trip the ideal flights are as follows:-

Friday 16th June Depart LTN 14.20 arrive OHD at 18.35 local Time
Wednesday 21st June Depart SKP 06.05 arrive LTN at 08.25 local time

No Visa is required travelling from the UK to Macedonia


Skopje - Joint of Historical Heritage and Urban Living – Skopje is the capital town of the Republic of Macedonia. The city is divided in two parts with the biggest river in the country – river Vardar. The old part of the town is witnessing for a centuries old history and the traditional way of life, while the new, modern one, is following the global development and trends. In this 1 day excursion you will get the chance to visit Memorial House of Mother Teresa, Old Bazaar, New modern part of Skopje, Canyon Matka and other cultural and historic attraction.

Ohrid – A city museum - Macedonia’s most celebrated spot, the nation’s pride and joy - the town of Ohrid. The town is under double protection of UNESCO, as a natural and as a cultural heritage. The town is home to 365 churches from 17th and 19th century what makes it “Jerusalem on the Balkans”. You will have the chance to enjoy by the beautiful Lake Ohrid, visit Samuil’s Fortress, Antique theatre, and some of the most significant churches in the town.

Wine Tour - The location of the country is for growing different types of grapevines. The specific note of the Macedonian wine culture comes from the autochthonous cultivars and the ancient tradition of domestic production. You’ll be able to taste the highest quality wine that comes from the most famous Macedonian wineries. This land of sun and flavor will let you experience an exclusive pleasure like you will never find on another place. Macedonia produces all styles of wine - dry and sweet, still and sparkling, red, white and rose

Ohrid Fam trip- 17.06.2017 Saturday

09:00 - Departure from Triumphal Gate (Porta Makedonija)

  • Visit of Colored Mosque in Tetovo
  • Arrival in Ohrid and sightseen: Antique theater, Plaoshnik, Samuil’s Fortress, The Holy Mother of God Peivlepta,
  • Lunch break
  • Workshops for paper, wood crafting and pearls production
  • Departure to Skopje

20:30- Arrival in Skopje

Wine tour – 17.06.2017 Saturday

09:00 - Departure from Skopje

  • Visit of Stobi Archeological sight
  • Presentation and wine degustation in Stobi Winery (with finger food)
  • Walk around Tikvesh’s Vineyard
  • Visit and wine degustation in Tikvesh Winery
  • Visit of the Museum of wines in Demir Kapija
  • Visit and wine degustation in Popova Kula Winery
  • Departure to Skopje

18:30- Arrival in Skopje

Skopje Fam trip - 18.06.2017 Sunday

09:00 - 12:00 Tour around Skopje and sightseen:

  • Fortress Kale,
  • The Old Bazaar (visit of Mosques and Hamams),
  • Square Macedonia,
  • Memorial house of Mother Teresa,
  • Visit of Canyon Matka

12:00 - 14:00

  • Visit of Macedonian village complex

For more information or to book your place on the Fam Trip please contact:

Katerina Petrovska
Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism in Macedonia
Mobile: 078 280 645



Commercial Opportunities/Speaking Opportunities

Laurie Myers


Phone +30 6970032016
US cell +1 949 742 9648
What's App: +306947577656

Daniela Wagner


Phone +44 7932 074 978

Ticket purchases/Enquiries:

Natalie Budgen


Phone +44 207 881 4893


Jacobs Media Group

Jacobs Media Group reaches travel & hospitality professionals in print, digitally and face-to-face. Its products and people are leaders in their respective markets and have a global reputation for quality and integrity.

From small tech start-ups looking for distribution in the UK travel space, through to FTSE 100 foodservice companies that want to increase their market penetration. Jacobs Media Group offers a bespoke and unique service. Based on sound market insight and unrivalled touch points in the industries served, Jacobs Media Group is able to deliver multi-channel solutions to answer complex marketing challenges.

About PATA

Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 88 government, state and city tourism bodies, 22 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 62 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 41 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members' desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA's Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London. Visit