First GSTC Training for Tourism Stakeholders in Jordan

From June 1 – 12, 2020, the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) delivered a 2-week online course on the GSTC Criteria, through a partnership with the USAID Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP).

The course was joined by 25 stakeholders from across Jordan, representing destinations, conservation organizations, private sector companies and other industry professionals. They engaged in lessons and discussion relating to all pillars of the GSTC Destination and Industry Criteria. They also learned from expert presenters on how the criteria are applied in Australia, Indonesia, and Bhutan, and worked on applying what they learned to local examples.

In the current global situation, many discussions focussed on how the GSTC Criteria can be applied to support the tourism industry in Jordan to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19 and aid the sustainable recovery of tourism. The course allowed participants to broaden their network and exchange ideas and solutions with their peers.

Following the training, all the course participants are taking part in the GSTC STTP examination, to pursue the GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism.

We look forward to seeing how this ambitious group will apply what they have learned to create a sustainable future for their industry.


The Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (USAID SCHEP), is a USAID project implemented by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) that uses a unique methodology for preserving, managing and promoting cultural heritage resources in Jordan through a community-first approach. The project began in 2014 and is set to continue until 2022.

Local communities are the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries of our programming. SCHEP helps communities around archaeological sites throughout Jordan harness the potential of their cultural heritage resources (CHRs) to create opportunities for education, employment and economic development.

SCHEP’s ultimate goal is the self-sufficiency and sustainability of Jordan’s CHR sector. We therefore focus on providing training courses and capacity building opportunities for students and heritage professionals, building a strong Jordanian Heritage Community of Practice, facilitating a positive enabling environment for Jordanian CHR institutions, and supporting local, micro- to small-scale enterprises.

GSTC Training Team

This online course for USAID SCHEP was delivered by the following team of trainers and contributors:


Dr. David Ermen, GSTC Trainer

Dr. David Ermen is a consultant and speaker, with a focus on destination management, service quality improvement, and sustainability. His experience in consulting, tourism development, and training spans Europe, the Middle East, Asia & Oceania. David researches and lectures on service management, sustainability and destination management related topics internationally.

In 2017, David was involved in writing the UNWTO’s “Journey to 2030” report for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, focusing on the private sector’s contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent speaking topics have included sustainable destination management approaches and tourism’s recovery from the Covid crisis.

Ayako Ezaki, Training Director, GSTC

Ayako Ezaki is the Head of Knowledge Management & Communications at TrainingAid. Having worked for over eight years in tourism professional training and education in the non-profit sector, Ayako specializes in content building, educational program design, and project planning. She also brings many years of experience in online communications, social media marketing, and web publishing. Through TrainingAid’s partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Ayako serves as Training Director to develop, manage and market the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program.


GSTC Trainer Steve NoakesSteve Noakes

Steve Noakes has been involved in the travel and tourism industry for 40 years, and is a long term advocate for sustainable tourism practices across the Asia