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 below:

  • 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.

  • 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 of the Market Access Working Group are listed below:

  • 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

Knowledge, Networking, Education and Training (KNET) Working Group
The KNET Working Group is tasked with developing and identifying the best available tools and resources to facilitate the transition to sustainable practices. Courses are designed for anyone in the travel and tourism industry, to build capacity amongst organizations promoting and selling tourism businesses, products and services while assisting them in sensitizing customers to more sustainable travel options. Current members of the KNET Working Group are listed below:

  • Jonathan Day (Chair), Purdue University and Tourism and Hospitality Research Center
  • Herbert Hamele (Vice-Chair), ECOTRANS
  • Christina Cavaliere (Secretary)
  • Steve Noakes, CQ University-Australia
  • Naut Kusters, ECEAT
  • David Randle, University of South Florida
  • Judy Kepher-Gona, Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda (STTA)
  • Rosemary Black, Charles Sturt University
  • Jorge Moller, Darwin's Trails Chile
  • Kelly Bricker, GSTC Board of Directors and The University of Utah
  • Benjamin Lephilibert, Light Blue Consulting


Join the GSTC Working Groups by completing the Application for Working Group Membership

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