Working Groups

Working Groups


The GSTC Council has a large mission and a small staff. The efforts of the Working Groups, made up of member volunteers, are vital to the organization. The Working Groups are chaired by a member of the GSTC Board and prepare an annual action plan and accompanying budget that is presented to the Board for approval.


Destinations Working Group (DWG)

This Working Group aims at assisting destinations in maintaining their cultural, environmental and socio-economic integrity through the implementation of the GSTC Destinations Program. The overall goal is to ensure that destinations retain and enhance their distinctive attributes that makes them attractive to beneficial tourism and competitive. Current members:

  • Jorge Moller (Chair), Darwins Trails
  • Kathleen Pessolano (Vice-Chair), GSTC Destination Program Director
  • Dr. Anna Spenceley
  • Joana Homs, Turisme Barcelona
  • Jonathan Tourtellot, National Geographic
  • Neil Rogers, Rogers & Company
  • Patricio Diaz, ITR/Biosphere
  • Richard Malesu, Botswana Tourism Organization
  • Tomas Sanchez, TURISTIKO, Chile


International Standards Working Group (ISWG)

Through this Working Group, the GSTC strives to promote sustainable tourism through the adoption and creation of universal principles for sustainable tourism. The standard setting strategy focuses on the management and revision of the current version of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and the creation or adaptation and distribution of additional criteria, standards and relevant indicators. Current members:

  • Dr. Kelly Bricker (Co-Chair), University of Utah, GSTC Board of Directors
  • Richard Denman (Co-Chair), The Tourism Company
  • Andrés Fellenberg Van der Molen, GSTC Technical Director
  • Melinda Watt, EarthCheck
  • Benjamin Lephilibert, LightBlue Consulting
  • Brianda Lopez, Hosteling International
  • Eric Ricaurte, Greenview
  • Heidi van der Watt, Better Tourism Africa, GSTC Board of Directors
  • Ingunn Sørnes, Innovation Norway
  • Jackie Denman, The Tourism Company
  • Jorge Moller, Darwin's Trails Chile
  • Julie Klein, Confluence Sustainability
  • Nicola Koschel, WWF


Market Access Working Group (MAWG)

The GSTC promotes the development of broad market adoption and application of the GSTC Criteria. With the ultimate goal of increasing demand for sustainable travel and tourism offerings while building trust amongst travelers, this Working Group aims at identifying opportunities and solutions for alignment greater market potential. Current members:

  • Irene Lane (Chair), Greenloons
  • Andrés Fellenberg Van der Molen, Green Partner
  • André Russ, Earth Check
  • Chris Seek, Solimar International
  • Deby Stabler, Project Azul Verde
  • Jane Ashton, TUI Group
  • Paul Snyder, IHG
  • Steve Ball, Hotel Association of Canada / Green Key Global


Communications & Membership Working Group (CMWG)

Supports the GSTC's activities relation to internal communications, membership engagement, membership recruitment and retention, knowledge management, and networking. Current members:

  • Dr. Jonathon Day (Chair), Purdue University and Tourism and Hospitality Research Center
  • Beatriz Barreal, Sustainable Riviera
  • Chi Lo, PATA
  • Christina Cavaliere
  • Dr. David Randle, University of South Florida
  • Emi Kaiwa, GSTC Membership Coordinator
  • Herbert Hamele, ECOTRANS
  • Dr. Kelly Bricker, University of Utah
  • Roi Ariel, GSTC Communications


Education & Training Working Group (ETWG)

Supports the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) and builds education and capacity-building opportunities through partnerships with universities and other industry organizations. Current members:

  • CB (Ram) Ramkumar (Chair), Green Dreams, GSTC Board of Directors
  • Ayako Ezaki (Vice-Chair), TrainingAid, GSTC Training Director
  • Dr. Rosemary Black (Vice-Chair), Charles Sturt University, GSTC Board of Directors
  • Antje Martins, EarthCheck
  • Benjamin Lephilibert, Light Blue Consulting
  • Christina Cavaliere, Stockton University
  • Dr. D'Arcy Dornan, GSTC Brazil Country Representative
  • David Randle, University of South Florida
  • Kimberly Langmaid, Walking Mountains Science Center
  • Herbert Hamele, ECOTRANS
  • Jorge Moller, Darwin's Trails Chile
  • Dr. Kelly Bricker, University of Utah
  • Miki Takashima, Avex Group Holdings
  • Naut Kusters, ECEAT
  • Steve Noakes, CQ University-Australia


Join the GSTC Working Groups

To join the GSTC Working Groups, complete the Application for Working Group Membership and submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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