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Welcome to X. Festival 2021


We're back! Hosts Nick and Laura will introduce this year's X. Festival from a dreamy location.


Nick Hall
Digital Tourism Think Tank
Laura Morello
Digital Tourism Think Tank

Turning Space Tourism Into Earth Activism

Free Session

The opening keynote of X. Festival 2021 is going to be sensational. The event will take off with a truly unconventional keynote, led by Ryan Hartman, CEO at World View. World View is an “earth-focused” space travel company, which, while taking people to space, encourages them to take a “closer” look at our planet. Hoping to uplift human perspectives and behaviours, space voyage is offered as an opportunity for people to understand how precious, beautiful and diverse the earth is.

The journeys take off from any of the Seven Wonders of the World, Stratospheric Edition™, allowing one to explore them from a completely different perspective and then spend over six hours floating high above in the stratosphere. This is going to be a mind-blowing, eye-opening session, set at looking at tourism from a new, bold, innovative and future-driven perspective.


Ryan Hartman
World View

How to make a Destination Accessible?


Neha Arora joins X. Festival to talk about accessible tourism. She presents the perspective of a person who has experienced how tourism can often be inaccessible, felt the need for a change and took action upon it. She is part of the theme of Emerging Trends, where we talk about all the big questions tourism professionals and destinations need to find answers to. 

With both parents being affected by disabilities, Neha promptly understood why the travel ecosystem was simply not accessible, or sensitive, to the needs of travellers with disabilities. Therefore, she founded Planet Abled, an inclusive travel platform, giving the freedom to travel to everybody. She will help us understand what needs must be addressed and how to change the way the tourism industry faces accessibility.


Neha Arora
Planet Abled

Are We Brave Enough To Act?


Destinations face overtourism even during a pandemic. Nagore Espinosa Uresandi is joining the theme of Emerging Trends to explain key learnings and approaches to adapt to the post-pandemic world. As the audience, we will be challenged to address several polling questions to understand where we stand in this scenario.

Nagore is going to present research conducted across different destinations, from old towns to natural and heritage sites, to explore how they tackled the peak season; how they measured capacity and tourism flows; how they implemented pre-booking systems, setting quotas or limits, modifying the mobility options, offering up to date info to visitors. We will also look into how to adapt the marketing strategy to become "hybrid"and agile. We will touch on storytelling, technology, common misconceptions, learnings, measures and approaches.


Nagore Espinosa

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy


David Meany, Director Partner Marketing at The Travel Corporation, is joining the theme of Emerging Trends to talk about how relevant it is to implement diversity, equity and inclusion into the overall strategy. This keynote is aimed at giving a practical example of how corporations can drive change in the tourism industry.

As tourism professionals, we need to consider what role Inclusion and Diversity play in the industry and learn how to plan a series of actions and initiatives that take place on important matters such as Ethnicity, Gender, LGBTQ+, Mental Health and so on. Join us for some inspiration on how your destination and organisation can be a real force for good.


David Meany
The Travel Corporation

How to Discover the Food Potential of your Destination


Rebecca Mackenzie is the President & CEO of Culinary Tourism Alliance, a Toronto-based organisation working with communities to grow food tourism by leveraging the history, heritage and culture behind the food and drink that make each destination unique. This session, part of Emerging Trends, will be the perfect occasion to discuss how to uncover the food potential of your destination, touching on some niche trends such as agritourism, cultural tourism, ecotourism, rural tourism and sustainable tourism.


Rebecca Mackenzie
Culinary Tourism Alliance

Panel: Leveraging Partnership in Becoming a Foodie Destination


Rebecca Mackenzie is the President & CEO of Culinary Tourism Alliance, a Toronto-based organisation working with communities to grow food tourism by leveraging the history, heritage and culture behind the gastronomy that makes each destination unique. In this session, Rebecca will lead a panel made of delegates from different organisations that are involved and committed to uncovering the food & beverage potential of Canada as a destination. This panel will follow Rebecca's keynote and will be part of Emerging Trends. This is the perfect occasion to understand how we can make partnerships work and how we can build relationships that are strong and resilient, and that allow the tourism and food industry to thrive even during and after a pandemic. We will also uncover how a variety of traditions and culture is unified to create diverse and inclusive experiences.


Rebecca Mackenzie
Culinary Tourism Alliance

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