GSTC Trainers and PartnersAyako Ezaki2022-05-09T20:05:22+08:00
GSTC works with sustainable tourism training experts from around the world who serve as official GSTC Trainers of the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program. With our global team of trainers, the GSTC delivers Sustainable Tourism Training classes in several languages in addition to English.
Country: Australia Languages: English Regions of Operation: Asia Pacific
Dr. Cherise Addinsall is a Research Fellow at Southern Cross University, working on research and development projects in the South Pacific. Her research interests are in sustainable livelihoods and well-being, with a particular focus on enhancing benefits from tourism to host countries through sustainable tourism.
She has worked on a number of international research projects through the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. She has also published a number of articles and book chapters and recently supported the Vanuatu Government (through her company ‘Sustainable Island States’) to develop their Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (2018-2030).
Country: Japan Languages: Japanese, English Region of Operation: East Asia
Kazuhiro (Kazu) has been the president of the Hokkaido Adventure Travel Association since 2017, an organization that aims to promote adventure travel and to develop sustainable tourism in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. He is also a board member of Ecotourism Japan, the executive officer of the Hokkaido Tourism and Community Development Center, and a board member of the World Indigenous People’s Network AINU (WIN AINU). Through these positions, he supports local community development and conservation through sustainable tourism in Hokkaido.
Kazu also founded the Daisetsuzan Nature School in 2001. The school is based in the Daisetsuzan National Park in Japan, and provides environmental education, eco tours, and nature conservation programs. The school has a park management contract with the government, and strives to create a system of “environmentally conscious use”. The concept is of conservation by users, working with the local community towards sustainable park management.
Country: Germany Language: English, German, Spanish Regions of Operation: Europe, Latin America, Africa
Matthias Beyer is a fully qualified graduate of the hotel business and holds an engineering degree in landscape planning with a specialization in sustainable tourism planning. He has been working as an international consultant and expert on sustainable tourism planning, marketing and management since 2002 (with a special focus on developing and newly industrialized countries). After completing his studies, he worked as a freelance consultant and expert for several years and conducted various tourism projects in Germany, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia for national and international clients.
In 2005 he founded the international consulting firm mascontour GmbH – Sustainable Tourism Consulting & Communication. With Matthias as General Manager, the firm has since implemented about 140 tourism projects in over 50 countries. His main areas of expertise include sustainable destination management strategies, PR and marketing support for destinations, tourism product development, capacity development as well as sustainable supply chain and value chain management. In addition, Matthias works as a lecturer at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences since 2008. Over the past few years, he has given numerous presentations at international conferences and trade shows, published several professional articles, hosted various events, and prepared a number of trade publications. He also regularly holds training seminars on sustainable tourism planning, marketing and management.
Ms. Tshoganetso Carl-Ponoesele is the Executive Manager – Quality Services with the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO). With over fifteen years’ experience working for different private and donor-driven organisations in the field of Environmental Management and Conservation, Ms. Carl is particularly passionate about maximizing community involvement and benefits through sustainable tourism development. Her experience spans from capacity building of Ecotourism Certification assessors; business advisory on environmental sustainability issues and the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System to Community Based Organisations and tourism product developers as well as drafting of the tourism industry service standards and criteria.
In the advent of COVID-19, Ms. Carl led the development process of the Tourism Industry COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures for Botswana’s Tourism Industry, and has facilitated the process of the Botswana Ecotourism Certification Scheme (BECS)’s accreditation.
Monique Chen (Ying Chieh Chen)
Country: Taiwan Languages: Chinese, English Region of Operation: East Asia
Monique Chen is the co-founder and the previous-chairwoman (2011-2017) of Sustainable Travel Taiwan (STT). Monique is specialist as an urban planner and museum operator, and has been engaged in cultural and environmental preservation work for 20 years. STT’s main objective is to encourage – by action – destinations and tourism industry stakeholders to implement GSTC Criteria by using the tools of certification bodies accredited by GSTC.
Early in her career, Monique was the first Chief of Operations & Promotion of the Gold Ecological Park – a gold mining village from the 18th century, where she was able to explore local history with mine workers and local residents, while developing a more sustainable approach to environmental conservation.
Monique completed her Master’s Degree in Building and Planning from National Taiwan University. Through her master thesis “Reseeing Bao Tzang Yan – Building Process and Forms of Urban Informal Cultural Landscape in Developing Countries” (1999), she worked with people in historical squatter area in Taipei for 2 years, and joined the protest movement team of anti-demolition of the historical squatter area, helping vulnerable groups to speak out. Now, the squatter area is known “Treasure Hill Taipei Artists Village” and is listed as one of the top tourist spots of Taipei by Lonely Planet.
Ignacio de las Cuevas
Country: Spain Languages: English, Spanish, French Regions of Operation: Asia, Europe
Ignacio currently works as the Head of Hotel Training Initiative (HTI), a component of the Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) in Myanmar. Ignacio and his team have organised and delivered hospitality training to nearly two thousand people from disadvantaged backgrounds in 2015-16 and nearly three hundred supervisory level staff from partner hotels. Ignacio brings more than fifteen years of professional experience to the team, acquired in four different continents in both the private and public sectors. His background in tourism management led him to work for high-end international hotels in the Caribbean, the Maldives and Switzerland. Since 2005, Ignacio has gained experience working for a number of international organisations, such as IUCN, UNWTO and UNCTAD.
Ignacio is a passionate team leader who thrives on working in multicultural settings. He commits his time and efforts to disseminating sustainable tourism practices and bringing to light both the positive and negative sides of tourism development. Ignacio is multi-lingual and holds a Master Degree and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Ignacio has closely followed the development of Myanmar since 2006. He initially came to the country as a tourist, then as a researcher and he finally settled down in Yangon in 2012 with his family.
Dr. David Ermen
Country: New Zealand Languages: English, German Regions of Operation: Asia Pacific, Europe
David is a consultant and speaker, with a focus on destination management, service quality improvement, and sustainability in tourism. During his career he has managed large scale consulting and development projects in Europe, the Middle East, Asia & Oceania. The projects included developing national tourism strategies, establishing tourism training colleges, and creating quality management systems for hospitality operators.
In addition, David researches, teaches and guest lectures on both service management and destination management related topics at international tourism schools. In 2017, David was involved in UNWTO’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as a speaker and research contributor. Recent speaking roles include moderating the Destination Day at the ITB in Berlin and presentations on the management of destinations to avoid overtourism and millennials as sustainable travellers.
Country: Germany Languages: English Regions of Operation: Europe
Ayako Ezaki is Co-Founder and Head of Knowledge Management & Communications at TrainingAid, an international tourism and training company offering online training courses and skills development opportunities for tourism industry professionals.
Having worked for over ten 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 GSTC, Ayako serves as Training Director to develop, manage and market the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP).
Dr. Mami Futagami
Country: Japan Languages: Japanese, English Region of Operation: East Asia
Mami Futagami, Ph.D. is Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at the Meijo University in Japan, where she teaches courses in sustainable tourism, international fieldwork, and cross-cultural studies. She completed her M.A. in Anthropology at Pennsylvania University and Ph.D. in sustainable community development at Kyushu University. She has served on advisory committees of local government for township governance and gender equality.
Her research interests include the development of global criteria and indicators monitoring tourism sustainability and the promotion of community-based cultural heritage tourism. Currently she is head researcher for a three-year sustainable tourism project financed by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research.
Country: Scotland (UK) Languages: German, English, Spanish, French Regions of Operation: Asia, Latin America, Europe
Tim is the Managing Director of Gamper Smith Associates ltd., a consultancy firm based in Edinburgh specialised in international development cooperation. His main areas of expertise include vocational education and training, market systems development and local economic development in particular related to the sustainable tourism sector. His clients include international development partners, international NGOs, as well as local government authorities whom he advises on how to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate their sustainable tourism initiatives. His most recent tourism and hospitality assignments have brought him to Colombia, Peru, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan.
Prior to settling down in Scotland in 2017, Tim has worked for 7 years with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Switzerland, Ecuador and Bangladesh and 8 years with Swisscontact, a Swiss-based international NGO specialised in private sector development. As country manager for Swisscontact in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar Tim managed to build up a portfolio of tourism and hospitality programmes, including for instance in Southern Laos, where he piloted an innovative model for bringing together public, private and civil society stakeholders under a joint tourism destination management umbrella – a model, which has been adopted by the Lao PDR as their main destination management model. Throughout his career, Tim has been active in training and capacity building measures in intercultural settings and is passionate about bringing people from different backgrounds together to create better destinations for people to visit and to live in.
Country: South Korea Languages: English, French Regions of Operation: East Asia
Originally from France, Ms Catherine Germier-Hamel is the Founder & CEO of Seoul-based business consulting firm Millennium Destinations. She also serves as Global Senior Consultant specialized in smart & sustainable travel, tourism, hospitality, F&B and MICE.
For over 25 years, Catherine has gained international experience in marketing, communications, business development, event planning, project design, management, and coordination, as well as capacity-building and training.
Catherine holds a Masters’ degree in Management and Business Administration (1992) and a post degree in Sustainable Tourism Development (2004). In 2005, she started a new life in South Korea where, among many different adventures, she has served as F&B Marketing Manager at a Novotel hotel and Director of Global Programs and Sustainable Tourism Consultant at the ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty) Foundation, before establishing Millennium Destinations.
Catherine has been actively involved in several local and global companies, non-profit organizations and initiatives committed to the promotion and achievement of sustainable consumption & production patterns, poverty alleviation, social inclusiveness, environmental protection, and responsible governance.
Dr. Michaela Hölz
Country: Austria Languages: German, English Regions of Operation: Europe
The discussion about sustainability has accompanied her for almost twenty years now. After studying political science, comparative religion and law, she completed her PhD on the topic of sustainable development in connection with Luhmann’s systems theory. She worked as a sustainability and EMAS/ISO officer, implemented regional sustainability projects and taught “sustainability reporting”. She has profound experience in facilitating seminars with different techniques like Theory U and other systemic methods.
Since 2018, she runs her own consulting firm on tourism and sustainability, in which she accompanies destinations and tourism companies on their way to sustainability.
Dr. Mihee Kang
Country: South Korea Languages: Korean, English Region of Operation: East Asia, Southeast Asia
Dr. Mihee Kang is the President of PlayForest, a cooperative of sustainable travel businesses designed to benefit local communities and local activists dedicated to the conservation of their forests and to provide genuine community-based natural tourism experiences to the visitors. She was a research professor at Seoul National University, researching topics related to protected areas management and sustainable tourism. She received her Ph.D. degree at Seoul National University in 1999. She serves a number of key positions in both domestic and international organizations such as Korean UNESCO MAB Committee, Korean Geopark Committee, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and Asian Ecotourism Network. She has actively participated in numerous ecotourism projects in Korea and abroad such as Australia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Paraguay, etc. She has also published many articles and books including the recent book about ecotourism in ASEAN Countries.
Dr. Kumi Kato
Country: Japan Language: Japanese Region of Operation: Japan
Dr. Kumi Kato (PhD, Queensland, MEd, Griffith, BA, Tohoku) is a professor at the Faculty of Tourism/Graduate School of Tourism, Wakayama University, and a special appointed professor at Musashino University, Japan. She also has a visiting professorship at Asian Institute of Tourism, University of the Philippines, and advisory role at organizations including the Sustainable Tourism Promotion Center, APTEC (UNWTO Japan), Osaka University and Global Himalayan Expeditions India. She currently teaches sustainability & tourism, with a particular focus on community identity, empowerment and resilience. Before returning to Japan in 2008, she taught 24 years in Australia, in environmental studies, intercultural communication as well as professional development for teachers and business. She also developed a number of teaching materials and resources.
In 2018-19, Kumi lead a national project to develop a sustainable tourism standard Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations (JSTS-D), a GSTC-D based standard developed during 2019. She also served as a site auditor for the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award. Kumi is a passionate advocate for sustainability in community development, education and research, working with a wide range of stakeholders, and initiating practical and often creative projects (e.g. documentary, performances and public installations). Now based in Japan, she is committed to promoting sustainable tourism locally, regionally and globally.
Country: Germany, UK Language: English Regions of Operation: Europe
Nia Klatte is Sustainability Project Manager for Considerate Group, a specialist company that helps hospitality businesses operate responsibly. A sustainable and responsible tourism specialist with a Master’s in Tourism & Social Anthropology from the University of Brighton, Nia combines her passion for sustainable development within the travel and hospitality industry.
Previously, Nia worked for 7 years in South East Asia, as Sustainability Manager in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and as the Regional Sustainability Coordinator at Khiri Travel, and the Executive Director of Khiri Reach Foundation. Within a year she had helped Khiri become the very first DMC to be Travelife-certified in all its 7 destinations. Besides her engagement in various sustainability working groups across Southeast Asia, Nia is one of the founding members of IMPACT Vietnam, a network of responsible tour operators promoting sustainable tourism development.
Country: Sweden Language: English, Swedish Regions of Operation: Nordic Region
Jeppe Klockareson is passionate about travel, nature and sustainability issues and has worked in tourism since 2004, focusing on ecotourism and responsible tourism. He’s held previous positions at Basecamp Explorer Sweden and STA Travel Nordic, as Managing Director and Product Manager and is the owner and founder of Fair Travel. Fair Travel is committed to sustainable tourism and travel principles, offering advisory and consultancy, sales & marketing support, lectures, keynote speaking and project work. He’s been instrumental in developing specialized sustainable tourism training programs for travel trade professionals in cooperation with higher vocational educations in Sweden. He’s a returning teacher and speaker both in Sweden and beyond, on training workshops and capacity building for sustainable tourism development.
Jeppe is a current board member of the Swedish Ecotourism Society, and he’s held positions at the Steering Committees of various tourism educations. Jeppe is also the organizer of several sustainable tourism development events and forums in the past.
Country: Seychelles Languages: English, German, French Regions of Operation: Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, Europe
Diana works as a freelance sustainable tourism consultant for various stakeholders, such as the Institut de la Francophonie pour le Développement Durable (IFDD) and the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) and is a team member of the Berlin based consultancy mascontour GmbH. Diana has a university background in Tourism Management (BA, IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria & MSc, Skema Business School, France). Having started in the hospitality sector, she joined the Coordination Office of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism at UN Environment, before working as an international consultant on sustainable tourism projects as part of the mascontour GmbH team.
Since 2016 she is based in Seychelles where she co-founded the SSTF, a Seychellois NGO which acts as a connecting platform for tourism stakeholders in Seychelles, facilitating partnerships and joint initiatives for sustainable tourism, pursuing a five-year goal for Seychelles to be certified as a sustainable tourism destination by one of the GSTC-recognised bodies. Diana conducts regular trainings and workshops with a variety of different stakeholders from public and private sector. She considers herself a passionate sustainable tourism advocate and is an active board member of Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C).
Country: Germany Language: English, German Regions of Operation: Europe
Nicola Koschel serves on the GSTC Accreditation Panel on behalf of WWF. She is an independent tourism consultant based in Germany with a focus on the sustainable development and environmental management of tourism. After graduating from a BBA in Tourism Management and Consultancy (NHTV-NL) she obtained a Master in Sustainable Tourism Management (HNEE-DE).
Since 2007 Nicola has worked with and for NGOs, specialist researchers, federal ministries, the German Development Cooperation, the European Commission as well as by order of renowned consultancy firms. Her work portfolio involves product and destination development, feasibility studies, project evaluation, consumer market research, design of appropriate marketing strategies and the organization of study trips, tourism awards, and conferences. She is also a member of GSTC’s International Standards Working Group.
Dr. Kim Langmaid
Country: United States Language: English Region of Operation: Western USA
Dr. Kim Langmaid is the Founder and Vice President of Sustainability Programs at Walking Mountains Science Center in Colorado’s Vail Valley. Kim played a lead role in the creation of the Actively Green GSTC “recognized” industry standard, the Mountain IDEAL GSTC “recognized” destination standard, and assisting Vail, Colorado in becoming the first certified sustainable destination in the United States.
Kim has been involved with sustainable tourism, climate action planning, collaborative conservation, sustainability education, and NGO leadership and management for over two decades. She has partnered with local governments, tourism organizations, and over 100 businesses to accomplish sustainability results. In addition to her roles at Walking Mountains, Kim teaches in the Sustainability Studies program at Colorado Mountain College, serves on the Vail Town Council, and on the Colorado Tourism Office’s Destination Development Committee.
Kim began her career as a wilderness guide and interpretive naturalist and has served in a wide variety of education and facilitation capacities since then. She is passionate about empowering others to take an active role in sustainable tourism and is excited to offer the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program through Walking Mountains Science Center and other partners in the United States.
Leonardo Latorre Melin
Country: Chile Language: Spanish Region of Operation: Latin America
Leonardo Latorre Melin is the Executive Director of Regenera, a non-governmental organization that aims to promote sustainable and regenerative tourism development, with a special emphasis on protecting the cultural and natural resources of local destinations, as well as supporting families and communities where tourism serves as a tool for economic and social development. Leonardo has various professional experience in tourism destination planning, design of special interest products and facilitation of stakeholder participation processes.
He has a Master’s degree in Management and Innovation of Tourism from Universidad Austral de Chile, and diplomas in Indigenous Public Policies from Universidad Arturo Prat and Environmental Management from Universidad de Chile. He also teaches ecotourism at DUOC Valparaíso.
Country: Australia Languages: English, German Regions of Operation: Asia Pacific, Europe
Antje is currently an Associate Lecturer at the University of Queensland. Prior to joining academia, Antje has worked in tourism and hospitality for more than 15 years across several countries such as Germany, France and Australia. With the aim of helping to minimize the impact of the tourism and hospitality industry on its social, cultural and ecological environment, she focuses on educating and mentoring future industry leaders. To help the industry improve further, Antje has also started her PhD on the topic of sustainable workforce.
Previously she served as the Training and Corporate Project Manager at EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, as well as managing the EarthCheck Training Academy. Training development and delivery, speaking engagements and workshop facilitation has always been an integral part of her journey, including on-the-job training of new staff, facilitating climate change workshops, speaking at industry conventions and delivering training courses online or face-to-face. . She is a Certified Asia Pacific Visitor Economy Expert through the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA).
She serves as a Trainer for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and is a member of the GSTC Education and Training Working Group (ETWG).
Country: Chile Languages: Spanish, English Regions of Operation: South America
Jorge Moller started with ecotourism in 1985 in the South of Chile, always aware o bringing an environmental education perspective into a tourism experience. Moller is the owner of Darwin’s Trails Chile, a joint English-Chilean inbound Tour Operator with 20 years of experience providing authentic local experiences and local people contact for clients visiting Chile and Patagonia. Jorge works as a consultant with indigenous communities such as the Mapuches, Likan Antai and Rapa-Nui to provide them tools for sustainable development.
As an active member of the Board of the Chilean Tourism Bureau, Moller promotes the country of Chile in a sustainable way so as to include all type of experiences around the multiple Chilean territories. Jorge is also a teacher at the Universidad Catolica and a strategic partner of Fedetur (installing the Sustainable Distiction :S: in Hotels and Tour Operators coming up…). In 2013, Moller participated in the GSTC Early Adopter Program in Chile and had the privilege to represent Chile’s Lake Region at the GSTC AGM in Bonito, Brazil. Jorge was instrumental in the co founding and development of the South American Sustainable Tourism Network (SAST Network), which came into existence after the GSTC AGM and the ESTC in Bonito, Brazil.
Dr. Sabine Müller
Country: Switzerland Languages: German, English Regions of Operation: Europe
Dr. Sabine Müller is Lecturer and Project Manager at the Institute of Tourism at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland. Her main areas of expertise include: community based tourism, destination competitiveness and sustainable tourism development. Sabine is involved in teaching and leading consulting projects in a variety of topics with tourism businesses and political institutions.
Prior to her work at the Institute of Tourism in Lucerne, Sabine has worked for the German Development Cooperation in Asia. Her work included sustainable product and destination development, strategy development, implementation of tourism standards. She advised capacity building measures regarding sustainable tourism and designed training programs based on stakeholder requests and needs. During her international assignments, Sabine has organized and facilitated several tourism study trips and fairs. During her international assignments, Sabine has organized and facilitated several tourism study trips and fairs.
Country: Canada Language: English Regions of Operation: North America
Angela Nagy is the CEO of GreenStep Solutions, a company that has provided sustainability solutions for thousands of small and medium sized enterprises across Canada and the US since 2008. With more than twenty years experience in project management, business development, marketing and public relations, Angela has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the US and Canada, working with all levels of business, non-profits and governments on a variety of sustainability related projects.
Angela has been trained by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore, David Suzuki and IPCC scientists to deliver the Climate Reality Project. She is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting through the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and as a Sustainability Practitioner through The Natural Step.
Her experience also includes politics, and Angela has served as an elected official at the municipal and regional government elected on a platform of sustainability.
Country: Indonesia Language: Bahasa Indonesia Region of Operation: Indonesia
Mochamad Nalendra is the Executive Director of MarkPlus Center for Tourism and Hospitality, the GSTC training partner in Indonesia. He graduated with honors from Monash University, Australia in International Sustainable Tourism Management.
Currently, he is also the advisor to the chairman of Bali Tourism Board and has helped some local governments and tourism ministry on several projects including nomadic tourism playbook, sustainable tourism guideline in national parks, destination branding, and so on. He was also invited as a guest speaker in various tourism seminar and conferences both national and international.
Country: Colombia Languages: Spanish, English Regions of Operation: South America
Tourism and development expert advisor. She is currently Country Representative in Colombia for the Canadian Organization for Technical Cooperation – Canadian Executive Service Organization CESO-SACO, Country Representative in Colombia and Ecuador for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council – GSTC, and official trainer for the same organization. Natalia is a leader for the development and strengthening of COMUNITUR – the Tourist Community for Development, a network that works hand by hand with communities and initiatives to promote sustainable and responsible development. Natalia has an undergraduate degree in Finance and International Relations from the Externado de Colombia University, and a master’s degree in Environment from the Social Psychology Faculty from Barcelona University, Spain. She has worked in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Spain with the private and public sector, local communities and NGOs. She has more than 10 years of experience in tourism, development, and international relations. She is a professor at Externado de Colombia University in tourism public policies and analysis of international conjuncture for the Tourism and Hospitality Business Administration Faculty. She has experience in events organization, and training with rural communities; she has also been a lecturer at various national and international conferences.
Country: Australia Language: English Regions of Operation: Asia Pacific, Scandinavia
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. He is also Director/part-owner of Ecolodges Indonesia & EcoSafari Indonesia, operating ecolodges and inbound tours with a wildlife and biodiversity conservation focus across Indonesia, a Director of Binna Burra Mountain Lodge in the world heritage listed Lamington National Park in Australia and a Director of the Lamington Natural History Association at Lamington National Park.
In 2008, Steve was honoured with the inaugural Ecotourism Australia Medal, recognizing his active engagement in the Australian and international ecotourism industry. He was the lead Asia Pacific representative in the development of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, serving on the GSTC Board, the Education & Training Working Group, the Election Committee, the GSCT Trainers Selection Committee and as a senior GSTC Trainer. He has also 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. He the past two decades, has served as an Adjunct/Visiting Professor in Sustainable Tourism, at Universities in Australia, Norway and Finland. Nowadays, he is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University, Australia, and teaches the full semester Sustainable Tourism & Indigenous Cultures, subject at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia.
Country: Japan Language: Japanese Region of Operation: Japan
Minako Okada is a researcher and consultant in tourism marketing and management. After graduating from MSc in Tourism Marketing Management at University of Surrey, she has worked for over twenty years in the Japanese tourism industry including non-profit and private sectors Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), JTB Tourism Research & Consulting. Co. and The Japan Education Centre for the Hotel Industry. She brings diverse experiences and profound knowledge in tourism marketing & research, tourism education, MICE and tourism promotion.
Minako specializes in sustainable tourism, destination marketing & management and women’s empowerment through tourism (SDGs goal No5). Minako coordinated the development of the Japanese national sustainable tourism indicator system “Japan Sustainable Tourism Standard for Destinations” (based on the GSTC Destination Criteria) in collaboration with the Japan Tourism Agency (Japanese Government). She is currently a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Tourism, Wakayama University, researching women’s empowerment and sustainable tourism.
Dr. Ioannis Pappas
Country: Greece Language: Greek, English Regions of Operation: Europe
Dr. Ioannis Pappas is the Greece Country Representative for the GSTC, and serves as a Trainer for the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program. In addition, he is Approved Auditor for Hotels and Accommodations for Travelife, and Certified Auditor for Green Globe. He is an experienced professional engineer, with over 25 years of work focusing on sustainable tourism, energy and environmental efficiency, auditing or advising in standardization of companies and technological implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation methodologies.
He is active in auditing, consulting and training on all matters of interest to the tourism sector, as Sustainable Tourism Manager by Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence and PM4SD, Auditor for Stars Evaluation of Hotels and Vilas in Greece, Accredited Trainer of Passive House Standard, Accredited Verifier of Airports GHG and European Energy Manager. He also has extensive experience on Project Management as Coordinator and/or Manager in more than 20 National & EU Research Projects, as Certified Auditor of ISO 9001 and 14001 Systems, and as Trained Consultant of ISO 50001 Systems. Dr. Pappas is a Co-Founder and CEO of GREEN EVOLUTION, a unique Advising Company in Environment, Energy & Carbon Finance in Greece, and has been an active participant member of various international working groups (UNFCCC, CITL, ITL, CEN, TAIEX). He has a Diploma in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and a Post-Doc in Applied Mechanics in Energy Applications.
Country: USA Languages: English, Spanish Regions of Operation: North America, Latin America
Kathleen Pessolano is Director of Destinations Program and Associate Technical Director for the GSTC. 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. 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, she 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.
Country: India Language: English Regions of Operation: South Asia
CB Ramkumar (Ram) is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about sustainability and has over the years acquired application knowledge in sustainable living concepts. He developed a model for sustainable living when he built and founded Our Native Village, an eco resort just outside Bangalore, in South India. Over the last decade, he has extended his expertise to sustainable living – including topics such as sustainable food, sustainable health, sustainable marketing and branding.
Ram is also a trained Climate Leader after undergoing a training programme by the Former US Vice President and Nobel laureate, Mr. Al Gore. In addition to being a regular guest faculty in colleges across India, Ram is a guest faculty for the Indian Forest Officers training programme for eco tourism for the Jungle Lodges & Resorts in Karnataka and the International Centre for Environmental Audit & Sustainable Development in Jaipur.
Country: Switzerland Languages: German, English Regions of Operation: Europe
Holger is a tourism and hospitality expert and entrepreneur. With more than 22 years of experience he knows the industry from different angles. He has a broad knowledge and experience in collaboration within destinations and the industry. He studied tourism management and worked for an Austrian destination, an incoming agency and a ski resort before starting his own business in 2004, working on various projects in the tourism, hospitality and MICE sectors and lecturing for universities.
From 2010-2020 he was founder and managing director of a tour operator. He is co-owner of Tourismuspartner, which has been offering seminars on online reputation, distribution and guest communication in German and English worldwide since 2010 and he pools his knowledge and work as a trainer, facilitator and consultant in the field of sustainability as co-founder of Tourism Impact.
Dr. Anna Spenceley
Country: Seychelles Language: English Regions of Operation: Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, Europe
Dr. Anna Spenceley is an independent consultant based in South Africa. She works on sustainable tourism issues for a wide range of international agencies, including the World Bank group, the International Trade Centre, UNWTO, UNEP, UNDP and SNV. Anna’s work includes participatory policy and master plan development, triple bottom line assessments (economic, social, and environmental), tourism certification and indicators, market research, value chain analyses and also training.
Anna is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group), and leads capacity building for the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Sustainable Tourism Forum. Anna is on the editorial boards of the International Journal for Sustainable Tourism and Koedoe. Her book publications include “Tourism and Poverty Reduction”, “Responsible Tourism: Critical issues for Conservation and Development” and “Evolution and Innovation in Wildlife Conservation. Anna was a founding board member of the GSTC, and currently sits on the GSTC Destination Working Group and acts as GSTC trainer.
Country: Japan Languages: Japanese, English Regions of Operation: Asia Pacific
Mr. Masaru Takayama founded Japan Ecolodge Association (ECOLA) in 2006 and Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) in 2015, to promote nature and community-based sustainable tourism and eco-lodging industry in the region by creating a multi-stakeholder triple-bottom line platform. ECOLA is a Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC) member under the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme and developed the Environmentally Sustainable International Standard which is recognized to meet the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. He serves on the GSTC election committee.
Masaru also owns and operates a rural ecotravel agency, Spirit of Japan Travel, registered in Kyoto, and is an owner of a 75-year-old historic building registered under Japanese Culture Agency, Shunyoso, to make the place for a sustainable tourism, lifestyle training and education facility. He serves on a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad including Global Ecotourism Network and Ecotourism Japan, and has been appointed by internationally recognized award programs – including Tourism for Tomorrow Awards (World Travel and Tourism Council), World Legacy Awards (National Geographic), and Responsible Tourism Awards (Wild Asia) – to serve on the judging panel.
Prof. Urs Wagenseil
Country: Switzerland Languages: English, German Regions of Operation: Europe
Urs Wagenseil is Professor and Head of the Tourism Competence Centre of the Institute of Tourism at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland. His areas of expertise include: destination management, tourism strategies; tourism and sustainable development; tourism business and entrepreneurship. Urs serves on the board of TourCert (sustainability certification for tourism businesses and destinations), and is a current member of the GSTC Destinations Working Group.
Since 2005, Urs has been working at the Institute of Tourism at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, teaching as a Professor and leading applied research projects, as well as leading consulting projects with tourism businesses, NGOs, political institutions and other Universities in Switzerland and other countries around the world. Before working in the academic sphere, Urs acted as a Destination Manager in Lenzerheide, a good 1.1 million overnights all-year-destination in the Swiss Alps.
Urs also has industry experience managing incoming and outgoing tourism (e.g. working with Kuoni), and focuses on the following key topics: destination management, tourism strategies, tourism and sustainable development, tourism business entrepreneurship & start-ups and tour operating.
Country: Sri Lanka Languages: English, Sinhala Regions of Operation: Sri Lanka
Chinthana Duminduhewa is a specialist in tourism and sustainable development, entrepreneur, trainer, lecturer, consultant, and GSTC lead trainer. He is passionate about sustainable tourism, responsible tourism, ecotourism, wildlife tourism, and photography having more than 25 years of experience.
Chinthana is giving his knowledge and high capacity for innovative tourism product development specially in the area of community-centric tourism product development. Also, community involvement in protecting wildlife is his research area. At present, he is serving with many projects and training with International and national organizations. He is one of the pioneers in promoting sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka, specially in the national context. While being an entrepreneur in the tourism industry, he initiated concepts and developments to tourism as well. Currently, he is actively engaged in decentralizing the sustainable tourism concept all over Sri Lanka while delivering many programmes to stakeholders, university students, government entities, private enthusiasts, etc. He is the founding industry coordinator of the Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management CSTDM Programme at the University of Colombo.
Prof. DAC Suranga Silva
Country: Sri Lanka Languages: English, Sinhala Regions of Operation: Sri Lanka
Professor in Tourism Economics at the Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, with distinctive skills and competencies in teaching, research, consultancies on Tourism Economics, which covers and relates to different subject disciplines/areas such as Environmental Management, Sustainable Development, Market Analysis and so on.
He has a vast experience in Management of Public Sector Service as being the Director General/CEO of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM), Ministry of Economic Development, Sri Lanka from 2010 to 2012 and being Director of Staff Development Center (SDC), University of Colombo. He is the founding academic coordinator for introducing Diploma, Executive Diploma, Postgraduate and Masters in Tourism Economics and Hotel Management Programmes to the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has made a significant contribution for sustainable tourism development in Sri Lanka as an eminent academic, outstanding researcher and resourceful consultant after the completion of his PhD Study at Virije University Amsterdam, theNetherlands was on sustainable tourism development in Sri Lanka and completed Advanced Certificate in Environmental Management from New England University, Australia.
He is the founding academic coordinator of the Certificate Programme in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management (CSTDM) at the Department of Economics, University of Colombo.
TrainingAid, through its partnership with the GSTC, manages and develops the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program (STTP).
TrainingAid is an international tourism training company specialized in sustainable tourism. Focusing on practical and accessible skills development opportunities for travel and tourism industry professionals, TrainingAid offers and supports online, live and in-person training options. Working with industry leaders and experts, TrainingAid provides courses on key topic areas including business development, destination marketing and management, and effective tools and solutions for smart and sustainable growth of the tourism sector.
Regional Training Partners
GSTC works with partner organizations in various regions around the world that support the GSTC’s mission to increase sustainable tourism knowledge and practice. These training partners work with authorized GSTC trainers to offer the official GSTC STTP curriculum on behalf of the GSTC.
The Botswana Tourism Organization is the leading body supporting the efforts to market Botswana’s tourist product, grade and classify tourist accommodation facilities, and promote investment in the tourism sector. With its long-standing commitment to conservation of its land, wildlife and cultural heritage, Botswana enjoys a solid reputation as a progressive sustainable tourism destination and one of the top safari destinations in the world.
DASTA (Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration), Thailand
DASTA is a government agency which is accountable to Prime Minister, aiming to create, develop and prolong sustainable tourism in Thailand. DASTA focuses on developing tourism in designated areas, namely Chang Island and Vicinity, Pattaya City and Vicinity, Historical Parks of Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai and Kamphaengphet, Loei, Nan Old City, and Uthong Ancient City, in three dimensions – economy, society, and environment.
Region: Oceania, Asia Pacific Authorized Trainer: David Ermen
Destination Capacity is a consulting and training company, focusing on tourism strategy, destination management and sustainability. Operating from New Zealand, Destination Capacity provides in-person and online services to public and private organizations that want to take the next step in their sustainability journey.
Region: Nordic Region Authorized Trainer: Jeppe Klockareson
Fair Travel is a travel consultancy that works with companies around the world to make responsible tourism mainstream and successful. In addition to representing tour companies to offer fair and sustainable travel experiences, Fair Travel provides support to academic institutions, research groups and other organizations engaged in the area of socially, economically and environmentally responsible tourism.
Green Evolution, SA
Region: Southeast Europe Authorized Trainer: Dr. Ioannis Pappas
Green Evolution, based in Athens, Greece, was created in 2009 by a group of environmental, engineering, financial and legal experts who are specialists in ecology, energy and carbon finance. Green Evolution’s vision is to help create a sustainable and secure future based on integrated environmental services in tourism, assisting public and private sector organizations in their efforts to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change impact. Green Evolution offers consulting services in Southeast Europe working with several sustainable tourism certification standards and Awards, in Tour Operators, Hotels and Destinations. Green Evolution designs and implements strategies on greenhouse gas management and delivers training for the tourism sector.
Country: Indonesia Authorized Trainers: Abdullah Alaydrus
MarkPlus Center for Tourism & Hospitality is a unit business of MarkPlus, Inc., the leading marketing consultant in Indonesia. The Center provides professional services for tourism and hospitality industry players. It was inaugurated on 8th November 2014 by the Minister of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, Arief Yahya. MarkPlus Center for Tourism and Hospitality is highly committed in formulating relevant business solutions through its consultancy services, comprehensively understanding Indonesia tourism through insightful research, and building the capability of tourism and hospitality human resources using participatory learning approaches.
Country: Germany Regions of Operation: Global Authorized Trainer: Matthias Beyer
Founded in 2005, mascountour is a global consultancy working to achieve an innovative and consistent combination of tourism and sustainability. With an interdisciplinary team of expert, with many years of international industry expertise in tourism and sustainable development, mascontour works with destination organizations, tourism companies, and development cooperation organisations, offering practical solutions at the local, regional, national and international level.
Country: Chile Region of Operation: Latin America Authorized Trainer: Jorge Moller
Regenera is a non-governmental organization that aims to promote sustainable and regenerative tourism development, with a special emphasis on protecting the cultural and natural resources of local destinations, as well as supporting families and communities where tourism serves as a tool for economic and social development.
Walking Mountains Science Center
Country: USA Authorized Trainer: Kim Langmaid
The Sustainability Programs Department at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, Colorado offers educational group trainings and custom coaching opportunities to support businesses, destination managers, and local government staff and officials in understanding and implementing sustainable tourism practices. Walking Mountains provides the GSTC “recognized” Actively Green standard for certification of businesses, and the Mountain IDEAL GSTC “recognized” destination standard for certification of mountain resort communities. Onsite trainings are offered in Vail, Colorado and other locations.
Wise Steps Consulting
Country: Indonesia Authorized Trainer: Mochamad Nalendra
The first integrated sustainable tourism consultancy in Indonesia, Wise Steps is a solution provider for destination management organisations and private sectors. Be it local governments, hospitality and tourism businesses, or tourist villages, it helps provide new perspectives on sustainable development and technology in an effort to manage risk. Our talent pool experts specialise in rural destination development, sustainable tourism, marketing, feasibility study, and much more.
University of Colombo
Country: Sri Lanka
The University of Colombo in Sri Lanka was established in 1921 as University of Ceylon. It is the oldest and pioneer higher education institution in Sri Lanka by maintaining academic excellence. It has developed a tourism study program named Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management (CSTDM) with the GSTC partnership. The CSTDM programme provides the required theoretical and conceptual knowledge and right practical applications of sustainable tourism development in Sri Lanka with the context of global best practices to the prospective students those who are currently involved in and for those who aspire to join the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.