2019 Conference Moderators

We have brought together garden and garden tourism experts from all over North America and the world.
Alexander Reford - Conference Moderator

Alexander Reford

Moderator -Garden

Director, International Garden Festival and Reford Gardens – Canada

Tracey Sims - Moderator, Garden Tourism Conference

Tracey Sims

Moderator & Speaker - Tourism

Major Events & Conferences, Destination Greater Victoria

Dave Cowen, Moderator - Garden Tourism Conference

Dave Cowen

Moderator -Garden

CEO, The Butchart Gardens – Canada

Brian White- Garden Tourism Conference.

Brian White, Ph.D

Moderator & Speaker - Tourism

Program Head for the Master of Arts in Tourism Management at Royal Roads University  – Canada

2019 Conference Speakers

We have brought together garden and garden tourism experts from all over North America and the world.

Executive Director, Chanticleer Foundation – USA

How Chanticleer Partners with the Philadelphia Region for Tourism Success

Chanticleer is a relatively new public garden in the Philadelphia region.  Known as America’s Garden Capital, the area has more public gardens than anywhere else in North America.  Bill Thomas, Chanticleer’s Executive Director and Chair of Greater Philadelphia Gardens, will discuss how the garden partners with the region for tourism success. 


Paul Nursey


CEO, Destination Greater Victoria – Canada

Growing Together

A provocative, well-researched look at how garden tourism can work positively in destinations and achieve success. Many vertical niche product sectors such as garden tourism compete for the time and attention of destination leaders. However, these sectors often do not consider how they can offer solutions and position their business priorities positively among the many competing propositions. Hear straight from an experienced destination leader about how to best position your partnership proposal, as well as ideas for enduring partnership success. The presentation will feature contemporary tourism research an the newly released DestinationNEXT research from Destinations International.

Director, Toronto Botanical Garden – Canada

Making A Botanic Garden Business Case for Growth

Creating a new or expanded botanic garden means convincing governments, donors and other stakeholders that it’s good for them and for their communities. Toronto Botanical Garden’s expansion planning focused on garden tourism as it made a compelling and successful case for growth.


Ibo Gülsen


Director IGMPR, Flowers, Parks & More  – Netherlands

The Imagineering of Flower Gardens and Festivals

The design, marketing and operation of garden tourism destinations has many similarities with any other tourism or theme park attraction. Learn more how new applications of planting technology, storytelling and design, can enrich your visitor experience.

Founder-Director, Chelsea Fringe – UK

Beyond the Garden: the Chelsea Fringe Festival as a Model for Activating Cities and Regions

How a freeform garden festival can provide a special moment of focus for year-round garden activities and openings: attracting visitors, exciting participants, re-energizing staff’

Executive Director, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden – Canada

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden’s Recipe to Garden Tourism Success

What makes your garden authentic? Is it the people who nurture it or how it was built? What does your garden reflect?


Cindy Verge


Executive Director, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – USA

What Makes a Blooming Destination a Success

Several key elements contribute to the festival becoming a destination event for people from around the world, starting with tulips and continuing with the community’s offer and hosting.

Director of Operations, Kingsbrae Garden – Canada

Your Garden – A Chef’s Playground

Turning your garden masterpiece into a competitive advantage as a business leader and trend setter in the restaurant industry.


Lois Moss


Gardens Dot Tours LLC – USA

Creating a Successful Garden Tour

Travel Oregon has recently commissioned our speaker to create a database that will help people understand the “garden tourism assets” in and around Portland, Oregon.  During this presentation, we will learn more about what is important to tour operators, garden clubs and other groups to create successful visits to gardens.

Brian White- Garden Tourism Conference.

Brian White, Ph.D

Moderator & Speaker - Tourism

Program Head for the Master of Arts in Tourism Management at Royal Roads University  – Canada

Garden Bathing

Want to expand your garden’s appeal? Garden and Forest Bathing’ brings in a whole new market!

Alexander Reford - Conference Moderator

Alexander Reford

Moderator & Speaker -Garden

Director, International Garden Festival and Reford Gardens – Canada

The Difference a Festival Can Make

The International Garden Festival has transformed the historic gardens created by Elsie Reford into a design destination. Contemporary designers have transformed the garden experience at Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens and created a new clientele of visitors and followers.

Trustee, Scotland`s Garden Route/Cambo Gardens – Scotland

Discover How Scottish Gardens Attract Garden Visitors to Scotland

It started with snowdrops – the development of garden tourism in Scotland throughout the year.

President CEO, Atlanta Botanical Garden – USA

Marketing an Expanded Visitor Experience

Atlanta Botanical Garden provides 12 months of cultural experiences that drive tourism and visitation throughout the year.  The Garden’s commitment to innovation, beauty, dynamic exhibitions and excellent marketing equal tremendous tourism success and a growing bottom line.


Jeff Curtis


Chief Executive Officer, Portland Rose Festival Foundation – USA

How a Flower Changed Portland Oregon

This special flower shaped the city and inspired one of the top festivals in the United States and made Portland Oregon a floral destination.

Executive Director, The Land Conservancy/Abkhazi Garden – Canada

The Garden that Love Built

Discover how “The Garden that Love Built” grew; through friendship, separation, tragedy, war, and reconnection, and how Abkhazi Garden became an urban oasis hosting thousands of visitors annually from around the world.

Director, Visitor Services, University of Alberta Botanic Garden – Canada

The Difference a New Garden Makes

Nearly a decade of planning and two years of construction propelled the University of Alberta Botanic Garden from a local attraction to one of national and global interest. The addition of the stunning 4.8 hectare Aga Khan Garden, triggered a long list of changes, from a name change to a new parking lot and entry plaza, from new way finding to new programming approaches. Managing the expectations of our visitors and staff required strategic planning and turn on a dime thinking


Prof Jeong


Dean of Graduate School of Tourism and Festival Management, Paichai  University – South Korea

South Korea Garden Tourism: From Suncheon Bay Garden Expo to Seoul’s Skygarden

Description To come

Owner/Operator Tulips of the Valley – Canada

From a Tulip Bulb Farm to a Garden Tourism Attraction

How the Onos family turned a tulip bulb business into a  garden tourism Attraction in BC’s Fraser Valley

International Relations – The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle – Italy

Leadership in Garden Tourism

A vision, a mission, a clear concept and a team inspired to perform like plants in a garden: The Case of the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle.

Project Director of Canada’s Diversity Gardens at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  

Transforming the Garden Experience: Where Nature, Culture and Community Unite

Canada’s Diversity Gardens, a 35-acre development within Assiniboine Park intended to be an exploration of the human connection with plants and nature showcasing Canada’s extraordinary multicultural heritage. Visitors will discover the role plants have in shaping the life and identity of their community and their country – past, present and future.