Webinars for GSTC Members


Sustainable tourism webinars are offered to GSTC Members on an ongoing basis since 2017. 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 as well as GSTC members.

The webinars and meetings are an opportunity to actively network and connect with fellow members from around the world, sustainable tourism professionals and stakeholders.

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.

Upcoming Webinars:

Organising Business Travel that Respects Human Rights

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.

June 15th, 2021 | 11:00‌ ‌CEST (Madrid) | 18:00 ICT (TH) | 20:00 JP/KR

Register to the webinar

GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5 Informative Session

GSTC recognizes the importance of having comprehensive insights about the changes on the new version (v2.5) of the GSTC Accreditation Manual. To that end, GSTC and ASI together is holding this 90-minutes informative session to explain the amendments to the GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5, which has become effective on May 15th, 2021.

Presenter: Claudia Bustinza, GSTC Assurance Manager

This webinar is open only to Accredited CBs or CBs interested in Accreditation.

June 15th, 2021 | 07:00 EST (NY) | 13:00‌ ‌CEST (Madrid) | 19:00 HK

Register to the webinar

Promoción y Planificación: Como dialogan ambas acciones en el posible regreso sostenible al turismo ¿? Los Criterios del GSTC son una gran ayuda.

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

June 17th, 2021 | 10:00 MX | 12:00 AR | 17:00‌ ‌CEST (Madrid)

Register to the webinar

Combating Greenwashing in Travel/Media

Webinar organized by Impact Travel Alliance and has a fee for participation.

As content creators, the stories we tell have a powerful ability to shape the way travelers explore our world. However, how do we know that the travel brands we promote are truly sustainable? Join Impact Travel Alliance and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for a lively session to uncover what makes a travel brand authentically sustainable, and how fact-checking as media plays a powerful role in building a stronger industry. The session will be led by Randy Durband, GSTC’s CEO, and Ayako Ezaki, GSTC’s Training Director. Attendees will learn about: Greenwashed initiatives in travel, and how to avoid them (as well as insight on greenwashing’s counterpart: greenhushing); Nuances of certification programs, including an analysis on whether a brand have to be certified to be sustainable; Opportunities to use your storytelling as a way to advocate for more impactful travel.

Note: This event designed for the creators within Impact Travel Alliance’s Impact Travel Media Network as a part of their ongoing Conscious Creator series. This event is $10 to the public, and FREE for the Impact Travel Media Network. 

June 23th, 2021 | 18:00 PST (CA) | 21:00‌ ‌EST (NY)

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Landscape Restoration & Community Engagement: Example from Furnas, São Miguel, Azores

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.


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

June 24th, 2021 | 08:00 PST (CA) | 11:00‌ ‌EST (NY) ‌|‌ ‌‌16:00‌ ‌GMT | 17:00‌ ‌CEST‌ (NL) | 22:00 ICT (TH)

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Gobernanzas, el gran desafío para los Destinos

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

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 [email protected] abracen esta iniciativa y construyan la visión de Destino en conjunto.

July 20th, 2021 | 10:00 MX | 12:00 AR | 17:00‌ ‌CEST (Madrid)

Register to the webinar

Interested in presenting?

Members that are interested in delivering webinars can contact GSTC General Manager, Roi Ariel, at [email protected] to discuss further details.

Past Webinars:

All webinars are recorded and are available to watch at the time of convenience. Webinar recordings can be accessed by GSTC Members after logging in.

European Travel Commission: ‘Sustainable Tourism Implementation: Framework and Toolkit’

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

May 27th, 2021 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

Switzerland Tourism’s Swisstainable Strategy

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

May 13th, 2021 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

Sustainable Hotels

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.

May 20th, 2021 | Recording is publically available here

Fighting Food Waste in Hotels

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

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

April 21st, 2021 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

Sustainable Business Travel: Come back BETTER

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.

April 14th, 2021 | Recording is publically available here

Hotel Sustainability & the GSTC Criteria

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 booking.com 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.

March 17th, 2021 | Recording available on YouTube

Destinations Together

Destination Stewardship & Sustainability

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!

March 3rd, 2021 | Recording available on YouTube

Building a sustainable Tourism community in Ireland

Presenter: Rob Rankin, Managing Director, Sustainable Travel Ireland

In this session, Rob Rankin, Managing Director of Sustainable Travel Ireland, 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.

February 24th, 2021 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC


Destinations Together

Tour Operator Sustainability & Certification with Travelife

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.

February 10th, 2021 | Recording available on YouTube

Destinations TogetherSustainable Tourism & The Cruise Industry

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!

January 27th, 2021 | Recording available on YouTube

Collaboration Among Competitors to Advance Sustainability:
How you can do it too


  • Alexandra Michat Roux, EXO Foundation Manager & EXO Travel Director of Sustainability
  • Nia Klatte, Khiri Reach Executive Director & Khiri Travel Regional Sustainability Coordinator

Alexandra and Nia will give examples on how inboud tour operators (DMCs) collaborate to advance sustainability adherence within destinations they work in:

  • IMPACT Vietnam, an initiative led by GSTC Members EXO Travel and Khiri Travel, is a network of committed tourism operators working for the promotion of sustainable tourism in Vietnam. “We aim to work closely within our supply chains and with various stakeholders around the country, engaging and encouraging partnerships whenever possible. We know where our strengths lie and as a collaborative group, IMPACT Vietnam will reduce the negative and increase the positive impact that we as members of the travel industry have on the country that we work in, live in and promote.”
  • The Indonesian DMC Sustainability Collaboration (IDSC) was initiated by DMCs working in Indonesia working together to collect data from their suppliers. The basic idea of IDSC is to collect data on the application of sustainability and health & safety principles throughout their business practices. The Collaboration designed a comprehensive set of questions and attached to it a comprehensive and easy to read scoring model.
  • CAM-DMC is an association consisting of 17 Destination Management Companies (DMC), working in Cambodia for guests from the Western markets.

January 20th, 2021 | Recording is publically available here

Beyond Boundaries: Transforming‌ ‌Tourism‌ ‌with‌ ‌Digital‌ ‌Youth‌ ‌

Presenter: Jason Lin, Founder & CEO, Talent Basket

Making the tourism industry sustainable is a long-term process involving optimal usage of environmental, economic, and social resources. During this session, the speaker will share insights on how young digital talents worldwide will change the models that drive businesses and the impact of Sustainable Supply chain management.

Jason is a serial entrepreneur who aspires to create a global working and living movement that promotes balance, inclusion, and sustainability. Jason is the founder and CEO of Talent Basket, a digital consultancy and talent company made up of global citizens. Jason spearheads a roster of more than 1,000 Gen Z talents across 30 countries, speaking 11 languages, specializing in marketing, analytics, and creative skills. Under Jason’s leadership, the talents come together to work on digital business solutions, destination development, and sustainable movement advocacy for governments, NGOs, multinational corporations, and small to mid-sized businesses.

January 13th, 2021 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

GSTC 2020 Online Members Meeting

Every year, GSTC holds a professional conference focusing on sustainable tourism, standards, certifications, and the GSTC Criteria. The themes are different each year, with a changing focus on different sustainability aspects from the GSTC Criteria. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year we’ll hold a GSTC 2020 Online Members Meeting, 3 hours long which includes important updates and developments as well as examples of how the GSTC framework is being applied.

December 8th/10th | GSTC Members can watch the recordings here

Behind EcoHotels.com


  • Axel Weinert, Chief Executive Officer, EcoHotels.com
  • Patricia Plesner Arnsted, Sustainability Project Manager, EcoHotels.com

EcoHotels was founded in 2020, as a responsible and sustainable alternative to the large and dominant online travel agencies (OTAs). EcoHotels’ mission is to be a community for hotels, sharing knowledge and best practices, and standing side by side to promote sustainability in the travel industry. “We ensure that only truly dedicated and certified hotels are on our site – at the same time, we understand that sustainability has many faces and that each hotel may have its own approach to sustainability, prioritizing what lies closest to their hearts. There are many certifications out there, and some are more intense than others (and some are just greenwashing, as we’re sure you agree). So we have decided to use the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s framework. Being certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body or being certified to a GSTC-Recognized Standard will be the gateway to joining our site.”

November 25th, 2020 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

Sustainable tourism approaches to tackle the climate crisis: examples from destinations in Italy

With more frequent and more severe extreme events, the consequences of the climate crisis are affecting people and businesses alike and the touristic sector, in Italy, has not been spared by the fury of such events: in October 2018, Vaia storm destroyed thousands of hectares of forests of the most famous mountain touristic destinations in the north-east of Italy; one year before, in November 2019, Venice was flooded by an exceptionally high tide that none of the inhabitants had seen. Catie Burlando and Federico Pinato of Etifor – a spin-off of the University of Padova whose mission is to restore the balance between people and nature – will share insights and lesson learned from their work with two tourist destinations in Italy: Valsugana-Lagorai (a certified sustainable destination to the GSTC Criteria) and Alta Badia.

November 18th, 2020 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

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Ivory Consumption Among Chinese Travelers: Preparing for Post-COVID Tourism

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the travel and tourism industry, with estimates ranging from 60% to 80% decline in international tourism for 2020, but the sector is preparing for a resumption of travel once the threat of the pandemic has subsided. In order to ensure that the renewal of international travel is a green recovery that doesn’t lead to an undoing of conservation gains made with travellers over the last few years, it is important to understand the drivers that lead tourists to purchase elephant ivory while abroad. Before the current international travel restrictions were in place, GlobeScan and WWF conducted a study amongst more than 3000 Chinese travellers who had all been to key destinations in Asia – Cambodia, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, or Vietnam – between August 2019 and January 2020.

November 10th, 2020 | Recording available here

Good practices and opportunities for destination managers in times of Covid19

Presenter: Albert Salman, President, Green Destinations

From Oct 6 to Oct 9, 2020, the 5th Global Green Destinations Days (GGDD) will take place. Albert Salman, President of Green Destinations (GSTC-Accredited Certification Body) will share insights from the event with a focus on examples of good practices and opportunities for destination managers in times of Covid19.

October 29th, 2020 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members