April 30, 2015 – The GSTC Latin America Regional Meeting took place April 26th with great success. The gathering gave 75 travel and tourism professionals from over 12 countries a foundational list of tools, contacts, and references to improve overall sustainability of their operations. Structured in part like a workshop, presentations and round-table discussions centered on sustainable tourism standards, destination management, industry best practices, and the GSTC Destinations Program. The Latin America Regional Meeting was held in cooperation with The International Ecotourism Society’s- Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC15), and took place the day prior to the start of the conference.

The successful and dynamic meeting brought together well known leaders in sustainable tourism to develop strategies for how to apply the GSTC Criteria and programs to enhance sustainability in Latin America. CEO of GSTC, Randy Durband proudly said, «Participants at our Latin America Regional Meeting in Quito were very engaged in the discussions and showed a true passion for sustainability. Some were learning about GSTC for the first time and were interested in learning about sustainability standards and how to use them. I think they learned a lot, and they shared many good ideas for future actions with each other.»

An interactive session during the workshop pulled together an actionable list of suggestions from the participants. That includes suggestions for GSTC itself to act upon and for the various participants to use in their own regions and countries.

Group Work at ESTC15

The meeting provided much information and inspiration for future action. Additionally, participants were able to continue discussions over the subsequent days during the ESTC15. They were inspired by the announcement the following evening by the Minister of Tourism of Ecuador and GSTC leadership of the adoption of Ecuadorian national sustainability standards and GSTC Recognition of them (see separate article).

Follow-up from the meeting will be led by the GSTC leaders and members present and photographed above. From left: Chair Luigi Cabrini, Vice-Chair Kelly Bricker, CEO Randy Durband. Country Representatives: in the front Natalia Naranjo for Colombia and Ecuador; in the back D’Arcy Dornan for Brazil and Jorge Moller for Chile and Argentina. Also present was Korea Country Representative Mihee Kang (front right).


The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that 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

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