Speakers – Bulgaria 2024

Embark on a journey of culinary and wine tourism excellence with our visionary, innovative, and inspiring keynote speakers and industry experts. Their thought-provoking sessions will equip wine and culinary tourism professionals with the knowledge and tools to propel their businesses and professional aspirations forward. In no particular order meet some of the speakers lined up for IWINETC 2024

Alexander Iotsev

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food

IWINETC welcome speech on 9 April 2024 at 9:30 will be delivered by Mr Alexander Iotsev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food.

Chris Torres

Keynote Speaker

Chris is an author, podcaster, and an expert in brand development and digital marketing for tourism, boasting an illustrious 32-year journey in the industry. He speaks at global tourism events where he shares his knowledge and insights, guiding how travel, tourism, and destinations can catapult their brand recognition and boost bookings.

At the helm of the Tourism Marketing Agency, Chris has honed a niche in tour operator marketing, attracting a clientele that spans continents, with over 90% based outside the UK, including some of the industry’s largest operators. (more…)

Dimitar Dimov

Industry expert

Born in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Dimitar follows in his father Simeon Dimov's footsteps as an oenologist. He graduated from the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv, majoring in Beverage Technology. Later, he earned a Master's degree in vine-growing, winemaking, and vine and wine sector management from AgroMontpellier and ENITAB Bordeaux, France. Holding a French national diploma of oenology (DNO), he gained experience in Languedoc, Champagne, and Bordeaux, France, as well as Marlborough, New Zealand, and various Bulgarian (more…)

Ilinka Terziyska

Industry expert

Associate professor Ilinka Terziyska serves as a faculty member in the Tourism Department at Southwest University “Neofit Rilski” (Bulgaria). She instructs various courses, such as Introduction to Tourism, Cultural Tour Design, Cultural Tourism, Wine & Food Tourism, and Tourist Behavior. Her research focuses on the critical factors for wine tourism development, wine tourism benchmarking, consumer experiences and the study of wine tourists' behavior. With a portfolio of over 50 publications, comprising two monographs and a textbook, she has made substantial contributions to her field.

Irem Eren

Keynote Speaker

Irem Eren, DipWSET, Business Development Director, BevZero Irem Eren has vast international experience (EU, U.S.), and multidisciplinary background. She is a chemist, holds master´s in international business & marketing, WSET Diploma, is currently studying for Master of Wine.  Irem held versatile positions in Wine Industry, from production to sales & marketing, prior to her journey in No & Low Alcohol products. Irem Eren currently is Business Development Director at BevZero, and no & low alcohol category ambassador. She is also an educator & editor at WSET, and judge (more…)

Jana Humpolíková

Czech National Tourism Board

As a manager for cultural tourism in the Czech National Tourism Board, Jana is responsible for marketing activities in the field of culture and gastronomy and developing new tourism products following international travel trends. With Czechia not having been a well-known wine travel destination until now, Jana has been working on bringing international attention of both tourists and travel trade to Czech winemaking and the amazing wine and gastronomic experiences this hidden gem destination in the heart of Europe offers.

Lilith Sarafyan

Industry expert

With over a decade of experience in the tourism business, Lilith has been actively dedicated to promoting the wine industry and travel experiences in Armenia. She currently heads GoArmenia, the inbound tourism department of a prominent travel company powered by Visa Concord Group. Leveraging her platform and passion for developing tourism in Armenia, Lilith seamlessly integrated her love for wine into the country's travel sector. Through her role (more…)

Martina Grůzová

Tourist Authority - South Moravia

Martina has been working in marketing for more than 10 years. For the last 5 years of her career she has been marketing wine tourism in South Moravia. Her team prepares campaigns promoting the sights, culture and beautiful nature of this region.  She connects tourism actors, individual wineries, gastronomic enterprises with other tourist attractions of the destination. Its organisation creates a comprehensive offer for the visitor and prepares unforgettable experiences in South Moravia

Militza Zikatanova

Industry expert

Militza Zikatanova is the second-generation owner of Wine Cellar Villa Melnik, Bulgaria, ranked #39 in the Top 50 World’s Best Vineyards 2020. Militza is a driving force for the development of wine tourism in the Melnik Region and the initiator of the Melnik Wine Routes and the Melnik Wineries Open Doors event. She is on the Board of the Association of Independent Winemakers and Vinegrowers. She holds BA in Business Management from Boston University, USA, and a Masters Degree in Agribusiness Management and Rural Areas Development from New Bulgarian University. Militza was awarded “Lady Farmer of Bulgaria” 2024 by Forbes Magazine and Agri.bg.

Nikoleta Dikova

Industry expert

Bulgarian born but educated in Italy Nikoleta Dikova (Nicoletta Dicova) has over 15 years of working experience in the wine field. After her Master Degree from Piacenza University in winemaking and wine marketing she continues her wine education with WSET and the Masters of Wine Institute where she is currently a Stage 2 student. As a wine writer she has won several awards for her writings, Nikoletta is also part of important international wine juries including the Balkan Wine Competition. As a Balkan born she is particularly interested in the wines from the region in which she sees (more…)

Peter Syme

Keynote Speaker

Peter Syme is a veteran tour operator who introduced over 250k guests to adventure travel around the world. After selling his adventure businesses he is now building the World's largest tour operator community with a focus on making tour operators more profitable. He also advises and consults to tour operators, travel technology companies and investors. He is an international speaker focusing on how technology can transform travel businesses for the better

Stefano Tulli

Industry expert

Stefano, the Co-founder and Travel Manager of Winedering.com, brings over a decade of experience in the travel industry, serving as a product manager and tour leader for Italian and American tour operators. The inspiration for connecting wineries and travelers emerged during one of his tours in the US in 2015. Collaborating with Denis, a full-stack developer and web expert, they established Winedering.com, now recognized as a leading global marketplace for wine travel. Stefano's role involves working closely with wineries, providing consultancy programs for wine (more…)

Tanisha Townsend

Industry expert

With an unwavering passion for the artistry of wine and an unparalleled knowledge of France's most renowned wine regions, Tanisha Townsend stands as a luminary in the realm of wine tourism. As a dedicated professional, she has devoted 7+ years to curating immersive experiences that transcend the traditional boundaries of wine exploration.

Tanisha has mastered the delicate dance of combining expertise and hospitality to craft bespoke group tours that whisk participants away on enchanting journeys through the picturesque landscapes of France. Specializing in the (more…)

Tanya Avramova

Industry expert

Being involved in the family wine business since 2010 mainly in the marketing, events and export activities and with a background in the tourist business before that, Tanya has been actively working for promoting the Sakar region in South-Eastern Bulgaria as an exciting wine travel destination. Tanya is the driving force behind the association “Winegrowers of Sakar”, which organizes some of the most exciting regional wine festivals “Sakar 4x4” held at different location in each season. The festivals attracted thousands of tourists from Bulgaria and abroad proving (more…)

Tsvetelina Borisova Nikolova

Industry expert

Tsvetelina Borisova Nikolova is the Managing Director of Katarzyna Estate and Platinum Brands (a distribution company for wines and spirits). Tsvetelina Nikolova holds a Bachelor's degree in political science with a focus on the French language and has obtained a Master's degree in International Economic Relations from UNSS. She has completed prestigious international training at the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) in France, (more…)

Valentina Soumintoub

Industry expert

Valentina Soumintoub is currently conducting a research on experiential marketing in the framework of her MSc studies in Tourism Management. She is a Preschool educator and Museologist with 15 yeras of experience in the cultural sector with main responsibilities including designing educational programs and museum exhibitions. Her interest in tourism, and specifically in Destination Management and Marketing, comes from the co-operative approach in creating cultural and tourism products

Vasil Zlatev

Industry expert

Vasil Zlatev is one of the founding members of the Bulgarian Association of Wine Professionals. Vasil is a co-founder of Bulgaria Wine Tours and a licensed tour guide.

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