STI News


Chilean Destination Completes “Early Adopter” Assessment of Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


July 25th 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Chilean destination of Lake Llanquihue has completed the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Early Adopters pilot program to test its new Criteria and Indicators for Destinations.  The destination joins the Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu corridor in Peru as the first South American destinations to participate in and complete theGSTC Early Adopters program.

The Early Adopters program is overseen by GSTC’s Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International (STI). The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which is the worldwide sustainability standard for tourism businesses.

Located in south central Chile in the Los Lagos Region, this tourism destination notably features Lake Llanquihue, the second largest lake in Chile, and the lake resort towns of Frutillar, Puerto Varas, Llanquihue, and Puerto Octay.  Tourism is economically vital to the region, where visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes, and partake in outdoor recreation such as skiing, hiking, hot springs, and activities in and around the lake.

“We are pleased to welcome Peru and Chile to the Early Adopters Program,” said GSTC Board Chairperson Kelly S. Bricker, Ph.D. “These two iconic South American destinations are demonstrating true global leadership. We are confident that this second and final round of our pilot program will help the GSTC continue our effort to incorporate diverse perspectives and improve the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations for world-wide application through a transparent, collaborative process,” she said.

“Chile’s participation in the GSTC Early Adopter Program is part of our national strategy to position ourselves as a sustainable destination,” Fernando Ortúzar, Regional Director of Tourism Los Lagos said. "It is a tremendous challenge for the region and posed an extraordinary opportunity for the four municipalities, the private sector and all Lake Llanquihue stakeholders to lead the development of sustainable tourism," he said.

During a 10-day span, a sustainable destination specialist from Sustainable Travel International met with key stakeholders in Lake Llanquihue to discuss tourism, entrepreneurship, economic development, environmental conservation, and heritage protection.  In Santiago, the on-site meeting opened with tourism leaders from the public and private sector, including national representatives from SernaturCorfoSubsecretaría de TurismoFEDETUR, and the tourism program at Andres Bello University, as well as individual business owners.

Sustainable Travel International met with a small working group at the beginning and end of the evaluation period, and also conducted stakeholder meetings and site visits throughout the period. More than 30 leading organizations and local leaders in tourism were consulted during the evaluation, which included a comprehensive review of the legislative and policy framework relevant to the GSTC Destination Criteria.

The report also included key sustainability areas covered by the GSTC Destination Criteria that the destination can improve upon based on the findings.  Stakeholders in the destination participated in the Criteria and Indicators development process by adding their feedback.

Additional Early Adopter destinations will be announced in the coming weeks.  Once feedback has been collected from the Early Adopter destinations and synthesized, the GSTC will develop and distribute a final version of the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations.  The final version is expected in November 2013. 

###


About the GSTC 
(www.gstcouncil.org)

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. Housed within the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative.
 

About the GSTC Destination Criteria

The GSTC’s Destination Criteria were developed by a panel of business owners, academics, government officials, and other experts, who examined the UN World Tourism Organization’s Indicators of Sustainable Development and other such guidelines currently in existence. Because the criteria are intended to describe a globally applicable set of minimum steps needed to approach sustainability, the criteria are seen as a baseline that each destination should add to or adjust as needed.

The GSTC does not aim to certify destinations as sustainable; rather, the Council will review existing certification standards and acknowledge those that meet their criteria. However, any destination will be able to use the new criteria as a guide to becoming environmentally, culturally, and socially sustainable.  
 

About Sustainable Travel International (www.sustainabletravel.org)

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We’ve been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.

Media Contacts

Aimee Romero or Gwen Migita
Global Sustainable Tourism Council 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
702.739.9933 

Jeremy Sampson
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
415.806.5630 

 
Open opportunity for Director Finance and Operations

Director of Finance & Operations

Job type: Full time
Location: Portland, OR or New York, NY
Start date: Dec/Jan
Deadline for applications: 20 December 2013 (Deadline Extended)

Sustainable Travel International is seeking a fast-learning, motivated professional to manage finance and operations for a growing non-profit organization. This is a significant growth opportunity for a high-performing individual.

Sustainable Travel International’s mission is to help destinations, businesses, and travelers develop and implement innovative solutions that protect the environment, support adaptation to climate change, maintain sense of place, and generate economic benefits.

We’re looking for an individual who can contribute professional financial management and reporting to our organization while helping to manage and improve operational and HR systems that will enable us to effectively achieve our mission.

The goal of the Director of Finance and Operations is to ensure that all of Sustainable Travel International’s finances are properly managed, that financial reporting is timely and accurate, and the organization’s human resource management processes are professional and consistent.

The key responsibilities of the Director will be to:

  • Manage the organization’s daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual financial activities, including the monitoring of cash balances
  • Lead the preparation of internal and external financial reports, forecasts, budgets and financial targets
  • Support the operations of the organization, including human resources and administration


Ideal candidates will have a degree in business, finance or administration, at least three years experience in financial management and operations, preferably in the nonprofit sector, and a keen interest in travel and sustainability.

We operate a virtual office environment but will give preference to candidates located within two hours of our offices located near around Portland, Oregon  or NYC, NY.


Essential qualifications and requirements:

  • A degree in finance, accounting or business administration (CPA/MBA preferred)
  • Three or more years experience in financial management, cash forecasting and/or operations
  • Proven experience improving operational systems, processes and policies
  • Excellent skills and familiarity with Quickbooks and Excel
  • Experience in human resources and administration
  • A passion for travel, tourism and sustainability
  • Flexibility, multi-tasking capability, ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The desire to make a significant contribution to a global organization making a social difference


Desirable qualifications:

  • CPA
  • Familiarity with Google Apps, Salesforce, project management systems
  • Proven ability to perform effectively in a virtual office environment
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector
  • Experience in travel logistics and foreign currencies
  • Experience with contractual language/documentation


Compensation:

Commensurate with experience. A 90 day introductory period applies to all new positions. This is a significant career opportunity for motivated, fast-learning and successful candidates.

The application process:

Qualified candidates should complete this short application, and send your CV and one-page cover letter to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with “Director Finance and Operations” and your last name in CAPS in the subject line. These documents should demonstrate your writing and presentation capability. Please also include your last name in CAPS in the file name of any attached document.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until December 20th, 2013 (Deadline Extended). Only short-listed candidates will be notified. Short-listed candidates will be requested to provide the names and contact details of three references, including at least one direct manager.

About Sustainable Travel International (www.sustainabletravel.org)

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We’ve been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.

 
Sustainable Travel International is Seeking a Director of Programs

Director/Senior Director, Programs

Job type: Full time
Location: Washington DC, New York, or Portland, OR
Start date: Sept/Oct
Deadline for applications: 16 August

Sustainable Travel International is seeking a talented tourism professional to manage business and destination programs and projects worldwide. This is a significant growth opportunity for a high-performing individual.

Ideal candidates will have a graduate level degree in business, tourism or a comparable field as well as at least 4 years experience in delivery of high-quality projects related to sustainable tourism or corporate sustainability. Specific skills and experience in at least one of the following areas is needed: education/training, planning, corporate partnerships, standards and monitoring. Fluent English communication skills is a must. Fluency in Spanish, French, German, or Portuguese is a plus.

We operate a virtual office environment but will give preference to candidates located in Portland, Washington DC or New York.

The idea candidate for this job will have:

  • A graduate degree in business, communication, tourism or a related field
  • Four or more years experience in sustainable tourism or sustainability
  • Specific knowledge and experience in at least one of the following:  education/training, planning, corporate partnerships, standards and monitoring
  • Excellent proven writing and communication skills
  • Experience in managing client relationships
  • Flexibility, efficiency and multi-tasking capacity work in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated field work with communities, governments, and/or corporate clients
  • A passion for travel and tourism and sustainability
  • Cross-cultural skills and understanding
  • The desire to make a difference in the world


Desirable Qualifications:

  • Proven ability to perform effectively in a virtual office environment
  • Work experience in the tourism industry
  • Second language ability


Compensation:

Significant career opportunity for motivated, fast-learning and successful candidates.

The application process:

Please complete this online application form and apply in writing to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Applications will be considered as they arrive until 16 August.  Your submission will only be considered if you include “Director, Programs” in the subject title of your email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

In your email please include a one-page cover letter, and a CV/Resume of no more than two-pages. These documents should demonstrate your writing and presentation capability. Put your last name in CAPS in the file name of any attached document. Short-listed candidates will be requested to provide two work samples and the names and contact details of three references. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

About Sustainable Travel International (www.sustainabletravel.org)

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We’ve been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.

 
Sustainable Travel International is Seeking a Marketing & Operations Coordinator

Marketing and Operations Coordinator

Job type: Full time
Start date: 1 September or sooner
Location:  Portland, Oregon
Applications close: 9 August

Sustainable Travel International is seeking a high-performing marketing and communications professional to impact our growing team. This is a significant growth opportunity for the right individual.

Sustainable Travel International’s mission is to help destinations, businesses, and travelers develop and implement innovative solutions that protect the environment, support adaptation to climate change, maintain sense of place, and generate economic benefits.

We’re looking for a high-performing individual who is eager to learn about and support our mission through building awareness of our projects and programs, while helping the organization meet regular marketing and business development goals.

Our new Marketing and Operations Coordinator will focus on improved use of marketing and communications methods, including website, newsletter, PR, print and electronic collateral, research, and presentations, all designed to strengthen the team’s business development and project implementation efforts. This person will also support the organization’s general operations through a variety of regular activities.

Ideal candidates will have a passion for travel and sustainability, and at least 2 years of experience in marketing, tourism, or sustainability. The position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, experience with the development of dynamic presentations, and demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects at once in a constantly evolving environment.

We operate a virtual global office environment but will give preference to candidates located in or near Portland, Oregon.

The ideal candidate for this job will have:
 

  • Two or more years experience in a marketing or communications role
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent design, layout, formatting, and editing skills
  • A background in and/or passion for sustainability, corporate social responsibility, travel and tourism, or similar experiences
  • Flexibility, multi-tasking capability, ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • A passion for growth and significant contribution to a global organization making a large social impact


Desirable Qualifications:
 

  • Experience with NGO or non-profit operations
  • Experience in travel and tourism
  • Experience with sustainability
  • Spanish language proficiency


Compensation
Significant career opportunity for the right candidate.

The application process:

Please complete this online application form and apply in writing to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Applications will be considered as they arrive until 9 August.  Your submission will only be considered if you include “Marketing and Operations Coordinator” in the subject title of your email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

In your email please include a one-page cover letter, and a CV/Resume of no more than two-pages. These documents should demonstrate your writing and presentation capability. Put your last name in CAPS in the file name of any attached document. Short-listed candidates will be requested to provide two work samples and the names and contact details of three references. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

About Sustainable Travel International (www.sustainabletravel.org)

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We’ve been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.

 
Dispatches From the Field: Seleni in Roatan

This month Sustainable Travel International began a Rapid Sustainable Destination Diagnostic for Roatán, Bay Islands in Honduras. The assessment is a collaboration with the Honduras Ministry of Tourism and the Geotourism Council of Roatán.

As the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative (MARTI)’s partner on destinations, this is Sustainable Travel International’s second destination sustainability evaluation in Mesoamerica, following recent efforts in Isla de Cozumel, Mexico.

Seleni Matus, Sustainable Travel International’s VP of Latin America and the Caribbean, began the process by conducting stakeholder consultations with 40 key leaders and leading organizations from government, private sector and civil society. The primary objective of this initial phase was to gather information about Roatán’s current performance on 80 internationally verified and vetted indicators for sustainable destinations. The diagnostic will provide Roatán with a panoramic view of its destination management efforts.

The diagnostic process has achieved high-level buy-in from central and local government. The Governor of Roatán, together with the Mayors of the Municipalities of Roatán and Santos Guardiola and Roatan’s representative of the National Tourism Council, have given the project their full support. Honduras’ Vice-Minister of Tourism, Syntia Solomon Bennett, commented, “Roatán is one of our country’s premier destinations. We are thrilled to support this diagnostic process which will help us to identify priorities for ensuring the long-term viability of the island’s tourism sector.”

In July, the team will present and validate the results of the diagnostic to stakeholders in  Roatán. They will then facilitate a workshop focused on the development of a collaborative action plan that is responsive to the destination’s priorities.

To learn more about the Rapid Sustainable Destination Diagnostic, please visit our website

 
Sustainable Travel International Is Seeking Associates

Senior Associate, Destinations
Job Type: Project-Based Contractor
Location: Worldwide

Sustainable Travel International is seeking Associates to provide high-level technical expertise to our Destinations team on a project-by-project basis. Primary responsibilities will be delivery of Sustainable Travel International programs to partners in North America, Caribbean, Latin America, and Southern Africa. Destination programs include sustainability assessments, action planning, standards and monitoring, and marketing.


Essential Qualifications:
 

  • Graduate degree in tourism or related subject

  • At least 8 years experience in the delivery of high-level projects with a focus on sustainability and/or tourism development

  • Proven experience in leading international tourism consulting teams

  • Successful track record of managing complex projects at a destination level

  • Demonstrated experience in one or more of the following project types: planning, standards, monitoring, marketing

  • Proven skills in workshop facilitation, research, data compilation, and client management

  • Fluency in multiple languages with Spanish preferred

  • Excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to travel on short notice

  • Ability to work from home office


Desirable Qualifications:
 

  • Background in and/or passion for sustainability, corporate social responsibility, travel and tourism, or similar experiences

  • Finance and budgeting experience

  • Languages (Spanish and or French preferred)


Compensation:

This is a project-based opportunity with growth potential for the right candidate. Compensation will be commensurate with experience, qualifications and non profit standards


Application process:


Please complete this Application Form and send a one-page cover letter, CV/Resume to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please include “Associate, Destinations” in the subject title. Those candidates that fail to complete both steps will not be considered.

Short-listed candidates will be requested to provide two work samples and three references.

 
Sustainable Travel Leadership Network TravelWell Discussion in Jamaica


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica
 – The Sustainable Travel Leadership Network (STLN) will host an interactive discussion on TravelWell, an exciting new initiative designed to transform decision-making in the travel industry, on May 15th, 2013 in Jamaica. The event, co-hosted by Condé Nast Traveler, Virgin Holidays, and global NGO Sustainable Travel International, is invitation only, and will take place in the morning at Secrets Wild Orchid Resort in Montego Bay.
 

Read more...
 
Sustainable Travel International CEO and Founder Appointed to National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board


Brian T. Mullis, who founded leading global non-profit Sustainable Travel International in 2002 and continues to serve as its CEO, has been appointed to the United States National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The official announcement was made this week by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, and coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week.
 

Read more...
 
Hostelling International USA Launches Pioneering National Sustainability Initiative


Hostelling International USA
’s (HI-USA) long-standing commitment to low-impact travel and environmental stewardship has taken a giant step forward, with the launch of an innovative pilot program designed to inform the organization’s national sustainability strategy while implementing best practices across a number of hostels.
 

Read more...
 
Cozumel Reaffirms Commitment to Sustainable Tourism Through New Action Agenda to Address Priority Destination Issues

As part of the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative’s efforts to promote destination sustainability in the Mexican Caribbean, Sustainable Travel International has been working with the Island of Cozumel’s Grupo Intersectorial, the municipality’s Sustainable Development Department and local leaders to develop an ambitious yet realistic roadmap that will address critical issues for sustainable destination management. 

Last week, Seleni Matus, Sustainable Travel International’s Senior Advisor Destination Management presented the results of a Rapid Destination Sustainability Diagnostic carried out in 2012 which indicates that, while Cozumel has made significant progress on key destination management issues, there is considerable work to be done. Seleni also facilitated an action planning workshop in which more than 35 local leaders from government, private sector and civil society prioritized issues identified from the destination sustainability diagnostic and identified 3 quick-win projects to address priorities:
 

  1. Establishment of a destination-level quality and sustainability standard for operators in the tourism sector.
  2. Development of a map guide promoting destination stewardship that will highlight the natural, historic and cultural assets unique to the island.
  3. Establishment of a destination-level water conservation and reuse program. 


Local leaders took the results of the destination sustainability diagnostic as a serious call to action. Working groups were formed to bring the quick-win projects to fruition in order to demonstrate tangible results within the next 12-18 months.  “This is the culmination of a 10-month journey that has helped us to highlight risks, identify goals and map out strategies for sustainable tourism management,” said Lic. Federico Ruiz, Cozumel’s Deputy Technical Secretary for Sustainable Development. “We see this initiative as an integral part of our 20-year Sustainable Tourism Plan that was recently completed, and that we are now working to put into action.”

 

 
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