GSTC Working Groups

The GSTC Secretariat 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.

Destination Stewardship Working Group (DSWG)

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:

  • Jonathan Tourtellot (Co-Chair) [USA]
  • Randy Durband, GSTC CEO (Co-Chair) [Korea]
  • Kathleen Pessolano (Vice-Chair), GSTC Destination Program Director [USA]
  • Aditi Chanchani, Tourism Researcher and Consultant [India]
  • Bradd Morse, Canopy Consulting Inc [USA]
  • Dr. Ioannis Pappas [Greece]
  • Jana Apih, Good Place [Slovenia]
  • Jeremy Sampson, The Travel Foundation [UK]
  • Jorge Moller, Regenera ONG [Chile]
  • Mafila Richard Malesu, Botswana Tourism Organization [Botswana]
  • Dr. Mihee Kang [Korea]
  • Nicola Koschel, WWF [Germany]
  • Patricio Diaz, ITR/Biosphere [Spain]
  • Timothy O’Donoghue, Riverwind Foundation [USA]
  • Prof. Urs Wagenseil, Institute of Tourism – Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts [Switzerland]
  • Dr. Jonathon Day, Purdue University [USA]
  • Lena Allen, Arizona Office of Tourism [USA]

International Standards Committee (ISC)

Through this Committee (formerly a 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:

  • Dr. Kelly Bricker (Co-Chair), Arizona State University, GSTC Board of Directors [USA]
  • Richard Denman (Co-Chair) [UK]
  • Dr. Anna Spenceley [PNG]
  • Brianda Lopez, Hosteling International [UK]
  • Eric Ricaurte, Greenview [Singapore]
  • Freeda Maria, PhD, Founder and Head, Darti [India]
  • Heidi van der Watt, GSTC Board of Directors [New Zealand]
  • Ingunn Sørnes, Innovation Norway [Norway]
  • Jackie Denman [UK]
  • Jorge Moller, Regenera ONG [Chile]
  • Julie Klein, Confluence Sustainability [USA]
  • Nicola Koschel, WWF [Germany]
  • Nicolas Dubrocard, Solutions Tourism [Hong Kong]
  • Nikolas Bakaris [Greece]
  • Melinda Watt, EarthCheck [Australia]

Communications & Marketing Working Group (CMWG)

Supports the GSTC’s activities relation to internal and external communications, curation of content, knowledge management, and networking. Current members:

  • Dr. Jonathon Day (Chair), Purdue University [USA]
  • Roi Ariel, GSTC General Manager [Taiwan]
  • Alexandra Pastollnigg, Fair Voyage [Switzerland]
  • Cher Chua-Lassalvy, Batu Batu Tengah Island & Tengah Island Conservation [Malaysia]
  • Chi Lo, Travelife [USA]
  • Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere, Colorado State University [USA]
  • Dr. David Randle, University of South Florida [USA]
  • Emi Kaiwa, GSTC Membership Coordinator [Japan]
  • Frida Bahja, University of Central Florida [USA]
  • Jason Lin, Talent Basket [USA/Taiwan]
  • Jonathan Tourtellot, Destination Stewardship Center [USA]
  • Dr. Kelly Bricker, Arizona State University [USA]
  • Dr. Ivana Damnjanovic, Singidunum University [Serbia]
  • Tiffany Chan, GSTC Communications Coordinator [Canada]

Education & Training Working Group (ETWG)

Supports the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) and builds education and capacity-building opportunities through partnerships with universities and other industry organizations. Current members:

  • Prof. Urs Wagenseil (Chair), Institute of Tourism – Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts [Switzerland]
  • Antje Martins, University of Queensland, Business School [Australia]
  • Beatriz P Soto [France]
  • CB (Ram) Ramkumar, Green Dreams for the Planet [India]
  • Dr. Rosemary Black, Charles Sturt University [Australia]
  • David Randle, University of South Florida [USA]
  • Herbert Hamele, ECOTRANS [Germany]
  • Jorge Moller, Regenera ONG [Chile]
  • Dr. Kelly Bricker, Arizona State University [USA]
  • Dr. Kimberly Langmaid, Walking Mountains Science Center [USA]
  • Manuel Julien Miroglio, Technological University of Leon [Mexico]
  • Tiffany Rhodes, Jonson and Wales University [Wales]
  • Tina H. Zakonjšek, Good Place [Slovenia]

Business Travel Working Group (BTWG)

BTWG seeks to reach new audiences and attract membership among MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conventions, Events) and Corporate Travel Managers (CTM) and suppliers. While most destinations and hotels accommodate both tourists and business clients, it is important to acknowledge the specialized needs and opportunities in the business market. The BTWG enables GSTC to better address these and ensure sustainability criteria are relevant.

  • Horst Bayer, TravelHorst (Chair) [Germany]
  • Aryphone Belly [France]
  • Benjamin Wong, Tricolage [Japan]
  • Gaurav Sundaram [India]
  • Lynne Good [UK]
  • Ola Ohlson [Sweden]
  • Peter Skieller [Denmark]
  • Shiva Segaram [Malaysia]
  • Viola Vorstoffel [Germany]
  • Terue Ishige [Japan]
  • Albena Taseva [Denmark]
  • Marijke Poppink [Netherlands]
  • Sesilia Kalss, AMERICAN EXPRESS GBT [Germany]
  • Bernard Harrop [Spain]
  • Rebecca Bartlett-Jones, Green Key Global [Canada]

India Working Group (India WG)

As the name suggests, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is truly global. As such, we have a dedicated Director and a Working Group focused on India. More info on GSTC in India.

  • Aditi Chanchani, Tourism Researcher and Consultant (Chair)
  • CB Ramkumar, GSTC Board Member & South Asia Director 
  • Freeda Maria, Founder and Head, Dharthi
  • Rajesh Nambiar, CEO and Chief Consultant, Provork

Market Access Working Group (MAWG)

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, the GSTC Secretariat leads the activities relates to market access. The MAWG is no longer active.

Join the GSTC Working Groups

GSTC members who wish to join a GSTC Working Group, please contact: or visit the members area after logging in.