We’re excited for GSTC’s Annual Meeting and Open Forum, coming up soon on September 26-29, 2012 in Washington, DC! Not only will you have an opportunity to meet experts, learn first hand about the destination sustainability criteria, and take away practical tips to better measure and market your sustainability, but you’ll be able to do all this in an intimate setting.

Check out the full schedule of events of the Open Forum and Workshops/Trainings. Be sure to sign up here.

Open Forum: September 26, 8:30 – 18:00

Kicking off GSTC’s Annual Meeting is the Open Forum on September 26th that will discuss the topics of measuring sustainability, as well as the economic impact and marketing of sustainable tourism. The event is free and open to the public. You just need to register here

We’ll have a lively discussion with speakers who are leaders in the sustainable tourism field, but represent a diversity of companies and stakeholders:  Bruce Poontip (G Adventures), Kelly Bricker (University of Utah), Luigi Cabrini (UNWTO), Paul Brown (Hilton Worldwide), Kim Slicklein (Ogilvy Earth), Sabrina Vigilante (Rainforest Alliance), Gwen Migita (Caesars Entertainment), Jamie Sweeting (Royal Caribbean Cruises).

In the afternoon we’ll hear from the Early Adopters of the newly developed Destination CriteriaLanzarote (Canary Islands), Okavango Delta Ramsar Site (Botswana), Jackson Hole, Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks (Wyoming), Huangshan (China), Fjord Norway  — to hear about their challenges and opportunities from working first-hand with the draft destination criteria.

Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC

Don’t forget to register here

Full Schedule of the Open Forum – Wednesday, September 26

8:30 Registration

9:00 Opening ceremony
– Welcome and introduction to GSTC – Kelly Bricker – Chair of the GSTC
– UNWTO Representative – Luigi Cabrini

9:30 Keynote – Lisa Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

10:00 Coffee Break – Networking

10:30 The Impact of Sustainable Tourism
Moderator: Dorinda Elliot – Global Affairs Editor at Conde Nast Traveler
1) Measuring and Valuing Sustainability – Paul Brown –President, Brands and Commercial Services, Hilton Worldwide
2) Economic impacts of sustainable tourism on destinations (The spill effect of sustainability) – Bruce Poon Tip – Founder – G Adventures
3) Marketing/Positioning Sustainability – Kim Slicklein – President – Ogilvy Earth

12:30 Lunch at the Washington Hilton (sponsored by Hilton Worldwide)

1:30 The Value of Standards

Moderator: Ronald Sanabria, VP of Tourism, Rainforest Alliance

1) Jane Ashton, Director of Group Sustainable Development TUI Travel PLC

2) Leilani Latimer, Senior Director Global Sustainability Initiatives |Sabre Holdings

3) Sabrina Vigilante, Director Strategic Initiatives, Rainforest Alliance

2:30 A multi-stakeholder approach to a successful sustainability strategy-
Moderator: Gwen Migita, VP, Sustainability & Community Engagement Caesars Entertainment
1) Faith Taylor, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Innovation Wyndham Worldwide
2) Hugh Sinnock, Director Of Customer Experience, LVCVA
3) Jorge Saggiante, Executive Secretary for the Department of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, OAS
4) Kelly Bricker , Chair of GSTC

3:45 Coffee Break – Networking

4:15 Destinations – Presentations of the GSTC Early Adopters
Moderator: Jamie Sweeting , Vice President, Environmental Stewardship &Global Chief Environmental Officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
1) Timothy O’Donoghue, Executive Director, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce
2) Kristian B. Jørgensen, CEO, Fjord Norway
3) Minsheng Yao, Deputy Director of the Economic Development Bureau, Mt. Huangshan Administrative Committee
4) Pedro San Ginés, President of the Cabildo de Lanzarote, Lanzarote
5) Mafila Richard Malesu, Botswana Tourism Organisation, Senior Grading Manager

5:30 Closing Remarks – Kelly Bricker, Chair GSTC