Amos Bien is the Technical Director at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). He is a professor at the Universidad de Cooperación Internacional (UCI) and Tulane University. He was the lead consultant for developing the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, author of the “Guide for Tourism: Instrument for Environmental and Social Management” (IUCN) for the environmental authorities of Central America and the Dominican Republic and the Inter-American Development Bank’s “Tourism Sustainability Scorecard”. He is a member of the ISO Technical Committee on Tourism, outgoing president of Costa Rica’s Tropical Science Center, and founder of Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve, the pioneer ecolodge of Costa Rica.
Arantza Acha, an expert in human development and sustainability, holds a degree in Biology and a Master in Conservation and Rural Development from the University of Kent. He worked seven years in the Office of UNESCO Asia-Pacific, in programs that integrate human development with social, economic and environmental sustainability, especially in initiatives that have promoted ecotourism managed by local communities, tourism in protected areas and good governance in the management of natural resources and landscapes. He has published several articles in scholarly and popular magazines on sustainable development and environmental conservation, including sustainable tourism. As Director of the Basque Country UNESCO Etxea-Centre, she coordinates the five strategic areas of the organization, including the Sustainability Program, through which assistance is provided to local and regional actors on sustainable development, linking local initiatives to programs of UN and UNESCO.
Carmelo J. León González
Carmelo J. León González holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) and Bachelor of Economics from the University of La Laguna, Tenerife. Also holds a Master in Economics and a Diploma in Economics from the University of Manchester. He is a professor in the Department of Economic Analysis since 1989. He is Director of the Research Group ECOMAS (Economy, Environment, Sustainability and Tourism ), Director of the University Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development (Tides) and the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Tourism Planning and Development of the ULPGC. From 2001 to 2008 he was Director of the Doctoral Program in Economics, Department of Economic Analysis of the ULPGC. It has three six-year research. He has been the principal investigator of several national and international projects on Economy, Environment and Tourism, and has specialized researches in environmental economics, valuation of environmental goods, tourism economics, economics of aquaculture and of natural resources. He has spoken at numerous conferences nationally and internationally and has written more than 70 scholarly articles, books and book chapters.
Costas Christ is an award-winning travel writer and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler. In addition to his work with National Geographic, Costas’s articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Virtuoso Life, International Herald Tribune, and theSunday Times of London, among other publications. One of the world’s leading sustainable tourism experts, Costas’s work and travels have taken him to more than 125 countries across six continents. He has been recognized along with Dr. Jane Goodall, Ted Turner, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as one of 50 Global Visionaries working to save the planet. Costas also serves as chairman of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards, which honor companies, organizations, and destinations on the leading edge of positive change in the global travel industry.
Juan Ramón Meléndez Agudín
Juan Ramon Melendez Agudín has been the Institutional Relations Manager of Ecoembes since 2013, in addition to being CEO of Sismega Environmental Consulting from 2006 to 2013 and COO of Ecovidrio from 2000 to 2006. He graduated in Economics and Business Studies from the Faculty of Economics and Business of Santiago de Compostela, and a Master in Security from the Francisco de Vitoria University. Juan Ramón Meléndez Agudín es Gerente de Relaciones Institucionales de Ecoembes desde 2013, además de haber sido Director General de Sismega Consultoría Medioambiental y Director de Operaciones de Ecovidrio del año 2000 hasta el 2006. Es Licenciado en Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales por la Facultad de Económicas y Empresariales de Santiago de Compostela, con un Master en Dirección de Seguridad de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria.
Cristina Núñez Cuesta
Coordinator of the European Network of Regions for a Competitive and Sustainable Tourism – NECSTouR – since 2012, Cristina Núñez Cuesta holds a Degree in Tourism (Spain-France), a post graduate degree in European affairs (Belgium) and a Diploma of National Interpreter-Guide (France). She has over ten years of experience in the tourism sector, covering customers welcoming and guiding, accommodation and leisure activities booking, destination marketing and promotion, events organization (MICE), research, project management and tourism policy. Her previous employers are ECORYS Brussels NV (Events Project Manager), the European Commission (interservice traineeships), the Catalan Tourism Board Benelux Officer (Promotion Assistant) and several tourism stakeholders based in the Costa Brava Tourism Destination (Catalonia, Spain). Cristina Núñez has a strong expertise in Destination management models and in tourism territorial strategy. Today she runs the NECSTouR Network, driving and promoting its strategy, projects and activities, being the main representative of its Members position towards the European Institutions.
Kathleen Pessolano is Associate Technical Director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and directs the GSTC’s Destinations Program. 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 also reviews international tourism sustainability standards for Recognition by the GSTC. 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. 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. Kathleen earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. summa cum laude from Holy Cross and is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.
Leandro de Lemos
Leandro de Lemos is an economist and professor of economics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) in Brazil, PhD in Tourism from the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He is the author of several books, chapters and articles on the economics of tourism, consulting projects sustainable tourism development. He is currently director of the Enterprise Management Agency and Chairman of the Council PUCRS Regional Economics Rio Grande do Sul.
Dr Louis D’Amore is Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). He has been instrumental in promoting the travel and tourism industry as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry” since the founding of IIPT in 1986. Dr. D’Amore has been a pioneer in promoting a social and environmental ethic within the travel and tourism industry since the mid-70’s. In 1992, following the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Summit), he developed the world’s first Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism for the Canadian tourism industry. The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and poverty reduction; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. It is founded on a vision of the world’s largest industry, travel and tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry; and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace”.
Sidney C. H. Cheung
Sidney C. H. Cheung is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Anthropology, Associate Director of the Centre for Cultural Heritage Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, he has carried out field research in Japan, Hong Kong, mainland China, Southeast Asia and Louisiana, and published his research on visual anthropology, anthropology of tourism, cultural heritage, food and identity in journals such as:Visual Anthropology, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Annals of Tourism Research, etc. and is co-editor of Tourism, Anthropology and China, (White Lotus, 2001), The Globalization of Chinese Food (RoutledgeCurzon 2002) and Food and Foodways in Asia: Resource, Tradition and Cooking (Routledge 2007). He serves as a partner of the UNESCO Chair project of Tours University, France on “Safeguarding and promotion of Cultural Food Heritage,” and member of the Scientific Committee of Greenline Heritage conference series in Portugal since 2008.
Erika Harms is a member of Solimar International, until recently she also served as the Executive Director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), a cutting edge initiative that provides a clear set of standards, protocols, processes and measurements for how businesses can better the planet and practice sustainable tourism. Ms. Harms has focused on creating platforms to bring together the private and public sector in support of the United Nations' conservation priorities, with a market access approach, and has spearheaded initiatives such as the World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism and the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. In 2008, Conde Nast Traveler recognized Ms. Harms as a "Trail Blazer" in Sustainable Tourism and in 2010 she received the HSMAI award for Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing. Ms. Harms holds a degree of Attorney at Law and a master's degree in Business Administration and Natural Resource Management from INCAE, Central American Institute of Business Administration, in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Born in Costa Rica, Ms. Harms' native languages are Spanish and German.
Louise Twining-Ward Ph.D. has lived and worked in more than thirty countries, providing businesses, destinations and governments with the strategies and tools they need to protect their environmental and cultural resources and generate economic opportunity. Her particular area of expertise is small islands, and the development and use of indicators for monitoring sustainable tourism destination management. Prior to joining the organization in 2011, Louise was a consultant for the World Bank and Tourism Resource Consultants, a private firm based in New Zealand. She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and an accredited STEP Eco-Certification Assessor. Louise wrote the World Bank and Africa Development Forum’s 2014 Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods book, the 2010 UN Women and UNWTO’s Global Report on Women in Tourism, contributed to UNEP’sGreen Economy Report and co-authored Monitoring for a Sustainable Tourism Transition: the Challenge of Developing and Using Indicators. A South Pacific expert, supported the development of a code of ecotourism practice for the region, a tourism development plan for Samoa, a tourism human resource strategy for the Cook Islands, and designed a Regional Tourism Classification Program and a regional tourism handicraft project. She also produced the World Bank Africa Regional Tourism Strategy, the Africa Tourism Flagship Report, The Namibia Tourism Policy Note and the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label. Louise earned her Ph.D. in sustainable tourism and an MSc. in tourism planning and management at the University of Surrey.
Geoff Penrose established worldclasstourism.com in 2010 as an international consultancy that operates across South East Asia and the Pacific improving the quality and sustainability of your tourism experience. An economist, Geoff was CEO of Qualmark New Zealand from 2004 to 2009 and works on projects with local and national governments, NGO’s, donor agencies, leading Hotel chains and specialist resorts. Geoff is a Global Sustainable Tourism Council accreditation panel member since 2011 and also lecturers part time in hospitality and strategic tourism management.
Mr Luigi Cabrini, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and an Advisor to the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Mr Cabrini has been the Director of the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Programme from 2007 until 2013, focusing its activities on tourism and climate change, tourism and biodiversity, observatories for sustainable tourism, tourism in the green economy, tourism and heritage and global partnerships. From 2002 to 2007 he was UNWTO Regional Representative for Europe and Secretary of the UNWTO General Assembly and Executive Council. From 1982 to 2002 he was responsible of United Nations programmes for development and assistance and protection of refugees, including Representative’s positions in Guatemala, Mexico, Somalia, Pakistan, Poland and Spain. Luigi Cabrini is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish and has basic knowledge of Russian and Polish. He is the author of various articles, speeches and papers.
Herbert Hamele has been working 30 years in the field of sustainable tourism and regional development in Europe. In the 80’s he started with studies and model projects related to e.g. youth travel or German consumers’ demand for environmentally friendly tourism. In 1993 he founded and since then chairs the European network for sustainable tourism development ECOTRANS. Beside research, teaching and consulting activities he is managing the DestiNet knowledge networking portal on sustainable and responsible tourism, developed and hosted by ECOTRANS in partnership with the European Environment Agency EEA, UNWTO and UNEP. To provide transparency in sustainable tourism certification and to facilitate market access he administrates and publishes on the DestiNet Market Place the global list of more than 200 voluntary certificates and awards and the global map of certified and awarded tourism.
Miguel Ángel Troitiño Vinuesa
PhD in Geography from the Complutense University of Madrid (1979) , where he is Professor of Human Geography since 1991. Miguel Angel Troitiño Vinuesa is an expert on urban geography, urban planning, tourism and regional planning. He has participated in various planning experiences in cities in Spain and Latin America. He has developed an intense activity in the field of tourism in the cities heritage of UNESCO. He is a visiting professor at several universities and has directed several projects in the field of relations between cultural heritage tourism and historic cities.
Naiara Ayo Elorriaga has a degree in Human Nutrition and a first class degree in Science and Food Technology, both from the “University of Basque Country”, a postgraduate in Quality Management and Business certification from the “National University of Distance Education – UNED” and a Master of Bussines Administration from the “University of Basque Country”. She has been quality and trainning responsible in the private sector, managing national and european investigation projects. Currently she is responsible for the Quality, Training & Sustainability Unity in BASQUETOUR, Basque Tourism Agency (Basque Government, Economic Development and Competitivity Department – Viceministry of Trade and Tourism); leader for the implementation process of Biosphere Responsible Tourism Certification for the Basque Country, full member of “NECSTouR, Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism”, first associated member as Destination of “ECOTRANS, European Network for Sustainable Tourism Development” and affiliated member of UNWTO.
From 1986-2012, Natarajan Ishwaran served in senior positions in UNESCO for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program and the International Geosciences Program, where he developed international conservation and development initiatives in all parts of the world Since 2012 he is a State Recruited Expert of the Chinese Government enabling RADI (Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth) and HIST to link Chinese science and technology for the conservation, management and sustainable development of UNESCO designated World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves and global geoparks Serves on the editorial boards of Environmental Development and Australasian Journal of Environmental Management.
Deputy Director, Global Protected Areas Programme – IUCN. Pedro Rosabal work in IUCN includes preparing technical documents and assessments on protected areas issues, support and networking with the World Commission on Protected Areas, project coordination and management, project development and negotiation, as well as technical and policy input to the CBD process and the UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, including the evaluation of WH nominations and undertaking monitoring missions to WH properties. His regional experience in IUCN covers Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, North Eurasia and the Pacific. He is member of the IUCN/World Heritage Panel and the International Council of Experts of the Institute for Responsible Tourism. He also contributes regularly to master courses on protected areas issues organized by the University of Almeria, the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the International University Menéndez Pelayo.
Randy Durband has had two careers in travel and tourism – twenty-plus years in senior leadership positions at some of the finest U.S. tour operators, having served as President for Travcoa, INTRAV, and Clipper Cruise Lines, (brands within TUI Travel plc), plus Executive Vice President of Tauck World Discovery. Following that, in his second travel and tourism career, Randy advanced the work of Sustainable Tourism as an advisor, consultant, and speaker. He brings his knowledge of the business of travel, his global network of travel professionals, and a passion for sustainability to support the GSTC and the general sustainable tourism movement.
Xavier Font is an expert in responsible tourism marketing, with extensive experience in industry and government training on all aspects of sustainable tourism production and consumption. He is the most published academic in the world in sustainable tourism certification, having consulted on this subject for UNEP, UNCTAD, UNWTO, IFC, EC, VisitEngland, Fáilte Ireland, WWF and the Travel Foundation amongst others. He lectures at Leeds Metropolitan University (UK) and provides sustainability marketing advice through http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/respondeco/
Ibon Galarraga is Research Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and was also Deputy Director for the period 2013-2015. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Bath (UK), a M.A. Economics from the University of Essex (UK) and a B.A. Economics from the University of Basque Country (EHU-UPV). Ibon has worked as an environmental consultant for both public and private clients and taught microeconomics and macroeconomics at the University of Bath and Economic Policy at the University of Deusto. He has a number of publications in the field of environmental and resource economics, energy and climate policy. During July 2005 and May 2009, he was the Deputy Minister for the Environment of the Basque Government, Executive Vice-president of the Environmental Public Society IHOBE and Member of the Board of the Basque Energy Board (EVE).
Jafar Jafari is Professor of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Department of Hospitality and Tourism (USA). He came to this position trained as a cultural anthropologist (PhD, University of Minnesota, USA) and as hotel administration graduate (BS and MS, Cornell University, USA), bringing with him additionally an honorary doctorate from the Universitat de les Illes Balears (Spain). Jafar’s contributions to the academic community span international boundaries and institutions. He is Visiting Professor of the Universidade do Algarve (Portugal), Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), and Sun Yat-sen University (China); Lifetime Honorary Professorship of Bundelkhand University (India), and international Program Director of the Universitat de les Illes Balears (Spain).
Jane Ashton is the Director of Sustainability of TUI Group, the world’s number one integrated tourism group created from the merger between TUI AG and TUI Travel PLC (December 2014). In this role Ashton heads up the development of policy and strategies to steer TUI Group towards becoming a more sustainable business. She also works with NGOs, industry peers, government and international bodies to help develop strategies for sustainable tourism. Since 2001 she has pioneered sustainable tourism, first at First Choice Holidays, with her remit broadening early in 2008 to become Head of Sustainable Development of TUI Travel PLC and then Director of Group Sustainable Development in March 2011. Jane has a degree from Bristol University, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Business from Cambridge University Program for Industry.
Sue Millar is President of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism (ISCCT) and ICOMOS representative on UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme. As President of ISCCT she collaborated with ICOMOS Philippines in 2012 – an international conference was held in Vigan: Cultural Tourism for Community Development: 40 Years of the World Heritage Convention; and with ICOMOS Thailand in 2013 – participating as a keynote speaker at the Expert Symposium in Sukhothai: Living Heritage: Creative Tourism and Sustainable Communities. Autumn 2014 – Joint-President ICOMOS Scientific Symposium at the General Assembly in Florence on the theme Sharing and experiencing the identity of communities through tourism and interpretation. Director of an International Cultural Tourism & Heritage Management Consultancy – Sue Millar Associates (SMA Consultancy) – based in Greenwich, London, United Kingdom focused on developing an integrated stakeholder approach to destination planning and management – one that embeds heritage protection (natural and cultural, tangible and intangible) and sustainable community development into conservation and tourism policies, planning and the visitor experience. Her work is underpinned by early careers as archaeologist, museum curator, museum educator, heritage interpreter and university academic. Currently, also Co-Director Culture Works (London) Ltd – specialising in developing the capacity of heritage and tourism organisations to improve the visitor experience at a destination through interpretative planning, communications and encounter strategies, and the effective use of accredited vocational qualifications. Previous senior roles: Director, Interpretation & Learning, Royal Museums Greenwich – part of Maritime Greenwich World Heritage & Director of Greenwich University Business School – leading the development of the Centre for Cultural Heritage Management. As Chair of ICOMOS-UK Cultural Tourism Committee, she was responsible for the declaration on Finding the Spirit of Place: Conservation, Communities & Cultural Tourism (The Norwich Accord 2009).
Joan Torrella Reñé has a Degree in Psychology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a Master’s Degree in Managerial Function in Public Administration from ESADE. He has worked in the public administration since 1983 taking on various management posts in the fields of Human Resources Management and the territorial management of services for people. Since the year 2000, he has focused his work on the area of economic promotion of the city where he has worked in the departments of strategic sectors, territorial economic promotion, and tourism and events. He has participated as a member of the work team of the “Tourism Strategic Plan of the City of Barcelona 2010-2015” which contributed to the positioning of Barcelona as a leading tourist destination with the “Biosphere Responsible Tourism Certificate”. Currently, he is the Director of Tourism in the City Council of Barcelona from where he promotes and coordinates policies for managing tourism in the city through the different municipal areas. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Barcelona Tourism since 2008.
Jordi Ficapal i Mestres
Jordi Ficapal i Mestres has a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology (UB), Strategy and Regional Competitiveness (UPC), Family and Social Welfare (UB), and a Master in Development Cooperation (UB) and Public Administration (ESADE ). Director of the Centre for Responsible Tourism at the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (Universitat Ramon Llull) where he has held various responsibilities as Research and Academic Director, Lead Researcher of the Research Group on Ethics of Tourism and Hospitality (GRETHOS ) and professor of various subjects such as “Anthropology and sociology of tourism”, “Analysis of the tourism environment”, “Sustainable Tourism”, “Tourism and Community Development” and “Responsible Tourism” among others. He is a member of the Chair of Applied Ethics ETHOS and the UNESCO Chair of Development Cooperation of the URL and member of the International Network of Researchers in Development Cooperation and Tourism COODTUR. He directed between 2003 and 2006 the group of consultants for the implementation of the Global Code of Tourism Ethics for the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In 2013 he organized and chaired with Professor Harold Goodwin the 7th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations held in Barcelona.
Jordi Tresserras Juan
Expert in cultural heritage management and cultural and creative tourism. PhD in Geography and History at Universitat de Barcelona. From 1999 is professor at Cultural Management Program at the Universitat de Barcelona and from 2012 is director of LABPATC Lab of Cultural Heritage, Creativity and Cultural Tourism, a spin-off of Universitat de Barcelona and IBERTUR – Network of Heritage, Tourism & Sustainable Development. He was assistant professor of cultural tourism in the Center for Latin American and the Caribbean Studies at New York University (2001). He is also currently visiting professor at the Master and Doctorate Program in Heritage Management and Tourism at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and at the Cultural Management Postgraduate Program at Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. Consultant for international organizations (Council of Europe, European Commission, IADB, ILO-UN, OEI, SEGIB, SICA, UNESCO, UNWTO, World Bank) and national cooperation agencies (AECID, Alliance Française, Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo, Cooperation Suisse, GIZ, HIVOS, JICA). Member of the UNITWIN Network of the UNESCO Chair on Culture, Tourism and Development, the University Network of the European Institute of Cultural Routes and the Culture and Gastronomic Tourism Product Clubs at Catalan Tourism Board.