Accreditation Panel Members

About the Accreditation Panel

The GSTC Accreditation Panel seeks to recognize standards and certification programs that are credible, transparent, impartial, and comply with the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. The GSTC Accreditation Panel provides an impartial and independent voice for the GSTC Process and operates independently of the GSTC Board and executive staff. Current members of the Accreditation Panel are listed below:

Cathy Parsons

Chair, Accreditation Panel  

Cathy is currently a consultant on urban planning issues in Australia and has been chair of the Accreditation Panel since October 2010. She has been actively involved in the evolution to the present day of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. From 2001 to 2006, Cathy was the Executive Director and then CEO of the worldwide tourism certification program, Green Globe. She was responsible for all aspects of delivering the program to tourism operations in over 50 countries with the objective of achieving a more sustainable tourism industry. During her time in the mid-90ss as a senior executive with the Australian Government’s Department of Tourism, she managed the government’s environmental tourism programs. She assisted industry to develop the world’s first ecotourism certification program as well as several other tourism certification programs for different industry sectors.

Kjartan Bollason


 Kjartan Bollason is a native of Iceland. He is a licensed guide in Iceland and an  enthusiastic hiker. He has worked in the tourism industry in Iceland  as a  professional  guide, as a specialist in Skaftafell / now Vatnajökull National Park and  – since 2004 - as  a project manager and later Associate  Professor at  the Rural Tourism Department at  Holar University College. He has also worked as a  specialist and consultant in  environmental  assessment at the  Icelandic Planning Agency and at VSO consulting in Reykjavik. He oversaw the capacity building for the introduction of Green  Globe/Earthcheck  accreditation system in Iceland and has audited companies and a destination in Iceland for that system. Mr. Bollason holds a  master´s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Iceland. 

Loreto Duffy Mayers

Loreto_photo.jpgLoreto is currently the Project Manager for the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action (CHENACT) Programme. This IDB and CDE funded project is designed to improve the competitiveness of small to medium sized hotels (<400 rooms) in the Caribbean through greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy and micro-generation. Phase 1 of the project ended in March 2012. The CHENACT Advanced Programme was launched in July 2012. Loreto was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Barbados in 1985. She was educated at University College Dublin and UK Institute of Marketing. She has held the position of Environmental Manager in several green hotels, including Coconut Court Resort, Casuarina Beach Club and the Almond Resorts (3 hotels in Barbados and 2 in St. Lucia). Loreto has received many personal awards for her contribution the promotion of sustainable tourism, including: Barbados Youth Environmental Programme award for contribution to the Environment; Barbados Governor General’s Award for contribution to Green Tourism; Global Green Globe Champion; EAST Award of Excellence; Barbados Minister of Environment Award and BHTA Environmental Award.

David Andrés Ortegón-Martínez


David is General Director and Co-Founder of “KAI Sustainable Coaching”, a company based in México, created to assist tourism businesses in Latin America to integrate Sustainability into their Management Systems and use it as a key element to optimize the use of its resources and its competitiveness on the market. David`s experience on Sustainability   include his work as Sustainable Development Corporate Coordinator at El Dorado Spa Hotels & Resorts and Azul Hotels at Mayan Riviera, the Implementation of a Corporate Sustainable Management Systems combining criteria of Green Globe, Travelife and MARTI (Meso-American Reef Tourism Initiative) programs, as well as the coordination of Strategic alliances to develop Corporate Social Responsibility programs and Natural Resources Conservation initiatives in Colombia and México. His work on Tourism Sustainability has been enriched by his previous experience in other sectors coordinating the Rainforest Alliance Certification program and Nespresso verification in México, and developing integrated Systems to measure Sustainability through the optimization of resource management. David holds a Master on Leadership & Environmental Management from the UCI Costa Rica and an International Master in Local/Rural Development from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Geoff Penrose

Geoff established in 2010 as an international consultancy that improves the quality, safety, authenticity and sustainability of the tourism experience. Geoff was the CEO of Qualmark New Zealand from 2004 to 2009, an organisation that developed and assessed the quality standards for all types of tourism businesses including hotel chains, luxury boutique resorts, land and sea adventure activities and cultural tourist attractions. Geoff was responsible for introducing an integrated quality and environmental star rating system in 2008. Geoff works with tourism companies, governments and donor agencies across Europe, Asia and the Pacific to improve tourism standards and is a part time lecturer in tourism.

Mike Read

Mike established Mike Read Associates (MRA) as an international consultancy in 1987. Mike's work has spanned responsible tourism, water efficiency, wildlife conservation, climate change, and waste prevention. Through the 1990s he was also closely involved in developing the FSC. Mike took a two-year break from consultancy in 2009 to take on the new role of Head of Programmes for the Travel Foundation. He continues to work as a consultant for TF, and manages TF's agricultural links project in Turkey. He sits on the Travelife Strategy Group, and GSTC's Accreditation Panel. In addition to his understanding of sustainability and social justice issues, he has knowledge of the UK outbound tourist industry, has expertise in developing small businesses. Mike studied botany, and subsequently environmental technology, at the University of London. He has worked for Defra, the Environment Agency, B&Q, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Eden Project among many other clients.

Alice Crabtree

Alice CrabtreeAlice currently works as the Ecotourism Development Manager for Conservation Volunteers/Australian Nature Tours. Born in the UK, raised in Thailand and Ethiopia and now a new Australian she has an eclectic background. Her first degree is in Zoology (University of Liverpool), followed by a PhD on population dynamics of an aquatic insect (University College of Wales, Aberystwyth). Alice has worked extensively around the world on sustainable tourism standards including Vietnam (Flora Fauna International), China (WWF panda reserves, pilot of Green Globe IES and development of Community Based Tourism in Sichuan Province) and the Philippines (development of an Ecotourism Strategy for Department of Tourism). She was one of the founders of Ecotourism Australia and co-authored the world’s first ecotourism certification program as well as an EcoGuide program. Alice has worked extensively with development of standards, administration, training and auditing of sustainable tourism certification programs around the world, including  Australia’s ECO Certification program, Respect Our Culture (Australian indigenous tourism) and Green Globe 21’s (International Ecotourism Standard).

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