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:

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 | 9:00‌ ‌EST ‌(Miami)‌ ‌|‌ ‌15:00‌ ‌CET‌ ‌(Madrid)‌

Register to the webinar

Fighting Food Waste in Hotels

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

April 15th, 2021 | 09:00 PST (CA) | 12:00‌ ‌EST ‌(NY)‌ ‌|‌ ‌‌17:00‌ ‌GMT ‌(Ireland)‌ | 18:00‌ ‌CET‌ ‌(Spain)‌

Interested in presenting?

Members that are interested in delivering webinars can contact GSTC General Manager, Roi Ariel, at roi@gstcouncil.org 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.

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 | 10:00‌ ‌EST ‌(Miami)‌ ‌|‌ ‌16:00‌ ‌CET‌ ‌(Madrid)‌

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 | 09:00 PST (CA) | 12:00‌ ‌EST ‌(NY)‌ ‌|‌ ‌‌17:00‌ ‌GMT ‌(Ireland)‌ | 18:00‌ ‌CET‌ ‌(Spain)‌


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 | 9:00‌ ‌CET‌ ‌(DE)‌ ‌|‌ ‌15:00‌ ‌ICT‌ ‌(TH)‌ ‌|‌ ‌17:00‌ ‌JP‌ ‌|‌ ‌18:00‌ ‌AEST‌

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 |

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

Hoteles más Verdes: La ecoetiqueta argentina y sus desafíos ante la pandemia (Español)

Presenter: Emiliano Mastelli, Technical Coordinator of Hoteles mas Verdes

Desde hace diez años la Asociación de Hoteles de Turismo de la República Argentina viene trabajando para incluir la sustentabilidad dentro de la agenda turística del país. Con ese propósito ha creado el Programa Hoteles más Verdes cuyo objetivo es unificar criterios de sustentabilidad en un país extenso y con un oferta turística diversa. Aún con alguna crisis económica en el camino, se mantuvo un crecimiento constante hasta el desafío actual de la pandemia mundial; teniendo que adaptarse a la nueva realidad y aprovechando sus oportunidades.

September 30th, 2020 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

EXO Travel: How a Tour Operator can Influence its Supply Chain to be More Sustainable

Presenter: Alexandra Michat Roux, EXO Foundation Manager & EXO Travel Director of Sustainability

How can DMCs influence hotels and other travel suppliers to become more sustainable? Alexandra of EXO Travel will share how EXO is working to influence its suppliers (hotels, restaurants, etc.) to choose a more sustainable path. When EXO Travel contract suppliers, they ask them to sign EXO’s sustainability addendum. It includes main requirements regarding sustainability (both ethics & environmental protection) & health/safety. This has already been signed by 619 partner hotels. In 2019, EXO released a new version that includes a request for hotels to set-up refillable water stations for guests. EXO Sustainability Guide 2019-2020

September 22nd, 2020 | Recording of the webinar is available for GSTC members

Sustainable Events: Examples from Scandinavia

Presenter: Peter Reelfs, Sustainability Advisor & Lecturer, NorthFlash
Every tenth tourist stated at TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer 2017/18 “event” was the reason for their last trip. Events are also a common tool used by tourist destinations to attract visitors and extend the season. For tourism companies and destinations that work sustainably and organize events, it is therefore only logical to also pay attention to sustainability in events, as the ecological and social footprint of an event can be immense. This webinar is about identifying the sources of the impact and how to minimize negative consequences.

August 26th, 2020 | Recording available for GSTC members

Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP)

Presenter: Karen Valenti, Program Manager, KPAP

KPAP raises public awareness regarding the proper treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro, assists climbing companies with implementing procedures that ensure fair and ethical treatment of their porters, lends climbing gear free of charge, and offers educational classes to empower and motivate porters and mountain crew.

Vanuatu Tourism Crisis Response & Recovery Plan

Presenter: Jerry R. Spooner, Director, Vanuatu Department of Tourism

Vanuatu has developed a Tourism Crisis Response & Recovery Plan to tackle the effects from Cyclone Harold and COVID19. The five core pillars in phase 1 of the Recovery Plan include health, access, product, marketing and comms. The Plan can be downloaded here: https://cutt.ly/quOxPz8

Inclusive Travel: the Importance of Accessibility and How to Implement it

Presenter: Martin Heng, Inclusive Travel Specialist

The concept of inclusive travel is an integral part of sustainable tourism where services should be provided for all people. Accessibility is a central element of any responsible and sustainable development policy. It is both a human rights imperative, as well as an exceptional business opportunity. “Tourism for All” is also referred to in the GSTC Criteria (GSTC-I criterion A7.4; GSTC-D criterion B8). Martin Heng will explain its importance and provide clear examples that can be easily implemented by hotels, tour operators, and destinations.

June 30th, 2020 | Recording available for GSTC members

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) Tourism Resiliency Program

Presenter: Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA President & CEO

Together with the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat representing the 5 Regional Destination Management Organizations (RDMO) in British Colombia Province, TOTA has activated a new Tourism Program for the industry in late April to provide direct support the industry was asking for.

June 18th, 2020 | Recording available for GSTC members

Food Waste Reduction in Hotels: Insights from Winnow

Presenter: David Walker, Chief Commercial Officer, Winnow

Winnow was founded in 2013 with the belief that food is too valuable to waste. Our proposition was to create a solution to the problem of food waste in the hospitality sector. Today, Winnow is helping chefs and managers in 40 countries save over 36 million meals.

June 17th, 2020 | Recording available for GSTC members

What Can be Learned from Six Senses’ Strict Plastic Policy

Presenter: Jeffery Smith Vice, President – Sustainability, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

“No plastic straws since 2016 and millions of plastic bottles eliminated every year thanks to producing and bottling our own drinking water (in glass bottles) on site. Plans are now well underway to eliminate the rest and we encourage our guests to join in too. Our audacious goal: to be completely free of plastic by the year 2022.”

Implementing sustainable practices in the time of COVID-19

Presenter: Natalie Kidd, Managing Director, PEAK DMC; Chief Operating Officer, Intrepid Group

Due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the likelihood of international borders remaining closed for an extended period, Intrepid Travel has suspended all tours globally until at least 30 September 2020. Natalie Kidd will share insights from Intrepid Group / PEAK DMC about how companies can continue implementing sustainable practices at such times.

Discussion: COVID19 recovery as a path to better destination stewardship

Led by: Jonathan Tourtellot, CEO of Destination Stewardship Center; Co-Chair of GSTC Destination Stewardship Working Group

May 14th, 2020 | Recording available for GSTC members

Sustainable Tourism Activities around Volcanoes National Park in Northern Rwanda

Presenter: Greg Bakunzi, Founder, Red Rocks Initiatives For Sustainable Development

Red Rocks Initiative is an African non-profit organization that supports sustainable development in Africa by engaging in sustainable tourism and community-driven environmental conservation initiatives that are meant to benefit local communities.

May 12th, 2020 | Recording available for GSTC members

Randy Durband 100

Influencing Supply Chains Using Certifications

Presenter: Randy Durband, GSTC CEO

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.

The webinar will use two case studies of Royal Caribbean Cruises Sustainable Shore Excursion and MSC Cruises Protectrours, that give priority to businesses that are certifi