Screen Shot 2015 09 17 at 11.31.16 PMThe GSTC 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held September 10-13, hosted by long-time member Huangshan Administrative Committee (HSAC) which manages the World Heritage site of Mount Huangshan, China.

The AGM featured a keynote address on sustainable destinations from Jonathan Tourtellot of National Geographic, and workshops and panel discussions from industry and government leaders, updates on GSTC’s activities, a presentation on IHG’s Green Engage Program and the management of the IHG Crowne Plaza Yucheng Huanshan where the meeting was held, a visit to the protected area/World Heritage site, and extensive networking among participants.

Program Highlights:

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  • Opening remarks by GSTC Board Chair Luigi Cabrini and Huangshan City Vice-Mayor Mr. Zhou Tian Wei
  • GSTC Current and Future priorities presented by CEO Randy Durband
  • Sustainable Destination Management panel discussion led by Jonathan Tourtellot of National Geographic and GSTC’s Destination Stewardship Working Group; with panelists Huang Linmu, Executive Director HSAC and GSTC Board Member; Andreas Mueseler, DER Turistik and GSTC Board Member; and Marco Sepulveda,  Earthcheck
  • Consultation Workshop on the development of a new set of GSTC Criteria designed for national and provincial standards, “GSTC Country” – led by GSTC Technical Director Guy Chester
  • Workshop on China Mountain Tourism sustainable management
  • Workshop on expanding the application of GSTC Criteria, a discussion led by Kelly Bricker, University of Utah and Vice-Chair of GSTC
  • Presentation on IHG Hotel Group’s “Green Engage” program, which included the host Crowne Plaza Yucheng Huangshan Hotel
  • Workshop on “Mainstreaming Sustainability”, examining the challenges and opportunities for sales and marketing of sustainable travel product; Moderated by GSTC CEO Randy Durband with panelists Heidi van der Watt, Better Tourism Africa and GSTC Board Member; Hugh Kim of Gyeonngi Tourism Organization (Gyeonngi Province, South Korea)