Sustainable Tourism Fourm Italy

The third edition of the Sustainable Tourism Forum, one of the hubs of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in Italy, concluded successfully in Padova, with more than 150 participants. The event was celebrated on the 27th of September, 2023, on World Tourism Day.

The main topics addressed in the Sustainable Tourism Forum were:

  • Tourism organizations and the relationship with residents
  • Sustainability and professionalism in tourism
  • Synergies between sustainability standards
  • Climate crisis adaptations and opportunities

Mr. CB Ramkumar, GSTC Vice-Chair & South Asia Program Director, presented a keynote speech at the beginning of the Forum and Julieta Battilana, from GSTC, participated in the session: Sustainable Tourism Standards and Certification Systems, along with:

  • Luigi Mazzaglia, CEO Vireo 
  • Mauro Masiero, Researcher at University of Padova, Scientific Director at Etifor and Chairman of FSC Italy
  • And Paola Fagioli, Tourism Department, Legambiente Emilia Romagna

“It was inspiring to witness the dedication of industry professionals in Italy who are driving positive change in the tourism sector. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to exchange ideas and insights with them,” said Julieta Battilana, from GSTC.

An in-person meeting of the GSTC Italy Working Group was held a day before the Forum, with more than 40 professionals who gathered to discuss the objectives and the role of the Italy WG in the next years.


The GSTC Italy Working Group is a network of Italian organizations that implement and promote international sustainability standards for tourism defined by GSTC. The group consists of: Etifor Srl Società Benefit, APT Valsugana, IDM Südtirol, Consorzio di Promozione Turistica del Tarvisiano, Coop. Turistica San Vigilio/San Martin – Dolomites, Ecoluxury Travel Srl, Viaggi dell’Elefante, Soc. Coop.Turistica Alta Badia, Stefania Zanuso, Territori Sostenibili, Ekita, Hospitality Team Srl Soc. Find more information on GSTC Italy WG here.

“We now have a shared responsibility to carry forward the goals we have decided on together, and we are available to make sure that the hoped-for developments take place,” says Stefano Ravelli, CEO at Azienda per il Turismo Valsugana and Chair of the GSTC Italy WG.

Prior to the Forum, an in-person GSTC Sustainable Tourism Course was held in Padova, in collaboration with Etifor, organized by the GSTC Italy Working Group. The training was held in English on the 24th and 25th of September, 2023.

GSTC Sustainable Tourism Course in ItalyThe training offered practical insights and expert guidance to help tourism destinations and businesses, at various stages of their sustainability journey, make informed decisions on how to implement sustainability practices and how to develop viable sustainable tourism policies for their organizations and destinations.

The trainer was Mr. CB Ramkumar, GSTC Vice-Chair & South Asia Program Director. Who also presented a keynote speech in Padua, on the 27th of September, in the Sustainable Tourism Forum.

“When a group is keen, hungry and serious in its intent about embracing sustainable tourism and all its components, it bodes well for a destination. This is what I saw as a speaker and a trainer in the days I spent in Padova. Kudos to Team Etifor and all the people associated who made these few days energetic and filled with progressive thoughts and discussions,” says CB Ramkumar, GSTC Vice-Chair & South Asia Program Director. 

[Photo Credit: Matteo Danesin]