Maria GRAVARI-BARBAS is the Director of the Institute for Research and High Studies on Tourism (Institut de Recherches et d’Etudes Supérieures du Tourisme, IREST) of Paris 1 – Sorbonne University, in Paris. She has a degree in Architecture and Urban Design (University of Athens, 1985), and a PhD in Geography and Planning (Paris 4 – Sorbonne University, 1991). She was Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA (1990). She is the director of the EIREST, a multidisciplinary research laboratory focusing on tourism, mainly related to cultural heritage and development. She is also the director of the UNESCO Chair “Tourism, Culture, Development” of Paris 1- Sorbonne University and the coordinator of the UNITWIN network of the same name, comprising more than 25 top level universities all around the World. She is invited professor in different international Universities. She is the author of several books and papers related to Tourism, Culture and Heritage.