The GSTC Board of Directors plays an integral role in the leadership of the organization. Most seats on the board are filled via annual elections of and by current members of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The GSTC Election Committee has validated the votes and released the results of the 2023 election.

Three board members were newly elected to 3-year terms: Kate Heiny (Vice President of Sustainability at Booking Holdings), Matthias Beyer (CEO of Mascontour), Dr. Yasemin Biro Kirtman (Knowledge and Learning Coordinator at the Policy, Partnerships and Operations Unit, Global Environment Facility GEF). One board member was re-elected to 3-year term: Beatriz Barreal Danel (Founder and CEO of Sustainable Riviera Maya).

Kate Heiny
Vice President of Sustainability at Booking Holdings

Matthias Beyer 
CEO of Mascontour

Dr. Yasemin Biro Kirtman
Policy, Partnerships and Operations, GEF

Beatriz Barreal Danel

Beatriz Barreal Danel
Founder and CEO of Sustainable Riviera Maya

Commenting on the election, GSTC Board Chair, Luigi Cabrini stated: “I wish to warmly welcome the newly elected board members. They reflect the diversity of the GSTC membership and represent different perspectives and interests while sharing the commitment to a more sustainable tourism. GSTC has steadily grown and consolidated its role as the organization responsible for the establishment and management of sustainability standards. The Board, therefore, plays a key role at a time of strong demand on GSTC services.”

“The topic of sustainability in tourism has been discussed for more than 30 years, but never before has it been taken as seriously by the tourism industry, consumers and politicians as it is today. This is not least due to the fact that the negative impacts of tourism are becoming more and more obvious and awareness for changing travel behaviour and sustainable development in the industry is growing. It has taken a long time, too long in my view, to get to this point. I am all the more pleased that the issue of sustainability can now be advanced more quickly and effectively in order to achieve the necessary turnaround towards a resilient and future-oriented tourism. The GSTC Criteria, as a global standard, play a key role in this. Therefore, I am very proud to be part of the GSTC Board of Directors and to contribute my experience as an international consultant for sustainable tourism to the further development of GSTC in the future.”

Matthias Beyer, Founder and Managing Director of Mascontour GmbH.

“It will be a privilege and an honor to serve on the GSTC Board, and to contribute to GSTC’s notable efforts, promoting sustainability in tourism across the globe. I am excited to bring the perspective of multilateral environmental governance, finance, policy and standards to GSTC. As a Board member, I look forward to engaging with partners at all levels to expand knowledge sharing and learning globally, and to help catalyze cross-sectoral investments in sustainable tourism. I believe such investments will be critical in addressing climate change and preventing further environmental degradation and poverty.” 

Dr. Yasemin Biro Kirtman, Policy, Partnerships and Operations, Global Environment Facility (GEF)

“It is a big honor and responsibility to be re-elected to a board of a global standard-setter that has led the adoption of sustainability criteria in such an important industry as tourism. Localizing global standards is a a big challenge, and at the same time, raising awareness that good practices, are indeed, the best way to reassess local identity, raise local pride while both, local and residents, can love and care about destinations, and finally, make out of sustainability – measured and monitored – the highest priority while showcasing variety in experiences around the world in their unparalleled beautiful identity.”

Beatriz Barreal, Founder & CEO Sustainable Riviera Maya, NGO, Mexico

The new term will begin on September 1st.

Members of the GSTC Board of Directors are elected by current members of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). All GSTC members in good standing are eligible to nominate candidates for the board and to cast votes in the election. Non-members are not eligible for nomination and are encouraged to become members for at least one year prior to running for board election.