Randy at UN DPI NGO Conf 27Aug2014WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 9, 2014)–  At the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) Annual NGO Conference, held August 27th to August 29th, GSTC’s CEO Randy Durband, presented at a workshop focusing on sustainable tourism’s role in addressing global issues. Also presenting at the workshop was GSTC Co-Chair, Dr. Kelly Bricker, and GSTC Member Dr. David Randle representing the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability.

The workshop assisted participants in understanding the concepts of sustainable tourism and the GSTC Criteria. Also discussed were examples of how tourism is supporting the new green economy, alleviating poverty, and combating climate change. Presenters shared best practices, and examined Walt Disney Company as a case study in implementing sustainable tourism practices including the 12 blue community strategies.

According to Mr. Durband, “The GSTC is working towards the inclusion of sustainable tourism goals being included in the UN’s Post-2015 replacement of the Millennium Development Goals. Travel and tourism constitute a significant portion of global jobs, with much potential for poverty reduction as the global population of outbound travelers is growing substantially. Tourism offers opportunity for economic development. As the managers of global baseline standards for sustainability in travel & tourism, GSTC plays a central role in that discussion.”

 GSTC’s CEO also presented at the ATMEX Summit in Chiapas, Mexico on August 29th. The ATMEX Summit was hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Visit Mexico.

Durband’s presentation focused on the GSTC Criteria for Destinations and Early Adopter Program participants Riviera Maya and Sierra Gorda. Additionally, Durband reviewed why sustainable practices support not only long-term growth of tourism, but also enjoys immediate short-term benefits in the marketing of a destination to many important source markets. Durband explained, “Mexico’s federal and state ministries of tourism excel in tourism development and promotion, and they understand the imperative for enhanced sustainability in destination management. Our engagement at ATMEX was part of a series of discussions we’re holding on engagement of the GSTC criteria in enhancing destination sustainability throughout Mexico.”

Pati Ruiz of Sierra Gorda with Randy Durband ATMEX in Chiapas 29 Aug 2014

GSTC CEO with Pati Ruiz, Sierra Gorda’s sustainability champion of one of 14 global Early Adopters of the GSTC Destination Criteria

For more information on GSTC Events and networking opportunities, visit our events page.  If you have further questions please send an email to info@gstcouncil.org  

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. Housed within the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit www.gstcouncil.org.