2015 Conference

2015 Conference

In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, ESTC15 was attended by over 500 ecotourism professionals in Quito Ecuador. The conference was held from April 27 - 30th, 2015 at the Palacio Cristal in Itchimbia. Keynote speakers included the Minister of Tourism of Ecuador, Sandra Naranjo, and Dr. Jeff Parrish of the World Wildlife Fund.


ESTC15 Keynote Speakers

Sandra Naranjo

Sandra Naranjo, Minister of Tourism of Ecuador


ESTC15 featured Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo, whose vision is to utilize tourism as an economic instrument to achieve sustainable development. She has previously worked as the General Coordinator of Management Control of Presidential Commitments and as a professor at Harvard Kennedy School. More recently, she worked on a socio-economic study for the World Bank on a proposal to measure the losses in the tourism sector due to the lack of sanitation in Bali, Indonesia.




ESTC15 Keynote SpeakerJeffrey Parrish, World Wildlife Fund


Dr. Jeffrey Parrish is the Managing Director for Conservation Resources at the World Wildlife Fund, where he is responsible for pushing the edges of our boldest conservation ventures, exploring the biggest most creative solutions for WWF’s mission. He also serves as a chief ambassador, sharing those innovations and stories with the converted and unconverted alike. Jefe, the Spanish nickname by which he is known to most all in conservation, brings a contagious energy, fierce determination, and entrepreneurial spirit to WWF’s efforts to save our planet.

Prior to joining WWF in 2010, Parrish led the Freedom to Roam (FTR) coalition with the founders and business of Patagonia Inc. There, he developed groundbreaking partnerships and campaigns to promote the protection and connectivity of increasingly fragmented lands and waters in North America. Before FTR, Jefe held several leadership positions over his 12-year career at The Nature Conservancy and at Manomet Center for Conservation Science, most notably as director for TNC’s Global Protected Areas Strategy and Executive Vice-President for Manomet.





ESTC15 Host DestinationAbout ESTC15 Host Destination

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, derives its name from the Quitus, who inhabited the region a long time before the Spanish conquest. Surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes and located only 14 miles from the Equator line, the quaint capital city boats a spring-like climate all year round. At an altitude of 9,455 ft (2,850 m), visitors can feel the crisp air while enjoying the city’s rich colonial architecture, churches, monasteries and museums.  Located in a small basin in the great central plateau formed by the volcano Pichincha, Quito has suffered repeatedly from earthquakes, but the city has the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía with their rich interiors are examples of the style known as 'Baroque school of Quito', featuring a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. The city is in laid out in squares with the streets approximately aligned on the cardinal points of the compass. Houses of Quito are built in the old Spanish or Moorish style.  The public buildings are of the heavy Spanish type. ESTC15 was held at the Palacio de Cristal that is part of Itchimbía Centro Cultural.




Host Destination Sponsors


Mintur Logo

MINTUR Ministerio de Turismo, Ecuador


MINTUR is the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador.  MINTUR has a mission to exercise stewardship, regulation, control, planning, management, promotion and dissemination, in order to position Ecuador as a preferred tourist destination for its exceptional cultural, natural and experiential diversity within the principles of conscious tourism as generating activity and sustainable socioeconomic development. 

Quito Turismo Logo

Quito Tourism is committed to developing and promoting tourism in the Metropolitan District of Quito, to the benefit of local, national and international visitors, ensuring best practices in quality, sustainability and innovation in the community and the city. Quito Tourism reveals its commitment to society through their corporate mission and vision, aligned with the city to provide quality treatment and excellence to all the stakeholders. 


Ministry of Environment Ecuador Logo

MAE is the Ministry of Environment in Ecuador. MAE has a mission to ensure a healthy environment, respect for the rights of nature or pacha mama. It will ensure a sustainable model of balanced and environmentally friendly development of cultural diversity, conserve biodiversity and natural regeneration capacity of ecosystems and ensure the satisfaction of the needs of present and future generations.


UDLA ESTC15 Sponsor
Udla Quito will be our Food & Beverage Sponsor. Universidad de lasAméricas (UDLA) is devoted to preserving the traditional foods of Ecuador. This includes three phases of Ecuadorian gastronomy: Pre-Incan, Spanish, and Contemporary. As Carlos Gallardo, president of the Association of Chefs of Ecuador and UDLA says, "food tastes richer with a story behind it." UDLA will be sponsoring the catering, a culinary conference and a student performance.