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
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 of the Destinations Working Group are listed belowDrD:

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

International Standards Working Group
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:

  • Richard Denman (Co-Chair), The Tourism Company
  • Kelly Bricker (Co-Chair), GSTC Board of Directors and The University of Utah
  • Nicola Koschel, WWF
  • Brianda Lopez, Hosteling International
  • Eric Ricaurte, Greenview
  • Jackie Denman, The Tourism Company
  • Heidi van der Watt, GSTC Board of Directors and Better Tourism Africa
  • André Russ, EarthCheck
  • Ingunn Sørnes, Innovation Norway
  • Julie Klein, Confluence Sustainability
  • Jorge Moller, Darwins Trails
  • Kathleen Pessolano, GSTC Associate Technical Director
  • Benjamin Lephilibert, LightBlue Consulting

Market Access Working Group
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
  • Jane Ashton, TUI Group
  • Melinda Watt, Earth Check
  • Steve Ball, Hotel Association of Canada / Green Key Global
  • Chris Seek, Solimar International
  • Andrés Fellenberg Van der Molen, Green Partner
  • Paul Snyder, IHG
  • Deby Stabler, Project Azul Verde

Communications & Membership Working Group
Supports the Council’s activities relation to internal communications, membership engagement, membership recruitment and retention, knowledge management, and networking. Current members:

  • Dr. Jonathan Day (Chair), Purdue University and Tourism and Hospitality Research Center
  • Beatriz Barreal, Sustainable Riviera
  • Chi Lo, PATA
  • Dr. David Randle, University of South Florida
  • Dr. Kelly Bricker, University of Utah
  • Christina Cavaliere
  • D'Arcy Dornan
  • Antje Martins, EarthCheck

Education & Training Working Group
Develops and oversees GSTC’s internal Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) and external partnerships regarding training and capacity-building as it relates to sustainability for travel and tourism professionals. Current members:

  • CB (Ram) Ramkumar (Chair), Green Dreams, GSTC Board of Directors
  • Rosemary Black (Vice-Chair), Charles Sturt University, GSTC Board of Directors
  • Ayako Ezaki (Vice-Chair), GSTC Training Director
  • Steve Noakes, CQ University-Australia
  • Naut Kusters, ECEAT
  • David Randle, University of South Florida
  • Jorge Moller, Darwin's Trails Chile
  • Benjamin Lephilibert, Light Blue Consulting

Join the GSTC Working Groups by completing 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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