2011 Conference

2011 Conference
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About the 2011 Conference

Hosted by Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, the ESTC 2011 (September 19-21, 2011) was attended by delegates from over 25 countries around the world, representing various industry segments (tourism businesses, professionals, community stakeholders, NGOs, academic institutions, government organizations, etc.) A leading family-friendly and outdoor-oriented destination, Hilton Head Island is home to one of the first environmentally-sensitive planned communities in the US. Hilton Head Island strives to preserve its beauty and tranquility while continuing to thrive as one of America's premier destinations.


Fabien Cousteau, Ocean Explorer and Environmental Activist

Keynote Speaker (General Session, Wednesday, Sept 21st)


Growing up on the salt-stained decks of his famous grandfather's ships, Calypso and Alcyone, Fabien Cousteau was destined to follow in the family footsteps of exploring and tirelessly working to protect our planet's immense and endangered marine habitats. Diving since age four, Cousteau was irrevocably imprinted with an unwavering appreciation for the wonder, beauty, and importance of our aquatic ecosystems to sustaining life on this big blue planet of ours.


His most recent, and perhaps most ambitious, endeavor is creating a new foundation committed to educating the public on the alarming need to restore our marine habitats. The Plant-a-Fish Initiative will spearhead public education programs as well as guiding large environmentally sensitive corporations with a genuine commitment to making the world a healthier place for mankind. An active writer, he is currently working on a children's book trilogy.

Fabien Cousteau
Fabien Cousteau


Stanley Selengut, Founder, Maho Bay Camps and Estate Concordia Preserve

Guest Presenter (General Session, Tuesday, Sept 20th)


Stanley Selengut is a civil engineer and developer (recognized by many in the tourism industry as "the father of sustainable resort development"), sustainable design consultant, and innovative tourism business leader. In 1976, he created Maho Bay Camps on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, as an economically viable resort facility compatible with National Park mandates.


Stanley has put environmental education as one of his top priorities, speaking for hundreds of schools and conferences worldwide and using his properties for educational workshops. He has served as a Founding Board Member of the International Ecotourism Society; on the National Council of The National Parks and Conservation Association; and as Chairman of the Committee on Sustainability and Environmental Leadership for the National Park System Advisory Board.

Stanley Selengut
Stanley Selengut



Opening Plenary - Hilton Head Island's Sustainability Journey

Monday, September 19th    
Bill Milles Drew Laughlin  
Bill Miles
President and CEO, Hilton
Head Chamber of Commerce
Mayor Drew Laughlin
Town of Hilton Head Island, SC




Todd Ballantine

Todd Ballantine, Director of Science, Education and Sustainability, Ballantine Environmental Resources, Inc.

Todd Ballantine is an environmental scientist and planner, interpretive specialist, writer, artist and musician. In 1980 he created the first of six reclaimed water watershed restoration projects in the U.S. He has designed interpretive facilities and experiences for American public and private lands ranging from National Wildlife Refuges to private preserves. A popular educator and speaker, he presents programs and classes on sustainability, natural history, wildlife, and innovative conservation solutions. He has facilitated many public meetings on subjects ranging from comprehensive plans to park planning and urban wildlife management. He writes and illustrates interpretive exhibits, trail guides, and books. 


Dr. Emory Campbell

Dr. Emory Shaw Campbell, Founder, Gullah Heritage Consulting Services

Dr. Emory S. Campbell is a native of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and has been immersed in Gullah traditions and customs all his life. Dedicated to preserving this unique heritage, Dr. Campbell is one of the nation's foremost experts on Gullah culture. He is the author of the book "Gullah Cultural Legacies", which provides valuable insights into past traditions and present day practices that are truly Gullah. Dr. Campbell also contributes extensively to newspapers, journals, scholarly publications, documentaries, and television news shows. He has served as the Executive Director of the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, S.C. for more than 20 years. 

Susan Thomas

Susan Thomas, Vice President of the Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau

Susan Thomas oversees a $3 million sales and marketing budget for the promotion of the Hilton Head Island region as a global travel destination. The Chamber is the Destination Marketing Organization for Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Daufuskie Island. She supervises a nine person sales and marketing team and a staff of four Welcome Center information specialists. The Chamber’s Visitor & Convention Bureau was named the Southeast CVB of the Year from the Southeastern Tourism Society, received the Pinnacle Award for service by CVB’s to meeting planners thirteen times, the national Gold Key Award for meeting planner service by a destination, as well as numerous Adrian marketing awards from the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International.


About the 2011 Host Destination

Known as one of the most family-friendly destinations in the United States, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is home to one of the first environmentally-sensitive planned communities in the country. Offering an assortment of outdoor excursions and beach and marine holiday activities, Hilton Head Island strives to preserve its beauty and tranquility while continuing to thrive as one of America’s premier destinations.

Originally conceived in the 1950s as a resort destination by developer Charles E. Fraser, Hilton Head Island's first resort, Sea Pines, is a 5,000+-acre gated community where the natural landscape and wildlife habitats unique to the South Carolina Lowcountry are carefully preserved and intertwined within the resort framework.


Commercial areas, marinas, residential neighborhoods, golf courses and transportation corridors, such as beach access points, roads, bike paths and walking trails are all deliberately crafted to protect the areas natural assets while providing enriching experiences for the visitor and resident.


A forerunner of his time, Fraser implemented stringent land management ordinances to protect tree canopies, to preserve natural buffers, such as sand dunes, marshes, and waterway edges, and to establish a 605-acre forest preserve in perpetuity.

Host Destination Sponsor

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Convention Bureau


Expedition Sponsors

Visit California
Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Adventure Sponsors

G Adventures
Discovery Adventures


Voyage Sponsors

Planeterra Foundation
The Boat Company
Mexican Tourism Board


Journey Sponsors

Belize Tourism Board
Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport
Little St. Simons Island
Florida SEE Kiawah Island Basecamp Foundation
City of Walterboro
The Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development
California Polytechnic State University
The History Workshop


Media and Communications Partners


Audubon International
George Washington University
Global Sustainable Tourism Council
Rainforest Alliance
South Carolina Hospitality Association
Southeast Tourism Society
Sustainable Travel International
Widness and Wiggins PR
World Footprints Media
Snap Click Media
Green Living Project


Official Sustainable Culinary Showcase Sponsors:

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Convention Bureau

Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn

September Oaks Winery

R.J. Rockers Brewing Company

Firefly Vodka