What: 2-day sustainable tourism training by the GSTC
When: June 13-14, 2018
Where: 1250 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Language: English
Fees: Regular- US$425, GSTC Member- US$385. Group discounts available for groups of 5 and more (learn more about registration rates)

This 2-day training class is offered in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), hosted in its U.S. headquarters in Washington, DC, and supported by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST).


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.

Covering both global and regional perspectives, the STTP offers practical guidance through best practice cases and real-life lessons to help you achieve your 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.

Certificate in Sustainable Tourism 2017 SAMPLE 300pxCertificate in Sustainable Tourism

By completing this training class, 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.

>> Learn more about GSTC Certificate in Sustainable Tourism

*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.

GSTC Trainer: Kathleen Pessolano

Kathleen Pessolano, Destinations Program DirectorKathleen Pessolano is the GSTC’s Strategic Partnerships Director. Kathleen is an attorney and international practitioner at the intersection of tourism and sustainable development. She assists destinations with planning, policy, and management systems to develop tourism while protecting the natural and cultural resources loved by visitors and residents alike. Kathleen especially enjoys working directly with communities to build capacity, devise strategies to broaden community benefits from tourism, and launch public-private governance structures for sustainable destination management.

Kathleen is particularly passionate about coastal tourism issues and small island development. In the last decade, Kathleen has worked for the GSTC, The Heritas Group, Cultural Heritage Partners PLLC, Sustainable Travel International, and served as an attorney for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Before law school, Kathleen helped the Center for International Private Enterprise advance private sector development in Latin America & the Caribbean.

Sustainable Destination Example

The training class includes a live conversation (via video conference) with Tim O’Donoghue, Executive Director, Riverwind Foundation.

Tim O’Donoghue is a consultant providing services for communities, destinations, and businesses in sustainability, sustainable tourism, and geotourism as Principal of Riverwind, LLC. He is leading the collaborative stakeholder sustainable destination development efforts of Teton County, Wyoming for Jackson Hole & Yellowstone. In addition, he is leading Geotourism program development as Chair of the National Geotourism Council and coordinator of the Greater Yellowstone Geotourism project.

He is the former Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce where he led efforts to integrate and promote economic, environmental, and social values and priorities into the policy and practices of businesses, including the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. These efforts included leading Teton County’s participation as one of six destinations selected worldwide in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Early Adopter Program for creating the world’s leading sustainable tourism destination criteria; the offering of Green=Green workshops for businesses; and the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce’s Bronze Certification in Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Tourism Education Program (STEP) – the first destination management organization to be certified worldwide.


GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Washington DC May 2017
GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training (Washington DC, May 2017)

Registration Details

The early-bird registration fees (available through May 1st, 2018) for this class are:

  • US$ 375 per person (Regular)
  • US$ 335 per person (GSTC Member)

After May 1st, 2018:

  • US$ 425 per person (Regular)
  • US$ 385 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, and coffee and lunch breaks during the training days.

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$ 310 per person.
  • 11+ people: US$ 295 per person.

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

Need-Based Discount

We have a limited number of need-based discounts available for current students and professionals who demonstrate genuine needs.




About Our Partner: WWF

The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.


About Our Partner: CREST

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a unique policy-oriented research organization dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST assists governments, policy makers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies with finding solutions to critical issues confronting tourism, the world’s largest service industry. CREST provides interdisciplinary analysis and innovative solutions through research, field projects, publications, consultancies, conferences, courses, and documentary films, recognizing tourism’s potential as a tool for poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation.


Contact Us

If you have any questions about this training class, see our FAQs page or contact: training [at] gstcouncil.org

*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.