ESTC 2010 Session Topics

ESTC 2010 Session Topics
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ESTC 2010 Session Topics

Track 1: Creative Approaches to Addressing Economic Challenges and Business Opportunities

Track 2: Practical Ideas on Managing Footprint and Implementing Solutions

Track 3: Strengthening Triple Bottom Line: Building Partnerships and Engaging Communities

Track 4: Beyond the Triple Bottom Line: Towards a Sustainable Future of Tourism

Additional Sessions: Global Perspectives, GSTC, Voluntourism, UCC






Track 1 - Creative Approaches to Triple Bottom Line: Addressing Economic Challenges and Business Opportunities


Business case for sustainability in travel and tourism

Investing in sustainable business strategies, when implemented effectively, can help improve the financial bottom line, which is a critical element of sustainability. This session discusses sustainability practices and resource-saving tools that demonstrate benefits of sustainable business models, focusing on case studies that establish a strong business case for sustainability in travel and tourism, which can also be applied to the mainstream tourism industry.

  • Alex Naar, East Carolina University Center for Sustainable Tourism - "Tourism and Place Based Economic Development: a Strategy for Job Creation, Cultural Enhancement, and Environmental Protection"
  • Shannon Stowell, Adventure Travel Trade Association - "ATTA: Inspiring Outdoor Enthusiasts to Become Sustainability Stewards"
  • Jelina Mitrovic, Intrepid Travel - "Integrating Sustainability into your business"


Certification programs’ contribution to the triple bottom line

Through case studies on the benefits and drawbacks of certification programs, this session discusses the effectiveness of certification strategies and evaluate sustainable tourism certification programs' contribution to economic, as well as social and environmental, bottom line.

  • Kelly Bricker and Jeremy Schultz, TIES, University of Utah - "Tourism Certification in the USA"
  • Charlie James, ETHOS, British Columbia’s Sustainable Tourism Network; The Icarus Foundation - "Sustainable Tourism Certification for Canada, Lessons Learned"
  • David Kestenbaum, University of Vermont - "Green Certification and Best Practices for Passenger Transportation"



How to make the most of your marketing budget

With the rapid growth of information and communication technologies, businesses today have endless opportunities to market their product and reach the target audience in a creative and cost-effective way. This session aims to help participants find the right marketing opportunities that maximize their marketing dollar, focusing on successful (and unsuccessful) examples of innovative approaches to online marketing channels, social networking tools, and other media opportunities.

  • Nancy Harrison, Adventure Media LLC - "Effective media relations in the new world of social and traditional media"
  • Allison Park, SparkLoftMedia - "Get Social. Get Noticed. - Innovative, Effective Social Media Strategies for the Ecotourism Industry"
  • Peggy Bendel, Bendel Communications International - "10 Top Tips for Stretching Your Marketing Budget, Reaching Your Audience and Meeting Your Goals"


Where's the ROI in green travel? Highlights from the CMIGreen Traveler Study

Travel industry leaders have observed a fundamental change in traveler preferences and patterns. Recognizing the importance of sustainability as an increasingly important market driver, some have successfully benefited from the demands of the progressive business and leisure travel consumer. Learn about the motivations, skepticism and actions of the most "eco-aware" of travel consumers, and how you can position and deliver your product or service to reach these early adopters and trend-setters.

  • Thomas Roth, CMI Green - "Breakthrough study on the greenest of travel consumers"
  • Lynn Bruni, San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Steve Faulstick, General Manager, Doubletree Hotel Portland
  • Tamara Kennedy-Hill, Green Meeting Industry Council
  • Ted Ning, LOHAS Journal,


Staying ahead in today's green economy

Ecotourism and sustainable tourism businesses are at the forefront of the growth of the 'green-collar economy.' This session highlights working examples of the benefits of being green and discusses how to enhance a business' competitive edge in the ever-growing green markets, and addresses practical strategies for taking extra steps beyond 'going green' to stay ahead of today's sustainable business trends.

  • Dave Butler, Canadian Mountain Holidays Inc. - "Sustainability reporting for tourism businesses"
  • Kevin Smith, Maple Leaf Adventures - "Not just the real deal, but more resilient, too"
  • Ted Ning, LOHAS Journal,


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Track 2 - Practical Ideas on Triple Bottom Line: Managing Footprint and Implementing Solutions



Sustainable tourism in parks, protected areas and public lands

This session will highlight initiatives within parks, protected areas and public lands relevant to tourism development, and address a range of topics including: certification programs, land management and climate change initiatives, sustainable development trends, visitor management, interpretation, commercial outfitting, permitting, financing and human-wildlife interactions. Speakers will share applied research and lessons learned on tourism and land management, tourism product development on public lands, tools to enhance the sustainability of parks and public lands, and the relationships between public land managers and tourism enterprises.

  • Danella George, California BLM - "Hidden Landscapes Within the California Bureau of Land Management Public Lands"
  • Kevin Smith, Maple Leaf Adventures, BC Wilderness Tourism Association - "Tourism Operators as Park Stewards"
  • Hunter McIntosh, Vice President & COO, The Boat Company


Green building and design as a key element of sustainability solutions

This session discusses business practices, project examples and community initiatives that highlight the roles of green building, green landscaping and sustainable design as an integral part of travel and tourism in today's increasingly greener world. Topics include: best practice examples of ecotourism and sustainable tourism businesses utilizing green building practices; proven long-term strategies for green lodging practices; business and community support for sustainable design and architecture.

  • Hitesh Mehta, HM Design - "Authentic Ecolodges - Towards a Greener Planet"
  • Kirk Hoessle, Alaska Wildland Adventures - "Keys For Developing With a Light Touch"
  • James Bradley, GGLO - "Design Process and Sustainability"


Reducing climate footprint through effective carbon management

Climate change is presenting significant challenges to a wide spectrum of social, economic and environmental aspects in our lives, and is a major issue in travel and tourism worldwide. This session will focus on innovative solutions, strategies and policies which address this important topic, offering discussions on viable operational solutions and strategic responses.

  • Arthur De Jong, Whistler Blackcomb - "Climate Change and Tourism: Lessons from the Sky Industry"
  • Rachel Dodds, Sustaining Tourism / Ryerson University - "Engaging climate friendly efforts - good practices for businesses, communities and consumers"
  • Kari Grist, Offsetters - "Offsetting an Olympic-sized footprint: how Offsetters and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 engaged the public and sponsors to take action on climate change"


Innovative environmental strategies for tour operators

This session will address important questions surrounding sustainable business models relevant to both in-bound and out-bound tour operators. Highlighting innovative approaches to reducing operators’ environmental footprint, the speakers will share latest case studies and best practice examples. Tour operators of all sizes, as well as any tourism professionals interested in sustainable tour operations, are encouraged to participate in the discussions.

  • Chris Desmond, 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project - "i.Eco-Reporter: Supporting Conservation Research by Strengthening Ecotourism Network"
  • Ken O'Keefe, Deep Ecology Inc - "The future of the recreational diving industry"
  • Liz Wessel, Green Concierge Travel - "Getting There and Getting Around: Transportation choices for the green traveler"


Effective strategies for financing and supporting sustainability initiatives in tourism

Ecotourism and sustainable tourism businesses of any size will benefit from learning about tourism social enterprises from around the world successfully financing and supporting their conservation and sustainability initiatives. This session will discuss creative and effective ways that lodges, community-tourism projects and other tourism businesses can connect and partner with funding and financing organizations to sustainably solidify and grow their businesses, increasing their contribution to environmental restoration or significantly lowering their impact.

  • Rick MacPherson, Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) - "Conservation and Tourism Partnerships"
  • Trace Gale, Researcher in Residence, Center for Patagonian Ecosystem Studies (CIEP) - "Bridging Tourism and Scientific Inquiry Leads to New Avenues for Financing Sustainability Initiatives in Patagonian Chile"
  • Zachary Rozga, WHL Group - "Urban Adventures – Micro-franchising for Local Economic Development"

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Track 3 - Strengthening Triple Bottom Line: Building Partnerships and Engaging Communities

Indigenous tourism: preserving authenticity and enhancing travel experiences

An increasing number of travelers today seek unique cultural and educational experiences in the communities they visit. Drawing on examples and lessons learned from Indigenous tourism businesses and community leaders, this session discusses how to enrich travelers' experiences, utilizing ecotourism and sustainable tourism as a means to preserve and enhance cultural and natural heritage.

  • Keith Bosak, University of Montana - "An educational approach to indigenous ecotourism"
  • Sonya Graci, Ryerson University - "Exploring the Potential for Aboriginal Ecotourism in Ontario, Canada"
  • Oliver Hillel, Programme Officer, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)


Voluntourism: from a community project to a consumer product

Voluntourism, travel experiences that incorporate volunteer activities that give back to the host community, is increasingly gaining recognition as a unique and effective way for travelers to contribute to the communities they visit. Highlighting various local and international best practice examples of effective approaches to partnership building, business development, and project management, this session will focus on practical questions on developing, implementing and marketing voluntourism projects.

  • Liz Manning, Planeterra Foundation - "Travel, Connect, Give Back"
  • Dave Aabo, WAVES for Development International - "Surf Voluntourism: The making of WAVES"
  • Donna Bookout-Coe, Cheetah Conservation Fund - "Leveraging volunteers - a case study"


Engaging communities and empowering travelers to "be the change"

In this panel discussion, speakers from four action- and immersion-based organizations demonstrate how a new generation of tourism businesses are creating programs that inspire and engage the changing priorities of travelers, and the needs and interests of socially aware and culturally diverse consumers. These groundbreaking travel providers and action groups focus on memorable travel experiences while engaging travelers in issues of environmental sustainability, social justice, and cultural diversity. Our speakers will provide insight into how ecotourism and sustainable tourism businesses can actively make a positive contribution by empowering travelers to be active participants in global change.

  • Christina Tunnah, World Nomads - "Social Media & Community Engagement"
  • Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and Brad Nahill, SEE Turtles - "SEEtheWILD: Using conservation travel to protect endangered species"
  • Malia Everette, Director of Reality Tours and Jeff Greenwald, Ethical Traveler - "Empowering Travelers to Change the World"


Creating and promoting a sense of place

The concept of a “sense of place” has become an integral part of successful approaches to sustainable tourism development. This session will illustrate how destination marketing organizations, ecolodges, hotels and operators can work together to utilize the principles of ecotourism to enhance a wide range of geographical, cultural and historical characters of a place. Sharing case studies relevant to local, national and international context, the presenters will focus on practical strategies to develop and promote authentic travel experiences that help protect and enhance what makes a place unique.

  • Kristin Dahl, Travel Oregon and Brian Mullis, Sustainable Travel International - "Oregon: A Place of Sense"
  • Michelle Nowak, The Farm Stay Project and Scottie Jones, Farm Stay U.S. - "Promoting farm stay agritourism in the USA"


How to build win-win partnerships for your business and community

This session will present key case studies of strategic private-public partnership between CVBs, DMOs, Tourism Departments/Ministries and businesses and local stakeholders, demonstrating how effective partnerships can benefit ecotourism and sustainable tourism in destinations. Proposals should focus on ways to maximize the potentials of sustainable tourism development through partnerships, presenting proven strategies and lessons learned.

  • Anna Laxague, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and Randy Dreiling, Mountain Bike Oregon, and Kristin Dahl, Travel Oregon - "Nature's Force: Redefining Oakridge, Oregon as the Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest"
  • Brad Nahill, SEE Turtles - "Conservation Travel: Partnering with local organizations to strategically benefit efforts to protect endangered species"


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Track 4 - Beyond the Triple Bottom Line: Towards a Sustainable Future of Tourism

Tour operators roundtable on sustainable tourism business strategies

Featuring case studies of leading tourism businesses, Tour Operators Roundtable will highlight best practice examples of sustainable tour operators, as well as discussions on several key questions pertaining to triple-bottom-line sustainability in travel and tourism. This interactive and engaging session will offer participants opportunities to learn about economically, environmentally and socially sustainable business strategies.

  • Bruce Smith, Seascape Kayak Tours - "Bucking the Trend: Staying Small and Truly Sustainable"
  • Santiago Dunn, Ecoventura - "Ecoventura, a case study of a sustainable tourism operation in the Galapagos Islands"
  • Wendy Lama, KarmaQuest Ecotourism & Adventure Travel - "What Makes Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism Work?"
  • Rafael Gallo, Rios Tropicales - "One Model of Sustainable Community Tourism: Best Practices Collaboration and Community Ownership"
  • Gopinath Parayil, The Blue Yonder - "The Blue Yonder: partnerships for sustainable development"



The Boat Company: Partnerships for conservation, communities and sustainable tourism

The Boat Company has partnered with almost every major environmental organization in the US over the years, as well as industry groups and conservation leaders, and those partnerships continue to this day. The "threads" that pull the very diverse group of partners together are not only their individual and unique relationships with The Boat Company but also the common goal of protecting our natural environment. This session will discuss how these relationships evolved, how they are impacting The Boat Company's operations in Southeast Alaska, what the benefits are to all involved, and how the relationships benefit sustainability in the local communities.

  • Hunter McIntosh, Vice President & COO, The Boat Company
  • Robert Glenn Ketchum, Author, Photographer and Environmental Advocate
  • Larry Edwards, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace USA
  • Dave Parker, Managing Director, Orvis International Travel


Creating opportunities through environmental education and outdoor learning

Focusing on sustainable tourism practices and environmental education, this session will highlight case studies and examples of effective strategies utilizing quality outdoor experiences to offer valuable learning experiences - through educational programs, interpretation, and guide training. This session also provide an opportunity to discuss the environmental challenges and concerns facing our world, and to promote awareness of the important roles that ecotourism and sustainable tourism play in protecting the environment and helping conservation leaders.

  • Chuck Lennox, Cascade Interpretive Consulting LLC - "Integrating Interpretation into Your Operation"
  • Mei Zhang, WildChina


Sustainable tourism certification - Global challenges and opportunities

Featuring discussions on examples of national and regional certification programs, efforts to implement and work with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), and lessons learned from experiences implementing certification initiatives, this session addresses big-picture views on certification as a sustainable tourism business strategy and as a tool for responsible travelers. Learn about current trends, success stories and unsuccessful examples, and global challenges and opportunities that certification presents for the future of sustainable tourism.

  • Kelly Bricker, TIES, University of Utah
  • Brian Mullis, Sustainable Travel International - "The Pros and Cons of Global Tourism Certification"
  • Glenn Jampol, CANAECO - "The Role and Challenges of Certified Sustainable Tourism In Transforming The Travel Industry in Costa Rica"


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Additional Sessions


Global Perspective Workshop #1 Biodiversity and Our Lives

Highlighting various global initiatives around the International Year of Biodiversity (2010) and the roles of biodiversity in our lives, this workshop will feature key examples of wildlife conservation, environmental education and awareness-raising efforts relevant to travelers and the tourism industry alike. Declared by the United Nations, the International Year of Biodiversity celebrates biological diversity - the variety of life on earth - and aims to boost appreciation for and awareness of the importance of biodiversity.

  • Oliver Hillel, Programme Officer, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Jenny Gray, Chief Executive Officer, Zoos Victoria
  • Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, co-founder, SEE Turtles


Convention on Biological Diversity International Year of Biodiversity



Global Perspective Workshop #2 Green Living Project (GLP)

Green Living Project (GLP) is a leading media production and marketing company focused on global sustainability initiatives. Through award-winning multi-media content (HD video, photography, writing), GLP educates, inspires, and entertains people on unique and successful global sustainability initiatives (e.g. responsible tourism, eco-lodges, wildlife conservation, education, renewable energy). To date, GLP has documented 50+ unique and successful sustainability-related projects across 14 countries in AFRICA, SOUTH AMERICA, and NORTH AMERICA. Project Partners include CARE, Rainforest Alliance, Earthwatch, Maine Huts & Trails, South Africa National Parks, Maine Tourism, and Ecuador Tourism.


Global Perspective Workshop #3 Tribewanted Sustainable Village Initiative

Tribewanted's groundbreaking social experiment on the Fijian island of Vorovoro has injected since 2006 more than US$ 1 million into the local economy by setting up an online tribal community of more than 10,000 people. Tribewanted's second sustainable village project will be launched this October in John Obey Beach, Sierra Leon. In October 2010, a new group of visitors will arrive on Sierra Leone’s John Obey Beach, 20 miles south of the capital, Freetown, and begin to build a new life alongside the local fishing community. Tribewanted Sierra Leone has formed a partnership with the government, landowners and the local John Obey community to create an eco-village community over the coming years to support sustainable development in the area. A maximum of 30 tribe members will spend a minimum of 1 week at a time – living alongside a local team and the community immersed in the day-to-day running and development of the village.

  • Melanie Ghannoudi-Courbet, cultural projects and business development consultant Tribewanted
  • Tiffany Persons, founder and director, Shine On Sierra Leone


Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Workshop

Global Sustaiable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global membership council that will offer a common understanding of sustainable tourism and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and criteria. The GSTC will bring together a wide range of stakeholders - including tourism businesses presently operating to various degrees of sustainability performance, governments, UN bodies, research and academic institutions, social and environmental NGOs, certification programs, and others from distinct regions of the world - with the goals of stimulating and rewarding improved sustainability performance in tourism, and meeting consumer and market demand for more sustainable options when people travel.

  • Ronald Sanabria, Vice President of Sustainable Tourism, Rainforest Alliance
  • Erika Harms, Senior Adviser on Tourism, United Nations Foundation
  • Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES


Voluntourism Panel

Voluntourism, a niche of eco and sustainable tourism that initially seemed a simple concept - volunteering while travelling - has revealed itself to be complex with varying styles, levels of integration, and controversies. There are several issues interwoven within voluntourism - from development, to travelers' experiences, to impacts on host communities.

  • Richard Edwards, Director, Planeterra Foundation
  • David Clemmons, Founder,
  • Andy Woods-Ballard, Director of Operations, Global Vision International
  • Susan Thomas, Vice President, Visitor & Convention Bureau Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce




UCC Workshop

Administered by TIES and university partners, the University Consortium Certificate (UCC) in Sustainable Tourism provides a solid educational foundation with a combination of experiential learning industry-based opportunities. With a multi-disciplinary approach, the UCC program fosters a holistic understanding of ecotourism and sustainable tourism and helps prepare students for a career in various professional fields. The UCC Workshop will feature interactive discussions with current Academic Consortium Advisors and UCC students, as well as rotating small-group discussions with key industry leaders.

Discussion Leaders:

  • Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES Board of Directors; Associate Professor, University of Utah
  • Holly Hodges, Academic Outreach Coordinator, TIES
  • Jeremy Shultz, PhD Candidate, University of Utah
  • Arthur de Jong, Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource Manager, Whistler Blackcomb
  • Lauren de Remer, Marketing Communications Coordinator, OARS
  • Kevin Smith, President, Maple Leaf Adventures
  • Dave Butler, Director of Sustainability, Canadian Mountain Holidays Inc.
  • Ronald Sanabria, Vice President of Sustainable Tourism, Rainforest Alliance
  • Bill Hendricks, California Polytechnic State University
  • Ingrid Schneider, University of Minnesota
  • David Jones, University of Southern Maine
  • John Salazar, University of South Carolina-Beaufort

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