Category Archives: Tourism

Video from my panel discussion at the IMTM 2015 conference in Tel Aviv

You can now see the panel discussion in which I participated at the IMTM 2015 conference in Tel Aviv on Feburary 11th.
The moderator of the session was Jonathan Mieri who is a digital entrepreneur who started the app Superfly on the panel with me were:

  • Amir Halevi, director general for the Israel Ministry of Tourism,
  • Li Baochun, deputy secretary general for the World Tourism Cities Federation,
  • Gideon Shmerling, spokesman for the Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality
  • Jenn Sander, head of global initiatives for the Burning Man Project.
  • Ido Ahoroni, the consul general of Israel in New York was slated to be on the panel as well but unfortunately was not able to attend.

The topic was broad “Mass tourism and Viral tourism” and other than some preliminary discussion with the moderator as panellists we did not get much more direction than that on the focus of the discussion. I tried to think of my fellow panellists and the audience in my contribution to the discussion by focusing my answers less on the what I do at Tourism Vancouver as an energy specialist and more on the why am there doing the work that I do.

Here is a direct link to the Youtube post for the panel discussion on mass tourism in which I participated:

Gwendal Castellan video capture
Sharing my perspective & thoughts on the future of tourism

Have a look through the program of all the posted videos on the conference site:

From Tel Aviv to Vancouver learning from each other

I had the great fortune to be able to participate in the conference plenary discussion on mass tourism and the future of tourism at IMTM 2015. I was there at the invitation of Tel Aviv Global which is a municipal corporation tasked with promoting the economic development of the city attracting investment and developing tourism.
One theme that was very prominent in their strategy is to leverage the tech start up ecosystem of the city.
The conference had 42 travel related digital startup companies pitching their ideas and vying for the mayor’s digital travel award.
The Roschild boulevard at the heart of the city is a wonderful pedestrian and cycling oasis.

Getting a tour of the startup ecosystem in Tel Aviv. The big questions seemed to be that starting things was happening in an organic way but holding on to the dividends of that innovation was the challenge. Keeping successful startups in the city and making sure international investment was not just pulling the human capital out of the city.

That evening I was invited to a cocktail at city hall with the mayor of Tel Aviv where they unveiled a commemorative stamp of the city. Tel Aviv has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site for its white city collection of Bauhaus architecture. It also recently was recognized by UNESCO as a creative city in the digital sphere and they are running with it as a branding element for the city.

The Tel Aviv Global team also came up with a wonderful idea to put a call out to students to volunteer as local hosts for the conference speakers. This was an opportunity to meet someone with an interest in your subject matter, but also they acted as ambassadors and sometimes interpreters or even personal assistants. I found it to be invaluable and rewarding, helping me develop more insights and broadening the conversations I had.
My student host Marina Balkarey

Speaking on a panel discussing mass tourism and implications on destination development.

After my presentation I was interviewed by Ayal Zaum, a City & Place branding consultant that also writes a popular blog called
here is the article he wrote:

Un article mène à de nouveaux horizons

Suite à la publication de l’article dans Skift que j’ai poster récemment. J’ai reçu une invitation a participer a un congrès de tourisme international a Tel Aviv le 10 et 11 février. Avec tout juste un mois de préavis je n’étais pas sur que l’invitation soit sérieuse, mais après un échange de communication au ralenti à cause des onze heures de décalage.  Ils m’on confirmer qu’ils cherchait réellement à me fair participer à une colloque avec le ministre de tourisme de Israël, le consul général de Israël à New York entre autre. Le thème est de discuter le future du tourisme et l’impact sur le développement durable des destinations. Je vais parler de mon travaille et le contexte qui le met en valeur a Vancouver.
Continue reading Un article mène à de nouveaux horizons