Luigi Cabrini, Chair

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
Region: Global
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

Luigi Cabrini 120

Mr. Luigi Cabrini is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Mr. Cabrini led several initiatives on sustainable tourism at global level, focusing his activities on tourism and climate change, tourism and biodiversity, observatories for sustainable tourism, the green economy, tourism and heritage and global partnerships. He was the Director of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) Sustainable Tourism Programme until 2014 and previously held the positions of UNWTO Director for Europe and Secretary of the General Assembly and Executive Council. From 2014 to 2018 he was an Advisor to the Secretary-General of the UNWTO. Before joining the UNWTO he has been engaged during 20 years in United Nations programmes for development and for protection of refugees, 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

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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Ioannis Pappas, Treasurer

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 the expert for ITL at UNFCCC.

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)

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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.

Dr. Anna Spenceley

Region: Africa
Category: Academia (Voting Member)

Anna Spenceley 120

Dr. Anna Spenceley is an independent consultant based in South Africa. She works on sustainable tourism issues for a wide range of international agencies, including the World Bank group, the International Trade Centre, UNWTO, UNEP, UNDP and SNV. Anna’s work includes participatory policy and master plan development, triple bottom line assessments (economic, social, and environmental), tourism certification and indicators, market research, value chain analyses and also training. Anna is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), and leads capacity building for the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Sustainable Tourism Forum. Anna is on the editorial boards of the International Journal for Sustainable Tourism and Koedoe. Her book publications include «Tourism and Poverty Reduction», «Responsible Tourism: Critical issues for Conservation and Development» and «Evolution and Innovation in Wildlife Conservation. Anna was a founding board member of the GSTC, and currently sits on the GSTC Destination Working Group and acts as GSTC trainer.

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.

Clark Stevens

Director of the Office of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Airbnb
Region: Global
Category: Industry (Voting Member)

Clark Stevens is the Director of the Office of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Airbnb, where he oversees federal engagement as well as global initiatives and strategic partnerships that support Airbnb’s global policy work. Clark joined Airbnb after an extensive career in government and political campaigns. Directly prior to Airbnb, Clark was the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). From 2010-2013, Clark was an Assistant Press Secretary at the White House, where he served as a chief spokesperson for President Obama and oversaw communications related to energy and environmental policy, as well as homeland security issues and disaster response. Clark joined the Administration in 2009 as the Press Secretary for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, after working on the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee as well as the 2008 Obama for America campaign, where he worked in a number of states during the primary campaign, and in Virginia during the general election. Clark is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, ME.

Dr. Dave Randle

Director of Sustainable Tourism, USF College of Global Sustainability
Region: North America
Category: NGO (Voting Member)

Dave holds a B.A. from California Lutheran University, an M-Div. from the Iliff School of Theology, and a doctorate in Spiritual Disciplines, Wellness and Environmental Concerns from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. He currently directs the Sustainable Tourism concentration for the USF College of Global Sustainability and serves as president and executive director of the WHALE Center (a UNWTO Affiliate), and Managing Director of the International Ocean Institute Waves of Change initiative.Dr. Randle is the Managing Director of the UNWTO Blue Community Sustainable Tourism Observatory, member of the UNWTO Steering Committee for the UN Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development, and the board of directors for the Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism.

Heidi van der Watt

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

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.

Ingunn Sørnes

Special Adviser, Innovation Norway
Region: Europe
Category: Public Authority (Voting Member)

Ingunn started her career in the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Rural Development. Here she worked on rural development and diversification in agriculture, with a special focus on empowering women and youths within agriculture and rural sectors. Ingunn has also some years from the State Bank of Agriculture and the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (SND), in both organizations she was involved in funding, research coordination and training programs. A large merge of sector-specific organizations led to the establishment of Innovation Norway (IN) in 2005, assisting innovation and economic development in different sectors in Norway, among them tourism. Since 2007 Ingunn has been responsible for the policy and programs of Innovation Norway on sustainable tourism. Most of her time the last years has been invested in building a tool and a standard for sustainable tourism at destination level, assisting DMOs in their work towards sustainability. Ingunn serves on the GSTC International Standards Working Group. 

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. Founder of Regenera NGO.

Patricio Azcárate Díaz de Losada

General Secretary, Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI)
Region: Europe
Category: Certification (Non-voting Member)

Patricio has more than 15 years of professional experience in the field of scientific research and the tourism sector. He has been responsible for the management of RTI (Responsible Tourism Institute) for the last 5 years, coordinating the strategy of the Biosphere projects at an international level. Among other activities, he has been responsible for the Strategic Tourism Plan in León (Spain) and Ibagué (Colombia), as well as coordinating the certification of all the Biosphere hotels and the hotel chain Hoteles City in Mexico (made up of 100 hotels). Patricio holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, an MBA from the MBA Business School and a master’s degree in Biotechnology from Aliter Escuela de Negocios. He has conducted audits and consultancy processes in more than 200 hotels and 25 destinations, with an in-depth knowledge of the certification process and the sustainability aspects that are necessary for the tourism industry.

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.

Wu Wenda

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

Wu Wenda serves as Executive Director of Mt. Huangshan Administrative Committee (HSAC), Vice-Chair of China Association of National Parks and Scenic Sites and Chairman of China Mountain Tourism Alliance. Prior to these important leadership roles in tourism, he served as the Deputy Mayor and Secretary of the Political and Judiciary Commission of Huangshan City from 2012 to 2018. From 2001 to 2012, he served for the governments of two famous cultural and tourist counties (Shexian County and Yixian County) in Huangshan. From 1996 to 2001, he served as the Deputy Director of Huangshan Environment Protection Bureau. Majored in Chemistry and Economic Management, he worked for college youth association and student management after graduation from Huangshan University in 1985.