Board of Directors

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Board of Directors 2017-07-25T11:22:45+00:00

Luigi Cabrini, Chair

Advisor to the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Region: Global
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

Luigi Cabrini 120

Luigi Cabrini is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and an Advisor to the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Mr. Cabrini has been the Director of the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Programme from 2007 until 2013, focusing its activities on tourism and climate change, tourism and biodiversity, observatories for sustainable tourism, tourism in the green economy, tourism and heritage and global partnerships. From 2002 to 2007 he was UNWTO Regional Representative for Europe and Secretary of the UNWTO General Assembly and Executive Council. From 1982 to 2002 he was responsible of United Nations programmes for development and assistance and protection of refugees, including Representative’s positions in Guatemala, Mexico, Somalia, Pakistan, Poland and Spain. Luigi Cabrini is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish and has basic knowledge of Russian and Polish. He is the author of various articles, speeches and papers.


Dr. Kelly S. Bricker, Vice-Chair and Treasurer

Associate Professor and Director at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
Region: North America
Category: Academia (Voting Member)

Dr. Bricker is a Professor of Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. She completed her Ph.D. research with the Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and protected area management. She has special research and teaching interest in ecotourism, natural resource management, and the environmental and social impacts of tourism.  Kelly has conducted research and presented on issues in ecotourism, visitor management, impacts of tourism, and natural resource management for nature-based tourism. She has published protected areas, ecotourism certification and policy, and health and sustainable tourism relative to impacts on communities.  With Rosemary Black and Stuart Cottrell, she authored and edited a book titled Sustainable Tourism & the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Positive Change. Most recently, she co-edited a new textbook with Dr. Rosemary Black, titled Adventure Programing and Travel for the 21st Century.  With partners in OARS and her husband, she developed an ecotourism operation called Rivers Fiji. She currently serves as the Vice Chair and Treasurer for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and serves as an Advisory Board member to GPRED.


Jane Ashton, Vice-Chair

Director of Sustainability of TUI Group
Region: Global
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

JaneAshton 120

Jane Ashton is the Director of Sustainability of TUI Group, the world’s number one integrated tourism group created from the merger between TUI AG and TUI Travel PLC (December 2014). In this role Ashton heads up the development of policy and strategies to steer TUI Group towards becoming a more sustainable business. She also works with NGOs, industry peers, government and international bodies to help develop strategies for sustainable tourism. Since 2001 she has pioneered sustainable tourism, first at First Choice Holidays, with her remit broadening early in 2008 to become Head of Sustainable Development of TUI Travel PLC and then Director of Group Sustainable Development in March 2011. Jane has a degree from Bristol University, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Business from Cambridge University Program for Industry.


Chi Lo, Board Secretary

Engagement Strategist and Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Region: East Asia & the Pacific
Category: Travel & Trade Association (Voting Member)

Chi Lo 120

Chi Lo is the Engagement Strategist and Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at PATA and is currently working on building the organization’s sustainability strategy and CSR innitiatives. Over the past seven years Chi has gained experience in travel trade associations, environmental non-profits, and travel marketing organizations in Africa, Asia, and North America with the Uganda Community Tourism Association under the USAID-STAR project, the Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia, the National Tour Association, the Center for Responsible Travel, and the Africa Travel Association.


Randy Durband

Chief Executive Officer of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
Region: Global
Category: CEO (Non-voting Member)

Randy Durband 120

Randy Durband has had two careers in travel and tourism – twenty-plus years in senior leadership positions at some of the finest U.S. tour operators, having served as President for Travcoa, INTRAV, and Clipper Cruise Lines, (brands within TUI Travel plc), plus Executive Vice President of Tauck World Discovery. Following that, in his second travel and tourism career, Randy advanced the work of Sustainable Tourism as an advisor, consultant, and speaker. He brings his knowledge of the business of travel, his global network of travel professionals, and a passion for sustainability to support the GSTC and the general sustainable tourism movement.


Andreas Mueseler

Vice-Chair of the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI)
Region: Global
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

Andreas Mueseler 120

Andreas Mueseler was the Sustainability Manager at DER Touristik, the second largest tourism company in Germany, from 1996 to 2015. He began his professional career in 1984 as an academically qualified engineer in the air and space technology field. In 1989 he joined the chemical industry field as a Managing Director, where he took responsibility for environmental affairs. After a two-year consultancy period as an environmental technology and eco-auditor in 1994-1996, he joined DER Touristik. He is also the Chair of the Sustainability Committee of the German Travel Association, a Board Member of the Tourism Child Protection Code, and the Vice-Chair of the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) which recently merged with GSTC.


Beatriz Barreal Danel

Founder and CEO of Sustainable Riviera Maya
Region: Americas
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

Beatriz Barreal 120

Beatriz Barreal Danel is currently the CEO – founder of Sustainable Riviera Maya. Since 2009 Beatriz has dedicated her time to the success of Sustainable Riviera Maya. She dedicated efforts for making Sustainable Tourism the primary engine for development, wealth and the engine of peace; preserving at the same time, natural treasures, local culture and society, as providing a linking platform that encourages seminars, congresses, encounters, processes, training and certifications, in sustainable strategies, solutions and actions in the Riviera Maya, aligned to international standards and knowledge. She is also responsible for developing marketing strategies, branding and communication in the corporate field. From 1989 to 2013 Beatriz was the founder of Beatriz Barreal Consultancy and from 1993-2000 the Founder and CEO of Neographika Inc. Additionally, from 1995-2009 Beatriz supported locally based NGO’s in the State of Quintana Roo. She dedicated her time to support environmental conservation, empowering women and indigenous groups, and addressing issues concerning teenagers in risk categories, due to domestic conditions and health. For 11 years Beatriz was a Board Member for the AMIGOS DE SIAN KA’AN Assoc. During that time she developed corporate image, created a corporate communication strategy, and ran fundraising and communication campaigns.


Cathy Parsons

Accreditation Panel Chair at GSTC
Region: Global
Category: Accreditation Panel (Non-voting Member)

cathy parsons 120

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-90s 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.


CB (Ram) Ramkumar

Director of Green Dreams for the Planet
Region: South Asia
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

CB Ramkumar 120

CB Ramkumar has been an active GSTC member, serving formerly on the GSTC Election Committee and was influential in the adoption in 2014 by the government of India of national sustainable tourism standards which drew heavily from the GSTC Criteria. Ram is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant, an entrepreneur and an expert in applied sustainability. He developed a model for sustainable living when he built the first 100% eco resort – Our Native Village in Bangalore, India. Over the last decade, he has extended his expertise to sustainable living – sustainable food, sustainable health, sustainable service, marketing & branding. Ram had been an advertising and marketing professional for two decades. His long career in the advertising & marketing took him to global companies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis and Standard Chartered Bank.


Dr. Dirk Glaesser

Director for Sustainable Development of Tourism Department at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Region: Global
Category: UNWTO (Voting Member)

Dirk Glaesser 120

Dirk Glaesser is Director for Sustainable Development of Tourism Department at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The department deals with the different challenges and opportunities of tourism development, among them environment and planning, investment and finance, risk and crisis management. He supervises the Consulting Unit on Biodiversity and Tourism of the Organization based in Bonn, Germany. Dr. Glaesser obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Lüneburg, Germany and won the ITB scientific award for his work on Crisis Management. He is the author of a number of publications which have been widely translated. Dr. Glaesser is married and has two children.


Heidi van der Watt

Director of Better Tourism Africa
Region: Africa
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

Heidi 120

Heidi van der Watt graduated with a Masters in Town and Regional Planning from the University of Stellenbosch and started off working for South African Tourism (national tourism organization), establishing a new division focusing on destination planning and development. She has been a notable contributor to policy and strategic developments related to sustainable tourism in South Africa for the last decade. Most recently, she assisted the National Department of Tourism (NDT) to draft South Africa’s national standard for Responsible Tourism, adopted through the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) as a South African National Standard (SANS 116:2010) in 2010. She was instrumental in the development of an associated accreditation for conformity assessment bodies, currently being rolled out by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), on behalf of NDT. She also assisted the NDT with the drafting of a National Strategy for Responsible Tourism for South Africa in 2012. Ms. van der Watt has specialist knowledge of all aspects of destination development and management, including tourism sector strategy, market assessment and marketing, product development, spatial planning, institutional development, training and skills development and monitoring and evaluation.


Huang Linmu

Director of Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area Administrative Committee (HSAC)
Region: East Asia and the Pacific
Category: Public Authority (Voting Member)

Huang Linmu 120

Huang Linmu serves as the Director of the Mount Huangshan Administrative Committee (HSAC), President of the Huangshan Tourism Development Group, and Chairman of the Board of the Huangshan Tourism Development Company, Ltd. In addition to these high leadership roles at the popular and important World Heritage site of Mount Huangshan, he is Vice-Chair of the China Landscape and Historic Sites Association, Vice-Chair of the China Tourist Attractions Association, Standing Director of the China Tourism Association (CTA), and a founding member of Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Destination Leadership Network. Prior to these important leadership roles in tourism, and he had served as the Deputy Mayor of Huangshan for 7 years. He applied his university training as a mechanical and electrical engineering to management and executive positions in an impressive array of sectors.


Dr. Ioannis Pappas

CEO of Green Evolution SA
Region: Europe
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

Ioannis Pappas 120

Dr. Ioannis Pappas is a GSTC authorized Trainer. He is the CEO of Green Evolution SA, an experienced professional engineer, with over 25 years of work in several fields of science, focusing on sustainability and tourism, energy and environmental efficiency in infrastructure and buildings. He is also auditing and advising on standardization of companies and technological implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation methodologies. Dr. Pappas is Co-founder and a Board Member in a number of organizations (Sustainable Building Council of Greece, Hellenic Passive House Institute, Hellenic Start Up Association) as well as Co-founder of the Hellenic Ecotourism Society. He worked with the Joint Research Center-IE of European Commission and was a Greek representative as expert for ITL at UNFCCC.


Jorge Moller

Owner of Darwin’s Trails Chile
Region: Americas
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

Jorge Moller 120

Jorge Moller started with ecotourism in 1985 in the South of Chile, always aware of bringing an environmental education perspective into a tourism experience. Moller is the Owner of Darwin’s Trails Chile, a joint English-Chilean inbound Tour Operator with 20 years of experience providing authentic local experiences and local people contact for clients visiting Chile and Patagonia. Jorge works as a consultant with indigenous communities such as the Mapuches, Likan Antai and Rapa-Nui to provide them tools for sustainable development. As an active member of the Board of the Chilean Tourism Bureau, Moller promotes the country of Chile in a sustainable way so as to include all type of experiences around the multiple Chilean territories. Jorge is also a teacher at the Universidad Católica and a strategic partner of Fedetur (installing the Sustainable Distinction “S” in Hotels and Tour Operators coming up…). In 2013, Moller participated in the GSTC Early Adopter Program in Chile and had the privilege to represent Chile’s Lake Region at the GSTC AGM in Bonito, Brazil. Jorge was instrumental in the cofounding and development of the South American Sustainable Tourism Network (SAST Network), which came into existence after this year’s GSTC AGM and the ESTC in Bonito, Brazil. Jorge is also a GSTC Country Representative and trainer in Chile.


Judy Kepher-Gona

Founder and Director of Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda (STTA)
Region: Africa
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

Judy Kepher Gona 120

Judy is a specialist on Ecotourism with over 15 years experience in ecotourism, sustainable tourism, community development, and certification. She played significant role in development of criteria for Kenya’s Eco-rating scheme for hotels, camps and lodges, the Kenya Safari Codes and designed the Eco-warrior Awards. Apart from experience working in Kenya, Judy is an international speaker on ecotourism and has made many presentations at signature ecotourism events globally. From 2008, Judy has served as a judge and/or assessor for the World Travel and Tourism Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. In 2011-2012, Judy served as a board member of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) but resigned due to pressing commitments. She is a siting member of the Advisory Board of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). In 2014, she was selected by National Geographic to be a judge of the Nat Geo World legacy Awards. She is a Director at African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and Trustee of Basecamp Foundation Kenya (BCFK). Judy’s’ other interests are in conservation. Of interest are tools, approaches, policies, and other legal instruments that promote participatory conservation that recognises landowners who live with wildlife on their land. Part of this work involves conservancy planning and advocacy with landowners to ensure the landowners voice is heard and incorporated in formulation of natural resource management policies. In 2013, she co-founded STTA a social enterprise that uses education, research, and training to promote sustainable tourism.


Melinda Watt

Vice President Relationship Management at EarchCheck/EC3
Region: East Asia & the Pacific
Category: Certification (Non-voting Member)

Melinda Watt 120

A scientist by profession, Melinda has been involved in the evolution and application of EarthCheck’s benchmarking indicators and standards for more than a decade. Her current role of Vice President sees her responsible for the day-to-day world-wide operational management of the EarthCheck programme .She is part of the market access working group for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and this sees her working closely with other sustainability leaders internationally. A major part of Melinda’s role involves liaising with the EarthCheck Research Institute’s global base of universities. In this capacity Melinda ensures EarthCheck’s science leverages the most credible, relevant and timely research findings. Melinda also oversees a passionate team of Relationship Managers who help Members to implement world best practice solutions in sustainable operations and design. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Newcastle and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Paul Snyder

Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
Region: Global
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

Paul Snyder 120

Paul Snyder is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), based in Atlanta, GA. He leads IHG’s global sustainability strategy and execution for the company’s over 4,700 hotels worldwide. He also directs the company’s Public Affairs activities in the Americas. He has worked on large-scale projects including co-leading the successful pursuit of the IHG Army Hotels contract, the Global Franchising Project, the creation of the Hotel Ready process, among others. He also serves on IHG’s 401k Investment Committee. Paul joined IHG in 2003. Prior to joining the Corporate Responsibility team, he held the role of Vice President of Portfolio Operations for the Americas. Other positions Paul has held at IHG include Vice President of Development, Marketing and Vice President of Operations and Brand Management. Prior to joining IHG, Paul worked in the Brand Management, IT, and Development departments of Marriott International. He started his career in the hospitality industry with Winegardner & Hammons, Inc., where he began as a line level employee at a Holiday Inn and was promoted into managerial positions in both Food & Beverage and Rooms departments. Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Lawrence University and a Masters of Business Administration at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He and his wife Amy live in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta with their two daughters, Abigail (age ten) and Madeline (age six).


Dr. Rosemary Black

Associate Professor at Charles Sturt Univeristy
Region: Asia-Pacific
Category: Academia (Voting Member)

Rosemary Black 120

Rosemary Black has been active in GSTC KNET working group. She holds a PhD in ecotourism and is Associate Professor in Interpretation and Ecotourism at Charles Sturt University in Australia. She teaches and undertakes research in sustainable tourism, tour guiding, heritage interpretation, sustainable behaviors and adventure tourism. Prior to becoming an academic she worked in protected area management, adventure travel and community conservation. She has published six books and more than 50 refereed publications. Rosemary undertakes applied research with industry partners including protected area management, tourism agencies and community-based organizations. Rosemary has been an active member of the GSTC Education and Training Working Group since 2011. She is on the editorial board of two international tourism journals, was Co-editor for Sustainable Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Change and recently co-authored Tour Guiding Research: Insights, Issues and Implications.


Susana Conde

Founder and Director of Agrotravel Turismo Responsable Position:
Region: Europe
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

Susana Conde 120

Susana Conde is Founder and Director of Agrotravel Turismo Responsable, Spanish Travel Agency, Consultancy and Training on Tourism Sustainability. Expert Consultant and Trainer for Sustainable and Responsible Tourist Management and Green Marketing, CSR in the Tourism Sector and Carbon Footprint in Tourism during last five years. Susana is Partner and Responsible for European Market of the Cultural Tourism and Ecotourism Mexican Operator, Totonal Viajes Que Iluminan. She works like International speaker at and organiser of Sustainable Tourism events and forums. Specialised teaching of Tourism on the Elearning platform LeafMedia Alliance. She regularly works with the media, writing columns for some ecological and tourist publications, in addition to one-off projects with other national and international media. She was Founding partner of the several associations: Bidaietico, Association for the Promotion of Responsible Tourism Interpretur, Iber-American Forum for the Interpretation and Communication of Cultural Heritage in Tourism Arduratur, Basque Centre for Responsible Tourism.