The upcoming 6th Global Summit on Urban Tourism (GSUT) 2017 in Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur will feature an impressive line-up of local and international speakers, representing the who’s who of the tourism industry.

Themed “Sustainable and Competitive Tourism on the New Urban Agenda” this year, the summit aims at promoting a globally shared vision and a strategic approach to readdress the tools to adapt to the new paradigms in urban tourism while achieving coherence among the tourism activities, urban development policies and the economic and social benefits for the local inhabitants through integrated planning, efficient governance, knowledge management and professionalism in operations.

A total of 22 speakers will be presenting their knowledge and experience to the audiences during the three-day conference from 4 to 6 December. Among the well-known luminaries who will be gracing the prestigious event this year and sharing their valuable insights are:

Masato Takamatsu 

Mr. Takamatsu is a co-founder of Japan Tourism Marketing Co. (currently JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co.) and a destination marketing and tourism crisis management expert.

He is one of the UNWTO Tourism Barometer Panel of Tourism Experts, an advisory member of The World Travel & Tourism Council, a Conseil Consultant of International for Atout France, and an Expert Committee member of World Tourism Cities Federation.


Dr. Ko Koens (Netherlands)

Dr. Ko Koens is Associate Professor at the Academy of Hotel and Facility Management, Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands.

The main fields of interest of Dr. Koens are slum tourism, city hospitality, sustainable destination management and governance solutions, with a specific focus on small businesses, entrepreneurship and local economic development in an urban context. He is project manager for the Horizon 2020 funded project ‘Smart City Hospitality’ ( and has actively worked with European cities to find solutions for the issue of overtourism and visitor pressure.

Ahn Joon Ho (Republic of Korea)

As the Director-General of Tourism & Sports Bureau of Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) as of 2017, Ahn Joon Ho strives to create a healthy and happy Seoul by revitalizing Seoul’s economy and promoting public sports. While implementing external marketing activities to attract foreign tourists with global mind-set, he has established community-inclusive tourism and sports policies by promoting the MICE industry and public-private cooperation.

In 2002, Mr. Ahn participated in the Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration Project, which was later renamed to High Urban Renaissance Project, and demolished elevated highways and restored the downtown areas of Seoul. In 2008, he contributed to establishing Seoul Foreign School, called Dulwich College Seoul to support education of foreign residents in Seoul.


Dr. Xiang Feng (China)

Dr. Xiang Feng has been working at Shanghai Institute of Tourism, Shanghai Normal University since 2003.

Besides academic work, Dr. Xiang Feng has been working as tourism planner/consultant for Chinese tourism destinations for years. Her major clients include Shanghai Tourism Bureau, Zhejiang Provincial Tourism Bureau, Hangzhou Tourism Committee, Nanjing Tourism Committee, etc. She was renowned in projects such as conceptual city tourism development plan, city tourism plan, master plan of city to attract more international tourists, action plan to develop tourism destination, international marketing plan, marketing strategy, HR development plan of city tourism, etc.


Esencan Terzibasoglu (UNWTO)

Esencan Terzibasoglu 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.


YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes (Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Berhad)

Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes is Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad. Internationally, his outstanding contributions to the French aviation industry were recognised with the title Officier of the Legion d’ Honneur in April 2010, followed by the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur in November 2013, the highest rank of honour that the French Government can bestow on non-French citizens. In 2011, he was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.