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). Following its success, a second 2-week online course was delivered from August 20 – September 3, 2020.

The courses were each 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 focused 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 courses for USAID SCHEP were 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, Founder, Pacific Asia Tourism

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 Pacific region. He is founder of Pacific Asia Tourism, an international project management company focused on tourism’s capacity to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Steve has been an active participant on the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts and the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, contributing to a number of UNWTO projects in Asia and East Africa. As an experienced business leader, Steve serves as a Director/part-owner of Ecolodges Indonesia & EcoSafari Indonesia, operating ecolodges and inbound tours with a wildlife and biodiversity conservation focus across Indonesia, and is the Chair of the Board of Binna Burra Lodge in the world heritage listed Lamington National Park in Australia. He is also the Director of the Lamington Natural History Association at Lamington National Park.

Karma Tshering, CEO & Founder, Eco-Call Consultancy Service

Karma Tshering is a sustainable tourism and livelihood development specialist. He is the CEO and Founder of Eco-Call Consultancy Service, which focuses on planning and management in ecotourism, nature recreation/parks, environment, landscaping, green hotels, sustainable livelihoods, visioning/strategic planning and institutional management. Recognizing the huge potential tourism can offer to complement Bhutan’s overarching development philosophy of Gross National Happiness he recently founded the Bhutan Sustainable Tourism Society as a platform for fostering partnerships and promoting and strengthening sustainable tourism development in Bhutan. He also serves as an evaluator/judge for the National Geographic unique lodges program and legacy awards; Board member in the Asian Ecotourism Network; and as the representative for Travelife to promote sustainability in tourism.


Jeremy Sampson, CEO, The Travel Foundation

Jeremy Sampson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Travel Foundation. Before taking the helm at the international tourism charity, he was already well-known and respected within tourism and conservation networks with a wealth of experience in Sustainable Tourism, having worked across the spectrum of destinations, industry, NGOs, and academia. He has held leadership positions for a range of organisations, including as President of international tour operator GreenSpot Travel and Vice President at Sustainable Travel International.

Chris Flynn, President & CEO, World Tourism Association for Culture & Heritage

Chris Flynn is currently President & CEO of the World Tourism Association for Culture & Heritage, a position that requires liaison at the most senior levels of Industry, Government and Academia. With 36 years experience in international tourism working in a wide range of countries across four continents, Chris has an intimate knowledge of the industry and the requirements needed to identify critical trends that have the potential to influence future tourism development and expansion.

About the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP)

The GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP) training opportunities around the world throughout the year for tourism professionals interested and engaged in sustainability. With the aim of strengthening awareness of sustainable tourism in destinations around the world, the training program covers global trends in sustainable tourism and sustainability best practices for businesses and destinations.

Learn more about the STTP and contact (training [at] for additional information.

Follow updates on the STTP on social media with the hashtag #GSTCtraining.