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. He has held several board positions and committee memberships in travel and tourism organizations, and is a frequent speaker on sustainable tourism issues.
Roi Ariel has been focusing on responsible travel and sustainable tourism over the past decade. In his role at GSTC, Roi manages the organization’s memberships, communications, events and operations. He previously worked with UN-ESCAP researching sustainable development and green growth in Southeast Asia, and on sustainability issues with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Prior to his move to Asia, Roi worked with Friends of the Middle East in Israel as the Green Economy Initiative Advisor. Roi holds a master degree in Applied Economic and Social Development from the National Chengchi University in Taipei, and a bachelor degree in International Relations and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. With his master thesis titled “Common Pool Resource Management and Benefit Distribution in Community Based Tourism”, he speaks as a guest lecturer at universities and presents at academic conferences.
Ayako Ezaki is Co-Founder and Director of Training Strategies & Development at TrainingAid, an international tourism and training company offering training and skills development opportunities for tourism industry professionals. Having worked for more than a decade in tourism professional training and education, Ayako specializes in content building, educational program design, training facilitation and project planning. She also brings many years of experience in online communications and content marketing. Through TrainingAid’s partnership with the GSTC, Ayako serves as Training Director to develop, manage and market the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program, and over the last few years has worked with hundreds of tourism industry professionals from around the world supporting sustainability practices for tourism businesses and destinations. In addition, Ayako serves as the Expert Coordinator for Tourism Declares Climate Emergency, a global network of tourism industry stakeholders coming together to make tourism more climate positive.
Claudia Bustinza is a tourism administrator passionate about cultural heritage issues, particularly on building synergies between tourism and culture to foster local development. Before joining GSTC, Claudia provided consultancy services in Spain, UK, and Peru leading collaborative projects in multicultural environments. Claudia has in-depth experience of the tourism sector specializing in tourism product and destination development, air connectivity, promotion of public and private investment, research, marketing and cultural management. She has worked for national and local authorities such as Plan COPESCO Nacional – Peru’s National Agency in charge of tourism public investment, The Metropolitan Municipality of Lima and The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru. Claudia holds a Master on Responsible Tourism Management from Leeds Beckett University, and an International Master in Innovative Hospitality Management from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi at Ramon Llull University, Spain. Claudia is currently based in Surrey, UK.
Dr. Mihee Kang, Program Director – Asia-Pacific Region
Dr. Mihee Kang is the GSTC Director for the Asia Pacific region, as well as an authorized trainer and destination assessor. She has taught and researched ecotourism and sustainable tourism at several universities since receiving her Ph.D. degree in 1999 from Seoul National University. As the first Ph.D. in ecotourism in S. Korea and a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) Young Scientists Awards 2000 winner, she has been involved in sustainable tourism policy development and sustainability assessments of various types of destinations in S. Korea and other countries over 20 years. She has served in both domestic and international organizations such as Korean Geopark Committee, Korea Islands Foundation, Korea Trails and Culture, Jeju World Heritage Committee, Korea Forest Education Committee, Asian Ecotourism Network, etc. She has actively participated in numerous research projects and ODA projects in Korea and abroad. Dr. Kang has published many articles and books including a recent book about ecotourism in Asian countries.
Dr. Ioannis Pappas, Program Director – Mediterranean Region
Dr. Ioannis Pappas sits on the GSTC Board of Directors and acts as the Treasurer of GSTC. He is the GSTC Representative in the Mediterranean Region, and a GSTC authorized Trainer. Dr. Pappas 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.
Jorge Moller is a sustainable tourism expert with nearly 40 years of leadership and hands-on experience in Chile and throughout Latin America. Currently, Jorge is the Director of Regenera ONG, which is a GSTC Training Partner that delivers training courses in Spanish online and in Latin America. Through Regenera, Jorge builds bridges with indigenous communities to create authentic experiences for tourists by sharing their culture and beliefs while generating income to sustain their way of life. Jorge has been involved with the GSTC since 2013, when he participated in the GSTC Early Adopter Program in Chile. He aslso served on the GSTC Board of Directors for a number of years. Jorge was instrumental in the cofounding and development of the South American Sustainable Tourism Network (SAST Network). Also co-founder of LACEN (Latin American and Caribbean Ecotourism Network) and on the board of GEN (Global Ecotourism Network). He regularly shares his expertise as trainer, consultant and speaker, lecturing on tourism and sustainable development in events throughout the region. Jorge is especially passionate about his work with the Mapuche and other indigenous peoples in Chile.
Kathleen Pittman, Special Projects & Destination Assessor
Kathleen Pittman is a leading technical expert on the application of the GSTC Criteria by businesses and government, supporting specific partnerships, special projects, and as a Destination Assessor and a GSTC Trainer. Kathleen is an attorney and international practitioner at the intersection of tourism and sustainable development. Kathleen especially enjoys working with partners devising strategies to deepen community benefits from tourism, including building capacity and market access for local entrepreneurs and other suppliers. Kathleen previously served as an attorney for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Before law school, Kathleen helped the Center for International Private Enterprise advance private sector development in Latin America & the Caribbean.
Emi Kaiwa specializes in tourism and hospitality, sustainable tourism, project management and administration, and is experienced in the regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Working in different industries and countries have given Emi a varied skillset and the ability to multitask and handle multiple projects simultaneously. Prior to joining GSTC, Emi worked with the leading sustainability organizations, such as University of Cagliari, South Sardinia, SWITCH-Asia, and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Emi holds an MBA in Tourism from University in Thailand, with a concentration in sustainable tourism in Asia. She is currently based in Tokyo, Japan.
Jackie studied maths and geography at Cambridge University and has been an Associate of The Tourism Company since its inception in 1991. Jackie has a long held and special interest in the interface between people, place and the environment and has specialised in sustainable tourism and tourism in rural and protected areas. She has worked on destination management plans and on product development strategy and evaluation. She has co-authored publications for the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), IUCN and the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity. In 2009, Jackie was awarded with distinction an MSc in Sustainable Development (Environmental Management) with Imperial College, London; she is an Environmental Partner of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management.
Richard is Director of The Tourism Company, a small specialist tourism consultancy based on the UK. Following a degree in Economics from Cambridge University and a doctorate based on tourism research, Richard worked for ten years as development and marketing director for the tourist board in central England. He has been a consultant since 1990 and has worked in over fifty countries. In 2005 he wrote the policy guide Making Tourism More Sustainable for UNEP and UNWTO, and has continued to work with them and a number of international agencies on sustainability issues, including the preparation of various good practice guides. Richard has worked at a local level with many destinations round the world and has a particular interest in tourism in protected areas. In 2009/10 he undertook the initial work on developing the accreditation process for the predecessor body to the GSTC. Richard is a former Board Director of The International Ecotourism Society and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Travel Foundation.
David Andrés Ortegón-Martínez, Associate Technical Director
David’s experience on sustainability include his work as Sustainability Corporate Director at Karisma Hotels & Resorts in México, Jamaica and Dominican Republic, the development of the SM@RT Manager program, created to integrate Project Management, International Quality Standards (The Leading Hotels of the World – AAA) Innovation and CSR under a Sustainable approach into the daily operation of Hotels & Accommodations, and the development of the Sustainable Tourism Model for the State of Guanajuato, México. David is General Director and Owner of KAI Sustainable Coaching, a company based in México and Dominican Republic, created to assist tourism businesses in Latin America and The Caribbean to integrate Sustainability into their Management Systems and use it as a key element to optimize the use of its resources and its competitiveness on the market. David holds a Master on Leadership & Environmental Management from the UCI Costa Rica and an International Master in Local/Rural Development from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Dr. Yoonjeong Jeong is a postdoctoral fellow at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. She holds a Masters and PhD degree in Forest Environmental Science from Seoul National University. Her research focused on sustainable tourism and ecotourism. She has also conducted research on community-based tourism and tourism governance. Currently she is focusing on tourism big-data as well. She has actively participated in Korean government-funded research projects which are related to the aforementioned research areas. To date, she (co-)authored many refereed papers including the recent article about factors influencing community-based tourism in developing and developed countries.