ESTC11 Session Topics

ESTC11 Session Topics
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1.1 Mainstream Goes Green: Many Shades of Green
What does it mean for mass tourism to go green? What should be appropriate and realistic goals? Moderated by: Frances Figart, Writer, Editor, Marketing and Communications Expert.

  • Jerusha Greenwood, Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University - "Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism Marketing - A California Case Study"
  • David Randle, Managing Director, Waves of Change - "Walt Disney World: A Blue Community Model"
  • Richard Edwards, Founder, Ecoism


1.2 Cruise Tourism and Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Sustainability Challenges 

How can companies apply ecotourism principles and sustainability practices at the largest of scales? This 2-part session addresses challenges and opportunities facing the cruise tourism industry, as well as the efforts by both public and private sectors to tackle sustainability challenges. Moderated by: Kelly Bricker, Chair, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES).

  • Jamie Sweeting, Vice President, Environmental Stewardship, Royal Caribbean Cruises
  • Robert Chappell, Director of Standards Development, Sustainable Travel International (STI)
  • Gale Ozaeta, Belize Tourism Board
  • Hunter McIntosh, Vice President & COO, The Boat Company


1.3 Theory to Practice: Bridging the Gap between Research & Industry 

In this session the focus is on utilizing research to inform many aspects of sustainable management and operations. From marketing to community and ecological impacts, presenters will share results from empirical studies and their application to real-world solutions in ecotourism and sustainable tourism management. Moderated by: Deborah Kerstetter, Professor, Pennsylvania State University.

  • John Salazar, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) - "An Analysis of Visitors to Hilton Head Island, SC"
  • Svitlana Iarmolenko, Doctoral Student, Pennsylvania State University and Paige Schneider, Associate Professor, Center for Sustainable Tourism, East Carolina University - "When Tobacco Goes, Tourist Comes: Regional Approach to Sustainable Tourism Development in Rural North Carolina"
  • Lindsay Usher, Doctoral Student, Pennsylvania State University and Deborah Kerstetter, Professor, Pennsylvania State University - "Surf Tourism and Rural Communities in Nicaragua"
  • Phil Sarnoff, Doctoral Student, University of Utah and Kelly Bricker, Associate Professor, University of Utah - "Tourism and Biodiversity Conservation Hotspots"


1.4 Stretching Your Marketing Budget: Green Marketing & PR for Tourism

How do ecotourism and sustainable tourism businesses find the right marketing opportunities and innovative approaches that maximize their marketing dollar?Moderated by: Deirdre Campbell, President and Chief Development Officer, The Tartan Group.

  • Vicky Hastings, Managing Director, Maxwell PR - "Simple Tricks to Stretch Communication Dollars"
  • Andy Crestodina, Principal, Orbit Media
  • Terry Rachwalski, President, Front Porch Perspectives


2.1 Marine and Coastal Area Conservation

This session addresses key questions and case studies that highlight various challenges and opportunities related to the roles of ecotourism and sustainable tourism in promoting environmental conservation in coastal regions, protecting marine ecosystems, and engaging communities, businesses and individuals to help improve marine and coastal area conservation initiatives. Specifically, the session seeks to highlight effective partnership strategies and business practices relevant to tourism stakeholders. Moderated by: Chris Chesak, Vice President of Business Development, Adventure Travel Trade Association

  • Mark Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
  • Dana Beech, Founder, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League
  • Hunter McIntosh, Vice President & COO, The Boat Company

2.2 Ecotourism and Biodiversity: Wildlife Conservation Efforts, Hunting and Fishing Questions 

Focusing on efforts by tourism and community organizations to protect wildlife and conserve local biodiversity, this two-part session aims to highlight key issues, challenges and opportunities related to ecotourism and biodiversity. Part 1 will address case studies on wildlife conservation and land management strategies, as well as community-based approaches to ecotourism that benefit the livelihoods of local people. Part 2 will address the ethics behind marketing hunting and fishing as ecotourism guest activities, through scientific research- based discussions on business practices, community needs and project examples. Moderated by: Bill Hendricks, Professor, Cal Poly


Part 1

  • Judy Kepher-Gona, CEO/ Programs Director, Basecamp Foundation Kenya - "Community Development through Natural Resource Wealth Management"
  • Serge Rajaobelina, Founder, FANAMBY - "Finding an Equilibrium Between Humans, Their Needs and the Environment"

Part 2

  • Hitesh Mehta, President, HM Design and Agnes Nowaczek, Ecotourism Consultant & Owner, Ecotours-by-Agnes - "Hunting, Fishing and Communities"


2.3 Financing Sustainability Initiatives: Strategies for Tourism Businesses

Through case studies highlighting NGO, association, business and community perspectives, and exchange of experiences from a variety of regions,this session will address effective strategies for tourism stakeholders to work with funding organizations to sustainably solidify their businesses and finance conservation and sustainability initiatives. Moderated by: Kara Mitchell, President, The Ontario Ecotourism Society.

  • Kara Mitchell, President, The Ontario Ecotourism Society
  • Trish Manning, President, Manning Consulting Group Inc.
  • Rob Holms, President and Founder, Green Living Project - "Creative Financing Strategies for Sustainable Tourism and Conservation"


2.4 Community Projects as a Strategic Approach to Ecotourism Business Development

Through case studies on community projects and ecotourism business strategies, this session highlights best practice examples and lessons on keys to successfully managing ecotourism business and community-oriented initiatives, effectively managing priorities and sharing benefits. Moderated by: Rick MacLeod FarleyPrincipal Consultant, MacLeod Farley & Associates

  • Albert Teo, Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours - "The Borneo Eco Tours/Sukau Rainforest Lodge Experience"
  • Andrés Ordón͂ez, General Manager, Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve - "The Case of Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve"
  • Masaru Takayama, Director, Spirit of Japan Travel


3.1 Navigating the World of Travel Media: Opportunities for Tourism Businesses and Destinations


Meet today's green travel media leaders, and learn about current trend travel and sustainability trends that are important to the media, and why - and gain an insider's perspective on how to turn these trends into a valuable opportunity for your business and destination. Topics include: latest green trends in travel media; what distinguishes businesses and destinations that successfully utilize their media reach; becoming a frequently-written-about company or destination; and identifying effective media channels and approaches. Moderated by: Nancy Harrison, Founding Partner, Adventure Media

  • Norie Quintos, Executive Editor, National Geographic Traveler
  • Anne Kazel-Wilcox, Travel Writer; President, Gold Coast Communications
  • Trish Riley, Environmental Journalist; Founder, Go Green Nation
  • Eileen Ogintz, Taking the Kids™ Author and Family Travel Expert


3.2 Partners in Advocacy: Tourism Businesses and Environmental Organizations

This session discusses effective partnership strategies for environmental organizations, NGOs and advocacy organizations to collaborate with tourism businesses, as well as issues, challenges and opportunities for tourism businesses to work with environmental organization for a common goal of contributing to conservation and sustainable community development. Moderated by: Jerusha Greenwood, Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University.

  • Jessica Webb, Manager, Sustainable Tourism Communications, Rainforest Alliance
  • Juan Garcia, Sustainable Management Program Officer, WWF - Galapagos
  • Karen Lewis, Owner, Lapa Rios Ecolodge

3.3 Partners in Stewardship: Supporting Collaboration among Planners, Managers and Operators

This session discusses practical issues related to implementing ecotourism and sustainable tourism principles in the field. From site design to stakeholder involvement, the session will offer insights into effective strategies for planners, managers and operators, with the goals of enhancing effective collaboration among stakeholders and supporting best practices in sustainable business development and destination management. The session will highlight key case studies demonstrating the importance of effective partnerships and stakeholder engagement not only to achieve progress within a long-term development process, but to allow destinations to work productively through critical times. Moderated by: Richard Edwards, Founder, Ecoism

  • Justin Ellis, Senior Planner, Parks, Recreation and Tourism, O2 Design + Planning - "Significant Tourism & Recreation Areas Model (STReAM)"
  • Krisztian Vas, Master's Candidate, Tourism Policy and Planning, University of Waterloo - "Utilizing the Product Club Approach for Planning a Bird Watching Trail"
  • Glenn Jampol, President, CANAECO

3.4 Win-Win Partnerships: Connect Locally, Grow Globally 

This session highlights key examples of leading tourism companies that exemplify effective approaches to partnerships (choosing partners, working with partners, growing with partners) that not only help goals that are relevant to ecotourism and sustainable tourism businesses, such as conservation, communities and sustainable operations, but also help strengthen the tourism company's brand through a global network of local partnerships. Moderated by: Frances Figart, Writer, Editor, Marketing and Communications Expert.

  • Ethan Gelber, Chief Communications Officer, WHL Group - "WHL Group: Working with others to bring local global"
  • Michelle Libby, Sustainability Director, Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality



4.1 Ecotourism Destination Management Tools in the 21st Century
This session features effective ecotourism destination management tools for destination decision-makers and planners, highlighting triple bottom line analysis and bottom line principles. Moderated by: Megan Epler Wood, Director, Planeterra Foundation.

  • Megan Epler Wood, Director, Planeterra Foundation
  • Celia Benton, Master's Candidate, Cornell University
  • Gale Ozaeta, Marketing Officer, Belize Tourism Board

4.2 Understanding Key Consumer Trends Driving Sustainable Business Practices

Increasingly, today’s savvy travel consumers are demanding environmentally conscious and socially responsible options – without, of course, compromising on quality. The businesses that have successfully captured this critical shift are those embracing sustainability as an important market driver. Learn how to take advantage of current consumer trends for your business performance and growth. Moderated by: Deirdre Campbell, President and Chief Development Officer, The Tartan Group.

  • Hugh Hough, President, Green Team - "The Growth of Shared Responsibility and How it's Driving Sustainable Business"
  • Jeff Welch, CEO, MERCURYcsc

4.3 Sustaining Culture and History: Tourism and Heritage Preservation

How can tourism effectively contribute to heritage preservation and help raise awareness through education and community participation? Moderated by: Rick MacLeod Farley, Principal Consultant, MacLeod Farley & Associates

  • Sonya Graci, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University - "Assessing the Potential for Aboriginal Ecotourism in Canada"
  • Irene Lane, Founder & President, Greenloons - "From Mass Tourism to Ecotourism (Case Study of Alonissos, Greece)"
  • Rick MacLeod Farley Principal Consultant, MacLeod Farley & Associates

4.4 Mainstreaming Sustainability: Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Certification

Featuring discussions on examples of local, national and regional certification programs, and lessons learned from experiences implementing certification initiatives, this session addresses sustainable tourism certification programs a business strategy and as a tool for responsible travelers. Moderated by: Kelly Bricker, Chair, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

  • David Kestenbaum, Extension Researcher, University of Vermont, Green Coach Certification - "Sustainable Transportation Certification"
  • Jeremy Schultz, University of Utah - "The Current Landscape of Sustainable Tourism Certification Programs in America"
  • Glenn Jampol, President, Cámara Nacional de Ecoturismo (CANAECO)


Student-Professional Networking Session

This session features hands-on discussions that connect industry leaders working in the fields of ecotourism and sustainable tourism with students – aspiring tourism professionals and future leaders of the industry.



  • Dr. Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES Board of Directors, Associate Professor, University of Utah
  • Dr. Bill Hendricks, Professor and Head, Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration Department, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Industry Experts:

  • Frances Figart, Writer, Editor, Marketing and Communications Expert
  • Robert Chappell, Director of Standards Development, Sustainable Travel International
  • Jessica Webb, Manager, Development (Latin America) & Sustainable Tourism Communications, Rainforest Alliance
  • Rob Holms, President and Founder, Green Living Project

Session Goals:

The session aims to create a social and educational environment that helps facilitate connections between industry professionals and students attending the ESTC. The session will encourage participants to exchange relevant information, ideas and support, and to share knowledge of career paths and skill-development opportunities in the fields of ecotourism and sustainable tourism. The participants in this session, through focused and interactive discussions, will have the unique opportunity to gain valuable insights that will benefit their career paths or professions and to create personal and professional contacts that will foster future communications and outreach efforts.


Themes & Topics

Career Development

  • What has led you to pursue a career in ecotourism and sustainable tourism?
  • What advice would you give someone just starting in this career/business/major?
  • What do you enjoy most about your career?
  • What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession since you chose it?
  • What trends do you foresee in your career/area of expertise?

Professional Skills

  • What professional skills might separate a potential employee from other interviewees?
  • What would make someone the ideal employee for your company/organization?
  • What piece of knowledge do you find most valuable to success?

Experiential Education

  • What is one thing that you would do in your career if you were guaranteed to succeed?
  • Did your current job/career path differ from what you expected?
  • What have been your biggest challenges throughout your education and/or career?
  • How have these challenges prepared you for your current position?
  • What would you do differently if you were starting over in your field?



Voluntourism Stakeholder Meeting

Stakeholder Meeting Goals

TIES is organizing the Voluntourism Stakeholder Meeting at this year's ESTC in order to gather feedback from voluntourism providers and industry professionals working in related fields.


Key issues and topics include:

  • With respect to transparency in communications and reporting by voluntourism providers, what are reasonable expectations, and what is practically and realistically possible?
  • What are some best practice examples of addressing the question about empowering local community members by generating employment and supporting capacity building, and the roles that volunteers play in contributing to - or inhibiting - such efforts?
  • How should the guidelines presented in order for them to serve as an effective and practical tool for voluntourism providers?

Based on the feedback and recommendations collected through the Stakeholder Meeting, TIES will produce the draft International Voluntourism Guidelines for review by the Advisory Committee, with the goal of finalizing the guidelines for publication in 2012.



Lowcountry Leadership in Sustainability

This roundtable session, facilitated by Experience Green, is organized by local sustainability leaders and organizations and brings together regional stakeholders to share examples and tools to inspire progress in sustainability initiatives and practices. The session will launch an ongoing platform for collaboration and dialogue in the Lowcountry region. This session aims to create an environment for discussion among regional stakeholders regarding ideas, opportunities, successes, methods, and resources related to leadership, launch, and success of sustainability initiatives. The effort will identify participants for an ongoing roundtable network for collaboration and information exchange to further community, profit and nonprofit organizations, and government sustainability efforts in the Lowcountry.


  • Teresa Wade, Executive Director, Experience Green
  • Denise Grabowski, Principal, Symbioscity