GSTC 2019 Conference Program

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conference e-booklet

December 4th (Wednesday) – Welcome Dinner

Time Activity
13:00 – 15:00 Lunch & Meeting for GSTC Destinations Members (by invitation only)
15:00 – 17:30 Meeting for Certification Bodies (by invitation only)
18:25 Transfer leaves from hotels to Quinta da Nasce Água
18:45 Welcome dinner at Quinta da Nasce Água (Angra do Heroísmo)

December 5th (Thursday) – Conference Day 1

Time Activity
8:00 Shuttles leave from the 3 hotels to Angra do Heroísmo Conference Centre
8:15 – 9:15 Registration at Angra do Heroísmo Conference Centre
9:15 – 10:00

big auditorium

Opening Ceremony

  • Luigi Cabrini, Chair of GSTC (full speech)
  • Azores receives the EarthCheck Silver Certification for Sustainable Destination (see video)
  • Marta Guerreiro, Regional Secretary of Energy, Environment and Tourism (full speech)
10:00 – 10:45 GSTC’s Global Mission and Current Activities
Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC (presentation)
10:45- 11:30 Refreshment Break and Networking
(Press conference for local media held in a different room)
11:30 – 13:00

big auditorium

(1) Applying the GSTC Criteria in a national scheme

Applying sustainable standards and certification to tourism businesses and tourism destinations is conducted both by international Certification Bodies and by national schemes. In this session, we will examine why and how national and sub-national schemes are developed and implemented. A key focus will be on engagement with local private sector stakeholders on a destination level, with examples of various schemes from Europe and Asia.

Moderator: Jana Apih, Managing Director of GoodPlace (presentation)

Panelists:

  • Ingunn Sornes, Special Adviser at Innovation Norway (presentation)
  • Annika Sandström, Tourism Manager of Region Västerbotten (presentation)
  • Dan Jonasson, Region Västerbotten Turism
  • Daren Moodely, Project Coordinator – Sustainable Island, Mauritius Tourism Authority
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch:

  • 13:00 Leave Conferece Center to Caracol Hotel
  • 13:10 Lunch
  • 14:10 leave Caracol Hotel to the Conference Center
14:30 – 15:45

@Room.1

small auditorium

(2) Seasonality: Under- and Over-tourism

One of many components in the arenas of Visitor Management and currently-fashionable (and over-used) term “overtourism” is the practice of dispersion of visitors more evenly throughout the seasons. All destinations experience seasonal fluctuations in the numbers of visitors, owing to climate and various social factors for both the destination and its strongest source markets. Many experience significant swings from the highest to lowest seasons. Regardless of the degree, destination managers and promoters should continue to strive for the most consistent flows as possible to allow businesses and public facilities to manage and execute more effectively. This session will explore good practices and sound management principles with proven effectiveness in leveling seasonal visitor flows.

Moderator: Dr. Kelly Bricker, Vice-Chair, GSTC; Professor and Director, University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

Panelists:

  • David Mifsud, Director – Quality Assurance and Industry HR at Malta Tourism Authority
  • Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA)
  • Dr. Antonio Jorge Costa, President of Institute for Tourism Planning and Development (IPDT)
14:30 – 15:45

@Room.2

big auditorium

(3) Marketing sustainability and influencing travelers’ preferences

Marketing is fundamental to tourism businesses and destinations, and sustainability marketing can use marketing skills and techniques to good purpose, by understanding market needs, designing more sustainable products and identifying more persuasive methods of communication to bring behavioural change. In this session, Prof. Xavier Font will lead a discussion on the recent trends in marketing sustainability in the tourism industry with various examples of influencing travelers’ preferences.

Moderator: Prof. Xavier Font, Professor of Sustainability Marketing, University of Surrey (presentation)

Panelists:

  • Rika Jean-François, CSR Commissioner at ITB Berlin
  • Rob Holmes, Founder & Chief Strategist at GLP Films
  • Lonneke de Kort, CEO of BookDifferent
  • Gerben Hardeman, Responsible Travel & Tourism Manager at ANVR (the Dutch Travel Trade Association)
15:45 – 16:30 Refreshment break and networking
16:30 – 18:00

@Room.1

small auditorium

(4) Certification as a driver for destination stewardship

Sustainable certification of destinations is still relatively new, and not common. But as awareness is rapidly growing within the public sector that tourism needs to be better managed, certification is increasingly seen as a tool for goal-setting, measurement, holistic approaches to management, and of course a reward to the stakeholders for accomplishing a level of excellence. We have brought together a truly elite group of practitioners in this space to share their perspectives on the why and how of destination certification.

Moderator: Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC

Panelists:

  • Stewart Moore, CEO of EarthCheck (presentation)
  • Albert Salman, President of Green Destinations (presentation)
  • Luigi Mazzaglia, General Manager of Vireo Srl
  • Dr. Catie Burlando, Local Development Officer at Etifor Srl (presentation)
  • Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of Global Destination Sustainability (GSD) Index (presentation)
16:30 – 18:00

@Room.2

big auditorium

(5) Stopping the Flood of Plastic (supported by WWF)

Travelers are suddenly reducing their use of plastic straws, but how do we as an industry go bigger and deeper and more quickly in reducing all single-use plastic materials? We need to reduce plastics quickly due to the environmental impacts and the surging levels of awareness and concern by travelers. WWF has recently research on how to reduce plastics in tourism, and will present key findings from that research and draw from an expert panel to present methods for putting reduction into practice.

Keynote: Martina von Münchhausen, Programme Manager Sustainable Tourism at WWF (presentation)

Moderator: Nicola Koschel, GSTC Trainer and WWF Representative at GSTC

Panelists:

  • Rachel McCaffery, Director of Travel Without Plastic
  • Christian Schröder, Quality and Sustainability Manager at Wikinger Reisen
  • Nguyen Dieu Thuy, Programme Coordinator – Oceans at WWF Vietnam (presentation)
  • Peimin Lin, Supervisor at Taiwan Coral Island Association (presentation)
18:30 Leave from the Conferece Center to Praia da Vitória
19:00 Dinner at Terceira Island’s Youth and Arts Academy (Praia da Vitória)
21:00 Transfer back to hotels

December 6th (Friday) – Conference Day 2

Time Activity
8:50 Shuttles leave from the 3 hotels to the Conference Centre
9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 10:45

big auditorium

(6) Sustainable and Responsible Procurement

Supply chain development is a form of procurement and a form of verification of the sustainability of the products and services under offer of a tourism business. If a seller or operator of travel services wishes to claim that their supply chain is sustainable, how do they go about it? Do they conduct their own analysis of each supplier’s performance? That would be time-consuming and costly. A better approach is to trust the work of the experts that conduct neutral, independent, 3rd-party certification of businesses. If a business is certified by a Certification Body that is accredited to the GSTC Criteria*, there is no higher level of verification of independent and competent analysis available in the world today, because to get accredited, the CB has gone through a very rigorous process to verify their quality and impartiality. In that way, by selecting hotels or tour operators that are certified, the buyer can trust that those businesses take sustainability very seriously. This session will consider how to phase in preferential contracting of sustainable certified businesses into the supply chain of other businesses.

* Note: the phrase “accredited to the GSTC Criteria” is short-hand for a CB being accredited for the certification scheme using either the GSTC Criteria directly or their own GSTC-Recognized standard. GSTC Recognized standards comply with the GSTC Criteria, therefore this short-hand phrase includes the use of either of those standards.

Moderator: Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC (presentation)

Panelists:

  • Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at TUI Group (presentation)
  • Luis Alberto Blanco Umaña, Human Talent Director and Quality and Sustainability Manager at Travel Excellence Costa Rica
  • Alexandra Pastollnigg, Founder of Fair Voyage
10:45 – 11:15 Refreshment break and networking
11:15 – 12:30

@Room.1

small auditorium

(7) Destinations adaptation to and mitigation of climate change

Climate change is the single most important global environmental and development issue facing the world today. Tourism is considered to be a vulnerable and highly climate-sensitive economic sector. Climate defines the length and quality of tourism seasons and plays a major role in destination choice and tourist spending. Climate affects a wide range of environmental resources that are critical attractions for tourism, such as snow conditions, wildlife productivity and biodiversity, water levels and quality. Climate also has an important influence on environmental conditions that can deter tourists, including infectious disease, wildfires, insect or water-borne pests, and extreme events such as tropical cyclones. At the same time, tourism is a contributor to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, including emissions from transport, accommodation and activities. In this session we will explore the implications of climate change and climate policy for tourism sectors and destinations around the world, adaptation and mitigation responses by all major tourism stakeholders, and the integral links between climate change and sustainable tourism.

Moderator: Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair (presentation)
Video: UN Climate Summit Poem “Dear Matafele Peinem”

Panelists:

  • Gerben Hardeman, Responsible Travel & Tourism Manager at ANVR (the Dutch Travel Trade Association)
  • Prof. David Simmons, Chair of EarthCheck Research Institute (presentation)
  • Olaf Schlieper, Innovation Manager at German National Tourist Board (presentation)
11:15 – 12:30

@Room.2

big auditorium

(8) Energy, water, and waste in travel and accommodations (presentation)

All forms of travel and tourism must become more sustainable. Most travel includes overnight stays, making the topic of sustainable accommodations essential. In this session we will hear about energy, water, and waste from people on the front lines of making operations more sustainably, considering various elements of sustainable and responsible policy formulation.

Moderator: Dr. Ioannis Pappas, Found & CEO of Green Evolution; GSTC Regional Director – Mediterranean

Panelists:

  • Paulo Duarte, Director of Operations at Memmo Unforgettable Hotels
  • Duarte Conde Silva, Plant Manager at Graciólica Lda
  • Motti Essakow, Co Founder & Chief Imagineer of Rythms by Design and Rythms House
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch:

  • 12:30 Leave the Conferece Center to Terceira Mar Hotel
  • 12:40 Lunch
  • 13:50 leave Terceira Mar Hotel to the Conference Center
14:00 – 15:15

@Room.1

small auditorium

(9) The Invisible Burden: Integrating Tourism Impacts into Civic Planning & Management

The Travel Foundation has recently published a report “The Invisible Burden: Integrating Tourism Impacts into Civic Planning & Management” which they will share in this session, together with a number of destinations. The report describes how destinations must uncover and account for tourism’s hidden costs, referred to as the “invisible burden”, to protect and manage vital destination assets worldwide. Failing to do so puts ecosystems, cultural wonders, and community life at increasing risk, and places the tourism industry on a weak foundation that could crack under its own weight. It concludes that destination managers will need to sit at the new nexus between data on tourism demand the supply of resources to support the tourism economy. The report suggests that the risks tourism destinations and businesses face must be openly and transparently reviewed with more science-based, data-driven analysis.

Host: Graeme Jackson, Head of Partnerships at Travel Foundation (presentation)

Speakers:

  • Griet Geudens, Quality & Sustainability Consultant at Visit Flanders (presentation)
  • Dr. Mihee Kang, GSTC Director – Asia Pacific
14:00 – 15:15

@Room.2

big auditorium

(10) Island & Marine Tourism (presentation)

All types of destinations share many traits and management challenges, but there are of course differences among them as well. Drawing from the experiences of our hosts in the Azores Islands and other expert GSTC members, this session will focus on issues facing island and marine destinations. Climate-change induced rising ocean waters is of course one of the major issues, but there are many more including waste management in these fragile environments which remain ever popular with visitors in great numbers seeking sun and sand. They arrive by land, air, and by sea, meaning the supply chain for transport is quite varied. In short, management is complex in these popular but sensitive destinations.

Moderator: Roi Ariel, General Manager of GSTC

Panelists:

  • Marlene Damião, Azores Regional Director of Tourism
  • Jerry Spooner, Director of Vanuatu Department of Tourism
  • Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism of Cayman Islands
15:15 – 15:45 Refreshment break and networking
15:45 – 17:00

big auditorium

(11) Slow travel and changing consumers demand

Recent developments in Sweden has encouraged Europeans to reduce their travel by air to lower carbon emissions, and opt to travel by train and stay longer in the destination they visit. This change in behaviour may have unintended consequences for destinations that are reachable by air transport only and for emerging destinations in the developing world. In this session will discuss the recent changes of European preferences and the promotion of slow travel and longer stay in one destination.

Moderator: Anna Pollock, Founder of Conscious Travel

Panelists:

  • Dr. Dirk Schmücker, Head of Research at Institute for Tourism Research in Northern Europe (NIT)
  • Jeppe Klockareson, Founder of Fair Travel; GSTC Representative Sweden
  • Sara Mair Bellshaw, Project Manager – Slow Adventure at Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research
17:00 – 17:15 Closing session

GSTC2020 formal invitation (revealing location and dates)

17:30 Transfer to the 3 hotels
18:45 Departure from the 3 hotels to Clube de Golfe da Ilha Terceira
19:00 Closing dinner at Clube de Golfe da Ilha Terceira
22:00 Transfer to the 3 hotels

December 7th (Saturday): Post-conference tour

Only for those that have registerd by November 25th

8:00 – 8:20 Check-out for those joinining the tour and taking flight TP 1828 at 19:40
8:20 Depart from the hotels (Hotel do Caracol, Terceira Mar Hotel, Azoris Angra Garden Hotel)
Morning
  • Visit Monte Brasil and the historical center of Angra do Heroísmo World Heritage City
  • Stroll around Biscoitos
Noon Lunch
Afternoon
  • View from Serra do Cume Belvedere
  • Visit Algar do Carvão, famous ancient lava tube
  • Visit the City of Praia da Vitória
18:00
  • Head back to the hotels
  • OR trasfer to the airport for those taking flight TP 1828 at 19:40
Evening At leisure (dinner not included)

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