GSTC Members can join members-only webinars, that share the most up-to-date knowledge on sustainable tourism. The webinars are presented by GSTC staff and GSTC Members.

All webinars are recorded and are available for GSTC Members to watch after logging into the GSTC website (email/user name and password needed).

We encourage members to take advantage of the various education and training opportunities available through the GSTC, and to continue seeking knowledge and tools to improve your sustainable tourism practices.

2021 Webinar Recordings

The Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework reflects the aspirations of the SPTO and its members, the tourism industry, civil society organisations, regional organisations and global development partners. The shared vision is: By 2030 we are empowered by, and benefit from tourism that is resilient, prosperous and inclusive. It improves the wellbeing of our communities and protects, restores and promotes our cultures, islands and ocean ecosystems. To ensure that tourism in the Pacific continues to be a driver of economic and community wellbeing, all partners are required to implement the policies and actions in the Framework to build a resilient tourism industry, fit for the challenges and opportunities the Pacific faces between now and 2030.


  • Christina Leala Gale, Sustainable Tourism and Research Manager, Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
  • Penny Spoelder, Senior Associate, TRC Tourism

The Covid pandemic while bringing travel to a standstill also brought about a shift in the minds of the consumer globally and within the country. Research conducted by in 2020 reveals that 96% of Indian travellers identified sustainable travel as important to them, while 76% said they were more determined to make sustainable choices when looking to travel in the future. However, 39% of Indian travellers do not know how or where to find sustainable travel options and 54% think there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available.

Sustainable tourism, responsible travel and ecotourism are concepts now many in the tourism sector talk about. These terms are largely misunderstood and interpreted in many different ways. More importantly they are equated to only “being green” and “environmental conscious”. How does the industry, stakeholders in destinations, policy makers and tourists build their understanding on what is sustainable tourism and sustainable travel options?

Already being used in India, the GSTC Criteria serve as the global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The Criteria are used for education and awareness-raising, policy-making for businesses and government agencies and other organization types, measurement and evaluation, and as a basis for certification.


  • Mr. Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
  • Mr. Randy Durband, CEO, GSTC
  • Mr. CB Ramkumar, Board Member & South Asia Director, GSTC

* This was a public webinar for participants from India, organized by the GSTC India Working Group.

Tourism in natural areas is a major part of the global tourism industry however, without proper planning and management of tourism activities, there may be negative environmental impacts such as habitat degradation, over-consumption of water, pollution, waste generation, the introduction of alien invasive species, among others. Visitor management plays an essential role in protecting the ecological sustainability of natural areas, providing funding and business opportunities, and creating an enjoyable visitor experience.

Through case studies from North America, Europe, and South America, learn about strategies for visitor management in natural areas.


  •  Dr. Kelly S. Bricker, Vice Chair, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
  • Jorge Moller, Program Director, Latin America, GSTC
  • Candace Strauss, CEO and President of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau
  • Dr. Ivana Damnjanović, Professor, Singidunum University
  • Dr. Qwynne Lackey, Assistant Professor, SUNY Cortland
  • Jake Powell, Gateway and Natural Amenity Region (GNAR) Initiative
  • Julia Branstrator, Dr. Christina T. Cavaliere’s Tourism and Conservation Lab, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
  • Rogier Gruys, Visitor Experience Manager, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site
  • Dr. Kristin Lamoureux, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech

This workshop was part of the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) Tourism Summit 2021, a joint virtual event, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Criterion A4 of the GSTC Destination Criteria clearly points out the importance of engagement with the private sector. DMOs should regularly inform tourism-related enterprises about sustainability issues and encourage and support them in making their operations more sustainable. As part of these efforts, a DMO should promote the adoption of sustainability standards and incentivize businesses to achieve certification to verify their claims, such as publicizing a list of sustainability certified enterprises.

Through case studies from destinations around the world, learn how a DMO can better engage the private sector and drive certification in order to make the destination as a whole more sustainable.


  • Jana Apih, Director, GoodPlace Institute
  • Ingunn Sørnes, Special Advisor, Innovation Norway
  • Milena S. Nikolova, Chief Behaviour Officer, BehaviorSMART
  • Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir, Managing Director, Iceland Tourism Cluster

This workshop was part of the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) Tourism Summit 2021, a joint virtual event, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Innovation Norway’s “CO2rism” is a tool for calculating the CO2 emissions caused by transport of tourists to and within Norway. The user groups of this calculator are businesses and destinations marketers, interested in insights on the emissions generated by the guests they want to attract. This allows Innovation Norway to judge both the potential tourist consumption and the CO2 emissions by combining their tourist consumption calculator with this new calculator on CO2 emissions.

Learn how tourism-related emissions can be measured effectively and be taken into consideration when planning tourist activities at destinations.

Presenter: Ingunn Sørnes, Special Adviser at Innovation Norway

This workshop was part of the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) Tourism Summit 2021, a joint virtual event, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Waste is a global crisis crippling our systems and contributing to negative environmental outcomes for our planet. While the hotel industry has made great strides to prevent and divert waste, and donate quality items, when possible, industry-wide waste reduction presents challenges without a standard measurement methodology in place. Today, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenview, a global sustainability consulting group, unveiled a first-of-its-kind methodology to help hotels solve this problem.

The Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology, developed in collaboration with leading hotel brands including Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Marriott International, is designed to provide a common approach for the hotel industry to collect data, and measure and report waste. This methodology creates a consistent way for major brands and individual properties to set meaningful goals to reduce waste, keep it out of landfills, and track progress against those goals over time. Building on robust existing strategies to track waste and set targets, this work harmonizes methods of data collection and addresses common data gaps and challenges.

Presenter: Olivia Ruggles-Brise, Greenview Director

To help the tourism industry in Finland to adopt sustainable practices, Visit Finland launched the Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) programme. The STF programme provides companies and destinations with a sustainable development path; a concrete toolkit for sustainable tourism that makes it easier to adopt sustainable practices and choices in everyday business. STF relies on existing sustainability standards already in use rather than creating another standard. Companies and destinations that undergo the entire programme are recognised with the STF label and have access to a continuous development model, the latest information on sustainable tourism development, marketing support and visibility on Visit Finland channels.

Presenter: Virpi Aittokoski – Manager, Outdoor activities & Sports, Sustainable Travel Finland, Visit Finland

Presenter: Jane Scaletta – Director, InvestCayman, Ministry of Investment, Innovation & Social Development, Cayman Islands

Sustainability is (or should be) part of a modern business model in a new post-pandemic normal but to become an attractive sustainable experience, we need to address our visitors’ hopes, wants, and needs. Design Thinking for the sustainable travelling industry is about speaking to the hearts of our most desired customers. Give them a chance to choose a sustainable experience that relates to their values and most desirable needs. This webinar introduces Design Thinking as a tool to create an irresistible reason to travel: • The art of segmentation and differentiated marketing; • The power of empathy for a stronger segmentation and smart personas; • The reason to use values and behavioristic marketing to attract your visitors.

This webinar gives you a quick and easy to understand toolbox that contains: • Why segmentation is crucial for an attractive experience; • How a persona can help You create sustainable experiences that differentiate your offer from others; • Why values are stronger to communicate compared to specific details.

The webinar is presented in English with auto subtitles in Spanish.

Presenter: Stefan Pettersson, Founder of GAMENG

One clear winner from the last 12 months of global lockdowns and travel restrictions is the environment. But the environment is benefitting in other ways too. m1nd-set’s research, conducted during the first quarter of 2021 among over 2000 international travellers from all world, shows that global consumers in general have become significantly more socially and environmentally conscious since the outbreak of the pandemic, with around two-thirds claiming to be making more environmentally friendly or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic. This does not only includes what consumer shop for – more ethical or environmentally friendly produced products – but also how they shop. m1nd-set’s research explains also that sustainable consumption is here to stay.


  • Dr. Peter Mohn – Owner & CEO , m1nd-set
  • Anna Marchesini – Head of Business Development, m1nd-set

Hoy en día tras la pandemia está la oportunidad de rediseñar la forma en que hacemos turismo, para ello se hace indispensable el abordar este desafío desde una buena Gobernanza Publico Privada para poder involucrar a todos los actores del destino y de esta forma conseguir que todos abracen esta iniciativa y construyan la visión de Destino en conjunto.

Presenter: Jorge Moller, Director de Programas en Latinoamérica, GSTC

Ecoluxury Retreats of the World is a collection of elegant lodges, exclusive resorts and refined historic hotels, located in places privileged by nature, witnesses of ancient civilizations and scenarios of distant cultures. To be eligible to join the collection, properties need to fulfill the requirements set out in Ecoluxury’s Best Practice Criteria, based on the GSTC Criteria and the UN SDGs.


  • Enrico Ducrot, Founder & CEO, Enrico Ducrot, Viaggi dell’Elefante and Ecoluxury
  • Livia Muto Nardone, Project Manager, Ecoluxury

Landscape Restoration is the ongoing process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes. This is more than just planting trees – it is restoring a whole landscape to meet present and future needs and to offer multiple benefits and land uses over time.

The webinar will focus on a case study from Furnas Landscape Laboratory a project for the Ecologic and Landscape Restoration of Furnas Lake Watershed. This project was awarded twice within its first 5 years of existence, the last award due to the exemplary implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ELC). The ELC promotes a strong engagement of communities in the protection, planning and management of their landscapes, consistently based on environmental, social, economic, cultural and aesthetic sustainability. This specific project had a strong impact on one of the most well-known protected landscapes of Azores Islands (Portugal), a tourism hotspot, and involved dozens of different partner institutions and thousands of volunteers. Collaborations can happen in numerous formats, and several examples will be provided of how can the local community and tourism actors be involved in projects for landscape restoration, be it of ecologic or cultural relevance. Further information on Furnas Landscape Laboratory.


  • Carolina Mendonça, Coordinator, Azores DMO
  • Miguel G. Caetano Ferreira, Forest Engineer and Natural Resources Manager, Azores

Sin duda que los efectos del COVID19 han sido desastrosos para la Industria del Turismo, sin embargo el lado positivo, es que nos da la oportunidad de pensar como queremos regresar a ofrecer nuestros servicios y que tipo de Destino deseamos construir para evitar los aspectos negativos de un turismo no controlado… Conceptos como Gobernanza, Limite aceptable de Cambio, Compra Local, Beneficios para la Comunidad y muchos otros toman relevancia. Durante este Webinar vamos a tocar estos temas y dilucidar como los Criterios de Turismo Sostenible del GSTC nos ayudan como una guía para instalar Sostenibilidad en nuestras propuestas turísticas tanto al mundo público como también a los privados. Te esperamos ¡

Presenter: Jorge Moller, Director de Programas en Latinoamérica, GSTC

Webinar organized by Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism

Employees are often entrusted with booking their business travel independently. Still, every employee is a representative of their company – especially when travelling – and the misconduct of one individual can cause lasting damage to the image of the entire company. Thus, business travellers should book their trip carefully and behave in a responsible manner on site.

Randy Durband, CEO at Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and Jessica Espinoza, international expert in business and human rights who conducted numerous research studies and trainings for ECPAT and other human rights organizations, will share first-hand experiences and recommendations to take action.

European Travel Commission (ETC), representing 32 national tourism organisations in Europe, has published a new handbook ‘Sustainable Tourism Implementation: Framework and Toolkit’ – an ultimate roadmap for European destinations on how to tackle every step on a journey towards sustainable transformation.

This handbook is for European National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), to support efforts to develop national approaches that advance sustainable tourism. It is intended as a practical document to aid implementation, for all European nations regardless of where they are on their sustainability journey. It is intended to support both those NTOs considering a national certification scheme, and those who are not, to advance national efforts to improve sustainability outcomes.


  • Jennifer Iduh, Head of Research, European Travel Commission
  • Jana Apih, Director, GoodPlace Institute
  • Ben Lynam, Head of Communication, The Travel Foundation
  • Rachel McCaffery, Directory, Green Case Consulting

Swisstainable is the first big step towards securing the long-term success of Switzerland as a holiday, travel and convention destination and making it the world’s most sustainable destination. As part of the Swisstainable programme, sustainable service providers will be awarded an emblem and thus act as role models. The Swisstainable emblem visibly communicates a commitment to sustainability in the industry in a succinct manner. It is designed in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the communication of all service providers. The sustainability programme is for everyone. Guests looking for sustainable offers are often lost in the vast landscape of labels. Swisstainable does not intend to be yet another certification, but rather to provide guidance for guests, using existing standards.


  • Samuel Wille, Interim Head of Business Development, Switzerland Tourism
  • Helena Videtic, Sustainability Manager, Switzerland Tourism

Increasingly, travelers prefer sustainable hotels and travel provider clients are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place. The GSTC Industry Criteria with suggested performance indicators for hotels serve as basic guidelines for hotels to become more sustainable, and eventually allow these hotels to seek certification as being sustainable hotels.

Ahead of the first GSTC Sustainable Hotel online course during May 27th – June 11th, Dr. David Ermen will present key issues hoteliers should focus on beyond plastic straws and reusing towels. The session will be moderated by Ayako Ezaki, GSTC Training Director.

Presenter: Samantha Kenny, Program Officer – Food Waste, WWF USA

In the US, about 63 million tons of food are wasted each year, with 40% coming from consumer-facing business, including restaurants and hotels. This waste occurs while 41 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, and it poses one of the biggest environmental threats to the planet. Reducing food waste is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of our food system and feed our communities.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, came together to work with the hospitality industry on understanding and reducing food waste. Through research and a series of demonstration projects with properties across the country, innovative strategies were identified to engage staff, partners and guests in cutting waste from hotel kitchens. Participating hotels saw reductions of 10-38% in just 12 weeks. If this scaled across the industry – it would eliminate half a million tons of waste within a year. “Fighting Food Waste in Hotels” Toolkit by WWF

Business travel is a segment within the tourism industry focusing on visitors who travel for business and professional purposes. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the share of GDP generated by the business travel market reached 0.7 percent in 2019. In that year, the business tourism spending worldwide – which has more than doubled since 2000 – peaked at roughly 1.28 trillion U.S. dollars. Business travel is an important factor in national and international business. However, it also has a negative effect on our environment.

Sustainable business travel is concerned with managing the costs, social impacts and environmental consequences generated by the use of different modes of business travel. Using the GSTC Criteria as a reference point allows corporates and organizations to improve their commercial performance and enhance their reputation by adopting sustainable working policies and practices.

Ahead of the first cohort of the GSTC Sustainable Business Travel Course (May 27 – June 11, 2021), Horst Bayer and Bernard Harrop will share key trends and applicable examples. This public webinar will be moderated by Roi Ariel, GSTC General Manager.

Webinar organized by Destinations Together

This session will round out our 4-part series on sustainable tourism by looking at contemporary approaches for more sustainable hotels. As with previous sessions on destinations and tour operators, we’ll consider the valuable role of applying the GSTC Criteria to the hotel industry. Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, will lead this session along with Ian Corbett, TUI Group Sustainable Business Manager on the cutting edge of hotel sustainability. GSTC works with members that include Hilton, IHG, TUI Group Hotels, and many other hotels, plus buyers and sellers of hotel space seeking sustainable solutions including OTA’s such as and tour operators such as Canada’s Transat. Hotels are in many ways core building blocks of visitor experiences, our homes away from home. There is much being done and can be done to make those deep experiences more responsible and sustainable. Join us for a discussion of key strategies taken by hotels and their distribution networks to operate and communicate sustainability.

Destinations Together

Webinar organized by Destinations Together

Destination Stewardship is a multi-stakeholder approach to establish and maintain the cultural, environmental, economic, and aesthetic integrity of a destination. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Criteria for Destinations define how communities and visitors can maximize the many benefits from tourism while minimizing negative impacts on destination resources and ways of life. Kathleen Pittman, President of Agile Community Partners and a core member of the GSTC team, will share how local communities, government agencies, NGOs, and the tourism industry can form meaningful partnerships to develop and manage tourism sustainably. St Kitts is an example of a destination that has been working for years to adopt the GSTC Criteria for Destinations, including establishing a multi-sector Destination Stewardship Council. Diannille Taylor-Williams, Assistant Permanent Secretary of the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, will provide a firsthand account of St. Kitts’s ongoing sustainable tourism journey. Then, focusing at the community level, Jamie Sweeting, President of Planeterra will share how his non-profit organization works with the local population to develop compelling tourism experiences. Through grants and training, they help community business earn income from tourism. In addition, they have also created a robust global tourism community network to share experiences & successes. Cruise lines are keen to offer these unique tours that elevate the local community, and Planeterra has an effective formula to develop them. This session will feature examples of destination stewardship and sustainability in action!

Destinations Together

Presenter: Rob Rankin, Managing Director, Sustainable Travel Ireland

In this session, Rob will share examples and lessons based on his experience working with businesses, communities and destination organizations in Ireland, promoting sustainable practices in collaboration with various stakeholder groups.

Webinar organized by Destinations Together

Cruise lines and CLIA are making meaningful, long term commitments to sustainable tourism following the GSTC standards, to help ensure the world’s natural and touristic sites are preserved for future generations. As tour operators, you too can make a real difference for your destination by starting the process of certification to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards. Naut Kusters, General Manager, Travelife for Tour Operators will detail the certification process. In addition, Trino Molina Casares of Aviomar – Mexico and Emma Bell of ID Tours – New Zealand will share their experience to obtain GSTC certification through Travelife. Tour Operators attending this session will receive access to key sustainability materials upon registration with Travelife. The travel sector in general, and the cruise industry in particular are clearly focused on sustainability likewise, tour operators that are in the process of GSTC certification may likely be rewarded in the post-pandemic tourism environment. Start today and do your part to help make your destination more sustainable and more marketable in the future.

Destinations TogetherTravelife

Webinar organized by Destinations Together

The cruise industry is developing plans to resume cruise operations in a post-pandemic environment. Just as guest and crew safety is key to the cruise restart, so too is the protection and management of cruise destinations. Much progress has been made in the tourism sector regarding sustainability. The industry and destinations should continue working collaboratively with GSTC to prioritize the preservation of natural assets and cultural heritage, ensuring that sustainability remains on the agenda and in the budget. Randy Durband, CEO of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) will provide an overview of sustainable tourism and, discuss the impact of the pandemic as well as a vision for the future. He will moderate a panel featuring Rob Zeiger, Global Chief Communications Officer, Royal Caribbean Group and Ukko Metsola, Director General, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe. Learn how Royal Caribbean has led meaningful change by working with tour operators to obtain GSTC certification, sponsored sustainable destination stewardship and changed seafood purchasing standards to make a real difference. MSC has also made similar commitments to help support sustainable tourism. Likewise, CLIA is providing ongoing leadership to accelerate the sustainable tourism agenda for the cruise industry. This is the first session of our 2021 Sustainable Tourism Webinar Series – learn how you and your company can make a difference for your destination, the oceans and the world!

Destinations Together