"Our world’s caves are places of wonder, mystery and majestic beauty. Show caves around the world are embracing their role in protecting and preserving caves and providing a place for people to learn about these special, natural, cultural and historical resources.

Show caves also play another important nature tourism role of sustainable economic development, providing jobs, and helping the economy of their regions.”

ISCA & NCA 9th Congress (2022)

Name:ISCA & NCA 9th Congress (2022)
Type of event:Congress
Date:21. September 2022 - 01. October 2022
Town / City:San Antonio
Place:Westin Riverwalk Hotel

Final congress numbers

Number of registered participants:Full participants: 193, Accompanying persons - , Total: 193
Number of Around the world:9
Number of continents:2


Nearly 200 participants gathered to celebrate the ISCA & NCA Congress 2022 in San Antonio (Texas).


The 9th Congress of the International Show Association (ISCA) was the first join congress in the United States. San Antonio (Texas) was the place chosen to gather members of ISCA and the National Caves Association (NCA) under the slogan “Strategize. Develop. Dream.” 193 participantsfrom 9 countries attended the congress, including not only ISCA & NCA members but also individuals and organisations related to the world of tourism and the subterranean world.

The International Show Caves Association and the National Caves Association celebrate the first ever US joint congress

  • Hosted by Natural Bridge Caverns, the Congress took place from September 21, 2022 to October 1, 2022 and gathered an international audience from nine different countries who enjoyed San Antonio’s hidden treasures.

  • The speakers’ presentations were many and addressed topics which included storytelling, merchandising, ticketing, cave lighting and science, among others.

  • ISCA & NCA Board Meetings were also scheduled during the Congress.

  • Participants also joined a pre field trip to Caverns of Sonora (Texas) and Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico), as well as a post field trip to Cave without a Name, Longhorn Cavern State Park and Inner Space Cavern (Texas).

San Antonio, Texas, October 11, 2022 - The International Show Caves Association has recently celebrated its 9th Congress in San Antonio (Texas), which has become the first ever joint congress in the United States thanks to the collaboration of the association with the National Caves Association and the high participation of American show caves. Among them, Natural Bridge Caverns served as the host of the event.

The meeting took place from September 21 to October 1, 2022, and it was celebrated at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel (San Antonio), which gathered nearly two hundred cave managers, organisations and individuals in the field of Geology, Speleology, Mining, Engineering and Tourism, among others.

The main theme of the congress was “Strategize. Develop. Dream.” and the daily sessions held at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio covered topics of interest related to the subterranean world and tourism. These included storytelling, merchandising, ticketing, cave lighting and science, among others.

The opening ceremony was held at the Navarro Room and was followed by a congress itinerary which included different presentations and served to establish new relationship between attendees as they shared experiences and knowledge regarding the management and development of new projects. Natural Bridge Caverns , host of the event, organised activities and tours to one of Texas’ most visited tourist attractions.

The presentations which took place during the congress included:

  • Mike Konzen, Chairman and CEO of PGAV, presented “Strategic Storytelling – Creating a Cutting-Edge Experience Through the Power of Story", Mike focused on the potential of show caves and how to bring a level of immersive design to everything you do.

  • Matt Ross, National Cyber Claims Leader at Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), and Shawn Tuma, attorney internationally recognized in cybersecurity, computer fraud and data privacy law, presented “No One is Immune to Cyber Claims - Protect You, Your Guests, and Your $$$ €€€” to teach how cave managers can protect their business data.

  • Michael Catcott, who has has been in the tourist business for 25 years; Lenny Freund, a 40 plus year veteran of the amusement industry; Claudia Yundt, Park Director at Squire Boone Caverns; and Terri Adams, General Manager of Natural Bridge Caverns, presented “Merchandising Retail, Food & Beverage” to explain the different strategies which can help tourist attractions increase their sales.

  • Adam Bryant, Senior Safety Advocate at Assurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, talked about existing ways to prevent losses in “Loss Control Observations”.

  • Harry Tomasides, Chief Revenue Officer for Digonex since 2015; Randy Josselyn, expert in ticketing systems, theme park marketing, revenue management, attraction operations; and Brian Vauter, Director of IT, POS, Data & BI at Natural Bridge Caverns, presented “Ticketing Trends: Are You Maximizing Revenue?” and covered topics including OTA’s, timed ticketing, discounts, ticketing software, online ticketing, kiosks, and other ticketing trends

  • Alexander Chrapko, Managing Director and Project Director for Cave Lighting CL GmbH & Co. KG based in Germany, and Matt Carr, Director of Cavern Development at Natural Bridge Caverns with 30 year experience at the show cave, were in charge of presenting “Cave Lighting & Development”, which dealt with state-of-the-art lighting systems and other cave developments with a direct impact on tourist experience.

  • Dr. George Veni, the Executive Director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) ; Liza Colucci, Project Manager & Ecologist at Zara Environmental LLC; John A. Moretti, paleontologist and PHD candidate at the Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin; and Travis Wuest, Vice President & 3rd generation co-owner of Natural Bridge Caverns, presented “Importance of Exploration & Cave Science” , a session focused on exploration, cave critters, palaeontology and archeology.

  • Dempsey Warren, Event Senior Manager at The CE Group; Steve Thompson, Vice President of Bridal Cave Development Co. Inc. in Camdenton, Missouri; Kara Van Brunt, Executive Director of Ruby Falls; and Tania Baños Martos, Mayoress of the city of La Vall d'Uixó, a Spanish Mediterranean city which owns and manages Coves de Sant Josep, presented “Events at Show Caves? How unique!” discussed about the planning, promotion and execution of special events at show caves, including seasonal events, corporate meetings, parties, weddings, reunions, concerts, team building experiences and more.

  • John Kasman, Vice President & Senior Designer at PGAV, presented Master Planning - Shaping Your Future NOW” and talked about the importance of thinking through future in order to increase revenue and achieve goals.

  • Trevor Wood, President of The Wood Agency, and Winter Prosapio, heads up communications for Natural Bridge Caverns and award-winning novelist and humor columnist, showed attendees how to promote caves and stay connected with the public all year long, the best practices for social media platforms, insights on marketing trends, and the importance of tracking advertising returns. Their presentation was “Marketing & Public Relations: FREE & paid”.

  • Carrey Bull, from the Education Committee for the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC); John Young, an Adventure Tour Guide trainer at Natural Bridge Caverns; Valentin (Val) Hernandez, who has been part of Natural Bridge Caverns for ten years; and Nicole Ridlen, General Manager for Cumberland Caverns, presented “Cave Rescue & Tour Guide Training” and introduced best practices in staff training, working with cave rescue teams and first responders for commercial tours, adventure tours and explorations.

    In addition to the business sessions and the visit to Natural Bridge Caverns, the congress also offered many excursions, including a pre field trip to Caverns of Sonora (Texas) and Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico), and a post field trip to Cave without a Name, Longhorn Cavern State Park and Inner Space Cavern (Texas).

    ISCA & NCA Board Meetings were also scheduled during the congress. The following ISCA Board of Directors was elected to serve for the next 4-year term:


  • President: Friedrich Oedl (Austria) – Eisriesenwelt Cave

  • First Vice President: Rafael Pagés Rodríguez (Spain) – Asociación de Cuevas Turísticas Españolas (Spanish Show Caves Association)

  • Second Vice President: Nuno Querido Jorge (Portugal) – Grutas De Mira De Aire

  • Secretary: Juan José Tíscar Moya (Spain) – International Show Caves Association

  • Treasurer: Francesca Serpentini (Italy) – International Show Caves Association


  • Yvonne Wagner (Germany) – Saalfelder Feengrotten

  • Guilhem De Grully (France) – Grotte des Demoiselles

  • Heros Augusto Santos Lobo (Brazil) – Universidade Federal de São Carlos

  • Peter Gaik (Slovakia) – Slovak Caves Administration

  • Jakub ‘Kuba’ Gabris (Czech Republic) – Cave Administration of the Moravian Karst

  • Joe Klimczak (USA) – Cave of the Mounds & National Caves Association

  • Zhang Shouyue (China) – Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

  • Lorenzo Burzacca (Italy) – Consorzio Frasassi

  • Juan José Durán Valsero (Spain) – Scientific and Technical Committee

  • Joëlle Darricau (France) – International Commission on Prehistory in Show Caves

The following 9 countries were represented at the 2022 ISCA & NCA Congress: USA (165), France(7), Spain (6), Italy (3), Slovakia (3), Germany (3), UK (3), Austria (2) and Portugal (1).

In 2026, ISCA’s 10th Congress will take place in a new country (to-be-determined), and it is expected that attendance grows and even more people join this meeting.


The International Show Caves Association (ISCA) was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Frasassi/Genga, Italy. ISCA is an international organization of persons, associations, corporations, and government agencies who own, manage or operate show caves that are open to the public.ISCA provides a critical forum for show caves to network and collaborate on matters that pertain to their caves. ISCA aims to promote, encourage, and support the cooperation of show cave operators,speleologists and cave enthusiasts through the sharing of information and to promote the preservation and conservation of caves, while increasing public interest in the world of show caves by way of unique marketing and the evolution of methods to enhance the show cave experience.

For more information on the International Show Caves Association and its members, please visit www.i-s-c-a.org

ISCA Media Contacts

  • Friedrich Oedl, ISCA President: oedl@oedl.at +(43) 664 420 2882 
  • Francesca Serpentini, ISCA Treasurer: treasurer@i-s-c-a.org +(39) 073 297 2108

  • Juan José Tíscar Moya, ISCA Secretary: secretary@i-s-c-a.org +(34) 660 244 650

  • Winter Prosapio, ISCA Public Relations: wprosapio@naturalbridgecaverns.com

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