Shannon Stowell – President, Adventure Travel Trade Association and GSTC Board Member

I recently sent a direct invitation to the entire Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) members to join the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Why? Why would I encourage our members to join another organization? Because I believe membership in the GSTC will provide important returns to the ATTA members’ organizations as well as the entire Adventure Tourism industry.

We are all aware of the issues our industry and planet face: from climate change to resource depletion; increasing poverty to unstable political climates; and government regulation to raising consumer awareness of sustainability issues. As an industry we depend on consumer demand and stable environments to succeed. Such large issues cannot be solved by our industry alone. However, we can take positive steps toward a solution.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a place where businesses and organizations can learn how to take action on sustainability issues and contribute to the distribution of best practices. The GSTC can help your organization save money through efficiency programs and make money through market access programs.

The GSTC is working on many projects that will be launched in 2011. A few projects include GSTC Accreditation, GSTC Market Access programs, development of education and online training materials and revision of the current GSTC Criteria. By joining the GSTC you can help shape the outcomes of these projects.

Also, if you join the organization now you will be eligible to attend the 2nd Annual GSTC Membership Council Meeting in Barcelona, Spain at the end of June, 2011.  Not only will you get an opportunity to meet and mingle with your fellow members from around the world, you will hear from travel industry leaders on topics ranging from Sustainable Destinations and Business to advances in Technology. You’ll also get a progress update from the GSTC Secretariat and Working Groups about all the important work that has been accomplished over the past year as well as upcoming projects and programs.

Finally, if you join us in Barcelona, you’ll get a behind the scene view into Barcelona’s sustainable practices which have positioned the city to receive the first BIOSPHERE certification as a World Class Sustainable Destination.

Momentum around this movement is accelerating. The GSTC is the first multi-stakeholder, truly global initiative operating in all regions of the world. It is an exciting time to be at the GSTC and I hope you will take a moment to visit the website, learn more about the organization and become a member.

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