Valere Tjolle third from right, together with the friends from Botswana Tourism Organisation, Wilderness Safaris, and the GSTC team at Chitabe Camp, Botswana (2018)

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and its members are very saddened by the loss of Valere Tjolle (1945-2021).

Based in Bath, England, Valere was a leading sustainable tourism observer and advisor. He had been involved in the tourism industry since 1959, first working for his dad’s tiny tour operator. In 1992, he learnt about sustainable tourism and started advising and running projects for USAID, the World Bank, European Union countries, as well as independent companies.

Valere’s experience and knowledge was vast, with sixty years in tourism at all levels. He led tourism development projects in Africa, USA, UK, Asia Pacific, Central Asia and Europe. He most recently published a book, You Lucky People: The Story of Travel – the world’s most delightful and devastating industry.

Valere Tjolle on the right together with friends from &Beyond and GSTC near Nxabega Tented Camp, Botswana (2018)

GSTC shared fond memories with Valere at the Global Sustainable Tourism Conference 2018 (GSTC2018) in Botswana. Valere attended as a panelist and travelled with the group on a post-conference tour.

“Fond memories indeed, and deep appreciation for Valere’s true commitment to promoting more sustainable forms of tourism. Our condolences to his family. His voice was an important one, sorely missed, as is the friendship we developed over the years,” reflects Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

“As is doubtless the case for others in the industry who will miss him, Valere was both an inspiration and an influence on my own journey in sustainable tourism. Kind, knowledgeable and expert in his field, I have only fond memories and send condolences to Valere’s family.” says Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director of EasyJet and GSTC Board Member.

“Valere was a unique personality who brought the human touch and the feeling of friendship into this business of ours. He truly cared, was full of energy and optimism and I will never forget him!” adds Rika Jean-François, CSR Commissioner of ITB Berlin and GSTC Board Member.

Valere will be remembered as a pioneer and a warm and unique character in the world of tourism.

The GSTC and its members send condolences to the Tjolle family and thank Valere Tjolle for all the work he has done.

From left to right: Dr. Ioannis Pappas, Dawson Kgosi Ramsden, Valere Tjolle, Randy Durband, Dr. Mihee Kang, Kathleen Pittman, Cathy Parsons, Luigi Cabrini, Jonathan Tourtellot, and Roi Ariel near Chitabe Camp, Botswana (2018)