Symposium Speakers

PVC Prof Nigel de Bussy

Professor Nigel de Bussy
Pro Vice-Chancellor
Faculty of Business and Law, Curtin University

Professor Nigel de Bussy is Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Business School. Nigel holds a PhD from Curtin University and an MA from The Queen’s College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of both the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the Australian Marketing Institute, and a Certified Practising Marketer. Nigel joined CBS as a lecturer in public relations in 1994 and was Head of the School of Marketing from 2012 – 2017. Before joining Curtin, Nigel spent more than a decade as a public relations professional in the UK and Australia. His research has been published in a number of leading journals in the fields of public relations, communication management and marketing communications.

Dr Michael Volgger

Dr Michael Volgger
Senior Lecturer
School of Marketing, Curtin University

Dr Michael Volgger is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Marketing at Curtin University in Western Australia where he is Co-Director of the Tourism Research Cluster. Michael holds a doctoral degree in Economics and Business Administration and a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology. His areas of expertise span questions of transformation and social coordination in tourism destination management, tourism product development and consumer behaviour. He has been part of research teams which have received research grants in the range of AUD1.1 million in Europe and Australia and has published more than 60 academic articles and four books. Dr Michael Volgger has lectured on tourism and hospitality in Australia, Germany and Switzerland.

Prof Iis Tussyadiah

Professor Iis Tussyadiah

Head of Department of Hospitality

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey

Iis Tussyadiah is Professor of Intelligent Systems in Service and Head of Department of Hospitality in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at University of Surrey. Iis conducts research on digital transformation in the travel and hospitality industry, focusing on human-computer interaction, consumer behavior, and mobility. She investigates the applications and implications of intelligent systems in the services sector to inform business practice and policy.

Iis serves as Associate Editor of Annals of Tourism Research and Editorial Board member of several tourism journals. She is a founding member of the Alliance for Innovators and Researchers in Tourism and Hospitality (AIRTH). Iis served as Vice President (2014-2017) and later President (2018-2020) of the International Federation for Information Technologies and Travel & Tourism (IFITT). She received several Best Research Paper/Journal Paper of the Year Awards at ENTER conferences in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019, and 2020, I-CHRIE in 2008, Advances in Destination Management in 2012, etc. Iis was awarded Best Emerging Scholar in Tourism (BEST) by the International Tourism Studies Associations (ITSA) in 2016.

Prior to joining Surrey, Iis was Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management, Carson College of Business, Washington State University, USA. From 2008 to 2012, she was Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the National Laboratory for Tourism and eCommerce (NLTeC) at Temple University, USA.

Zheng Xiang

Associate Professor Zheng Xiang

Howard Feiertag Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech

Zheng Xiang is an Associate Professor in the Howard Feiertag Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on the strategic implications of information technologies for the hospitality and tourism industry. He currently serves as President of the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT) and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Technology & Tourism. He also serves on editorial boards of a number of journals including Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management and Journal of Business Research. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters. He has co-authored one textbook Tourism Information Technology (3rd edition) and co-edited two books related to concepts and methods in data analytics in hospitality and tourism management.


A number of Xiang’s co-authored articles have received Best Paper award in international journals and conferences. In May 2015, he received the “Emerging Scholar of Distinction” award from the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. Recently, he was designated by the Web of Science Group as a “Highly Cited Researcher 2019” (top 1% among researchers around the world) based upon citations to his work in the last decade. Xiang holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Temple University and a Master of Science degree in Leisure Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pip Close

Pip Close

Tourism Business and Product Development Specialist

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA)

Pip’s career spans more than three decades in the tourism industry in various CEO roles of Destination Marketing Organisations and General Management positions with various Australian hotel chains including Peppers, Spicers Retreats and Mirvac Hotels.   Her career has also included senior marketing roles with global brands such as Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Hyatt Hotels.

Pip was instrumental in the formation of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) as inaugural CEO and left the region three years ago to take up the position of CEO of Tropical North Queensland where she further honed her expertise leading Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef the largest Regional Tourism Association in Australia covering 25 regional councils.

Through these roles Pip has a broad senior management experience and in-depth knowledge of tourism business operations.

She holds a Diploma in Teaching,  Diploma in Marketing and Diploma in Business.

Pip is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, past Board member of Regional Development Australia (SW Western Australia) , past board member of South West Development Commission and past Board member of the Australian Association of Convention Bureaux.

Pip is currently employed by MRBTA where she supports major strategic projects and tourism development for the region.