The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) offers practical insights and effective steps to help you improve your sustainability practices, and an opportunity to earn GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. The facilitated online training class of the STTP offers a convenient way to improve your sustainability skills in a flexible online learning environment, while at the same time learning from and interacting with GSTC experts and fellow sustainable tourism practitioners.

The 2017 Q4 class is scheduled for October 30th – November 24th, 2017 (four weeks), and is led by GSTC Trainer Dr. D’Arcy Dornan.

What: 4-week online sustainable tourism training class by the GSTC
When: October 30th – November 24th, 2017*
Where: Online
Language: English
Fees: See registration rates and discount options here. Group discounts available for groups of 5 and more.

*Weekly live webinars scheduled for 16:30-17:30 CET (UTC +1) on the following days:

  • Week 1: Monday, October 30th and Thursday November 2nd
  • Week 2: Monday, November 6th and Thursday, November 9th
  • Week 3: Monday, November 13th and Thursday, November 16th
  • Week 4: Monday, November 20th and Thursday, November 23rd

These live webinars will be recorded and participants will be able to watch the recordings any time during the training class period. Although strongly encouraged, attending these sessions live is not mandatory.

About the STTP | Certificate in Sustainable Tourism | Course Topics and Objectives | Course Modules | Expert Presenters | Registration Details

Sustainable Tourism Training for Industry Professionals

The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) provides the knowledge and resources needed to help improve sustainability practices by tourism industry businesses and destinations. Built on the framework of the GSTC Criteria, the global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, the STTP training class will help you achieve tangible actions that fulfill the globally recognized standard of sustainability best practices.

Certificate in Sustainable Tourism 2017 SAMPLE 300pxCertificate in Sustainable Tourism

By completing this 4-week online training class of the STTP, you will meet the training requirement towards earning the GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism.

Once you complete the class, you will have have access to the official STTP Exam, and upon successful completion (75% and above passing mark is required), receive a Certificate in Sustainable Tourism by the GSTC to demonstrate your knowledge of sustainable tourism standards and practices.

*The STTP Exam fee, US$ 75 per person, is NOT included in the training class registration fee. To take the exam after completing the training class, please select the «Exam & Certificate» add-on option during registration. You can also choose and pay separately for the Exam fee after the training class period.

>> Learn more about GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism

Course Topics and Objectives

The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training covers both global and regional perspectives, and offers practical guidance through best practice cases and real-life lessons to help you achieve tangible sustainability performance goals. The training curriculum includes global trends and issues in sustainable tourism, sustainability best practices by businesses and destinations, and lessons on utilizing the GSTC Criteria as a tourism development and management tool.

You will:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of sustainable tourism standards and the roles of accreditation and certification bodies in the global tourism industry.
  • Be able to make informed decisions on how to implement sustainability practices for your company or destination, utilizing quality sustainable tourism standards as guiding principles.
  • Learn how to build and implement viable and actionable sustainable tourism plans for your organization, including effective strategies for sustainability management, partnerships, engagement and marketing.

Course Modules

Module Topics & Learning Goals Live Webinars
Week 1: Effective Sustainable Tourism Management The first module provides an introduction to the GSTC Criteria, the definition and principles of sustainable tourism, and the GSTC’s roles in the global tourism industry, and discusses best practices in sustainable tourism management approaches (GSTC Criteria Section A).

Learning Goals:

  • Understand the roles of the GSTC and the GSTC Criteria.
  • Learn about and discuss relevant sustainability issues and tourism trends.
  • Become familiar with sustainability management principles and discuss best practices.
Monday, October 30th

  • Getting Started with the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Online Course
  • Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand – Understanding Sustainable Tourism Certification

Thursday November 2nd

  • Jeremy Sampson – Ecosystem Programme Communications Officer, IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation
Week 2: Socioeconomic Impacts and Local Community Benefits The goal of the second week is both to dive deeper into the GSTC Criteria and to discuss practical steps to applying the Criteria in the real-world context, focused on understanding the socioeconomic impacts of tourism activities, and on effective strategies for reducing negative impacts (GSTC Criteria Section B).

Learning Goals:

  • Understand issues and challenges related to the socioeconomic impacts of tourism.
  • Learn about sustainability practices that effectively address the socioeconomic impacts of tourism.
  • Discuss practical application of the GSTC Industry Criteria through a business case study
Monday, November 6th

  • Case Study: Museu de Favela Project (Elisa Spampinato)

Thursday, November 9th

  • Business case for sustainability in travel and tourism (Randy Durband)
  • Group exercise short presentations and feedback
Week 3: Cultural Heritage Preservation and Promotion Continuing on with lessons and expert presentations on the GSTC Criteria, this week focuses on how tourism businesses and destinations can minimize negative impacts, maximize benefits to local communities and protect cultural heritage through sustainable tourism (GSTC Criteria Section C).

Learning Goals:

  • Understand issues and challenges related to the impact of tourism on local cultural heritage.
  • Learn about best practices on reducing negative impacts of tourism activities on local cultural heritage.
  • Discuss how to maximize tourism’s benefits for communities, visitors and local cultures through sustainability practices.
Monday, November 13th

  • Catherine Evans, Associate Faculty, Royal Roads University / Owner, Tours of Exploration

Thursday, November 16th

  • Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll, Founders, Uncornered Market / Branding and Marketing Advisors, QV Global / Tourism Development and Marketing Advisors, USAID Kyrgyzstan
Week 4: Resource Management and Environmental Conservation In the fourth and last module of the course, key strategies for reducing tourism’s environmental footprint are presented, and practical action steps in implementing sustainable resource management and conservation practices are discussed (GSTC Criteria Section D).

Learning Goals:

  • Understand issues and challenges related to the environmental impacts of tourism.
  • Learn about best practices on reducing footprint and positively contributing to conservation.
  • Discuss how to achieve optimal results for the local environment, while supporting business growth.
Monday, November 20th

  • Sue Snyman, Group Sustainability Manager, Wilderness Safaris / Regional Programme Director, Children in the Wilderness

Thursday, November 23rd

  • Group final presentations

Expert Presenters

GSTC Trainer Dr. D'Arcy DornanDr. D’Arcy Dornan

Dr. D’Arcy Dornan is the Brazil Country Representative for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and serves also as a GSTC Trainer. He is the Founder & Chief Strategist of Global Leadership Training & Development. D’Arcy completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis, where he specialized in sustainable tourism for development. He has taught, published and presented in tourism and hospitality and has been undergraduate/graduate program director at institutions in the U.S. and France. He has worked in the industry and has experience conducting consultancy projects with NGOs, destinations and others in the industry (hotels, trade associations, tour operators, travel agents, etc).

Randy Durband GSTC CEORandy Durband

Chief Executive Officer, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Randy Durband has had two careers in travel and tourism – 20+ years in senior leadership positions at some of the finest U.S. tour operators, having served as President for Travcoa, INTRAV, and Clipper Cruise Lines, plus Executive Vice President of Tauck World Discovery. Following that, in his second travel and tourism career, Randy advanced the work of Sustainable Tourism as an advisor, consultant, and speaker. He brings his knowledge of the business of travel, his global network of travel professionals, and a passion for sustainability to support the GSTC and the general sustainable tourism movement.

Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand

Dr. Willy Legrand is Professor of Hospitality Management at the IUBH School of Business and Management in Bad Honnef – Bonn, Germany. He combines undergraduate studies in Geography and Hospitality Management followed by an MBA with a specialization in Corporate Environmental Management. He obtained his PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He worked in the hospitality industry in Canada and Germany, before accepting a position at IUBH. He holds undergraduate and graduate courses on sustainable development, hospitality facilities management and marketing in Germany but also as a visiting professor at reputable universities in Singapore, India, Dubai, France, Peru, Estonia and the United States.

He is the lead author of the textbook Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations (3rd edition released in 2016), and the Guest Chief Editor of the Hotel Yearbook Sustainable Hospitality (2017). Dr. Legrand is a Senior Partner at Audit Diagnostic Solutions Tourism (ADST) which specializes in online sustainability assessment, environmental audit preparation and sustainability training, and a Verifier for the Pledge on Food Waste, which reviews and evaluates evidences of compliance of hospitality companies to guidelines provided under the pledge.

Dr. Sue Snyman

Sue Snyman is the Group Sustainability Manager for Wilderness Safaris, overseeing regional community development, culture, biodiversity conservation and environmental management systems for Wilderness Safaris in seven African countries. Sue joined Wilderness Safaris in 2008, bringing with her over a decade of experience in the ecotourism industry in southern Africa, including guiding, community development and liaison, camp management and environmental impact assessments as an independent consultant. She received her PhD (Resource Economics) from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2013. The focus of her PhD research was on the socio-economic impact of high-end ecotourism in remote, rural communities adjacent to protected areas and was based on over 1800 community surveys in six southern African countries. Sue is vice-chair of the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group and coordinator of the Communities & Heritage Working Group within this specialist group.

She is also a Board Member for Children in the Wilderness (an environmental education and community engagement programme in six southern African countries) in Botswana and South Africa, and the convener of the SADC Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) Tourism Community of Practice. Through a recent Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) project, she co-authored Guidelines for tourism partnerships and concessions for protected areas: generating sustainable revenues for conservation and development.

Jeremy Sampson

Jeremy Sampson

Ecosystem Programme Communications Officer, IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation

Jeremy is a marketing, communications, and community engagement specialist with extensive experience in sustainable tourism, international development, and nonprofit management. He currently works with IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation at the cross-section of conservation and tourism, where he provides communications and management oversight for ecotourism projects. Other industry roles have included Vice President of Partnerships at international NGO Sustainable Travel International, President at leading eco-luxury operator GreenSpot Travel, and Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University´s International Institute of Tourism Studies.

Jeremy has a passion for supporting emerging businesses and communities to increase their competitiveness and protect natural and cultural resources through product development, compelling storytelling, and sustainable operational models.

Jeremy was previously the program lead for the Sustainable Travel Leadership Network, through which he organized and facilitated the first-ever Travel and Tourism Collective Impact Summit. He was also the marketing and communications lead for the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) and Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Alliance (MARTI), both LAC-focused regional initiatives.
Jeremy has lead and contributed to a variety of projects during his career, focused on sustainability evaluation, planning, marketing, and communications, in more than 30 destinations including: Kenya, St. Croix (USVI), Dominica, Samoa, Namibia, Lanzarote (Canary Islands), Oregon, Norway, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Albania.

Elisa Spampinato

Elisa Spampinato is a freelance consultant and researcher in Sustainable Tourism with wide experience in international community-based tourism. Since 2003, she has been involved in activities, researches and social projects on sustainable development and international cooperation in Italy and Brazil. In 2009 she completed a MA in Social Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro allowing her to combine the Social Innovation and Management studies with her background in Anthropology and Sociology.

This experience gave her the knowledge and the inspiration to complete her field work on Slum tourism in Rio de Janeiro, which has recently turned into a book (Tourism in Carioca slums and situated development: the possibility of the encounter in six local community initiatives). She currently collaborates with local and international NGOs and Universities in researches on local development and sustainable tourism, as well as collaborating in social projects at community level in Brazil.

Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll

Audrey and Daniel are strategists with an eye to implementation – in the experiential, adventure and sustainable travel spaces. Their advisory reflects a deep understanding of the link between positioning, product development and marketing. Their work helps clients and partners better understand and position their core strengths, tell their story, reach new audiences, and deliver innovative experiences focused on local culture, cuisine and environment. Their ethos is centered on travel as a force for good for communities and travelers. They insist on communicating sustainable tourism in a jargon-free, relatable way.

Together, they have cooperated with and provided strategic online marketing and product development consulting to tourism boards, DMOs, tour operators, ecolodges and organizations such as USAID and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Daniel and Audrey have made speaking appearances at UNWTO Tourism and the Media, ITB Berlin, INDABA, ESTC, GSTC, ATWS, EyeforTravel, TBEX, TEDx, and university venues in the United States.

Dan and Audrey are the founders and editors of one of the world’s top travel blogs, Uncornered Market, winner of Best Responsible Tourism Blog at WTM (2015). This keeps them intimately connected to consumers and digital media trends. After traveling around the world for nearly 10 years and visiting over 90 countries, they are still going…and still married.

Registration Details

The early-bird registration fees (available through September 20th, 2017) for this class are:

  • US$ 445 per person (Regular)
  • US$ 395 per person (GSTC Member)

After September 20th, 2017:

  • US$ 495 per person (Regular)
  • US$ 445 per person (GSTC Member)

*For GSTC Organization members, the above member discount is available to all staff members and can be used for an unlimited number of times.

What’s Included

As part of your registration, you will receive training materials to be provided prior to the class; access to the online training platform; and a Certificate of Completion confirming your attendance in the class.

Group Registration Options

You can sign up multiple people at the same time when registering online. Select the number of people you would like register, and you can enter contact details for each participant on the form.

We also offer a discount for each group purchase of more than 5 seats.

  • 5-10 people: US$ 375 per person.
  • 11+ people: US$345 per person

If you would like to sign up as a group of 5 and more, please contact us ( for more details.

Need-Based Discounts

We offer a limited number of need-based discounts to current students and professionals who demonstrate genuine needs. To apply, please submit this application form.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this training class, see our FAQs page or contact: training [at]
*Can’t make it to this class? STTP online training classes are offered quarterly, in addition to the onsite face-to-face training classes offered throughout the year in various locations around the world. See all upcoming STTP training classes here.