Global Leaders of Responsible Tourism Launch Public Webinar Series

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 30 May 2009

On Thursday 4 June at 13:00 GMT, six leading global advocates of responsible tourism spoke and listened at a free public webinar (Web-based seminar) about the present and future of their fast-expanding industry. This inauguration of a regular series of online gatherings also served as a call for future discussion topics and guest speakers.

The hosting sextet began discussing and illustrating some of the thoughts and ideas propounded during Responsible Tourism Week 2009 – an online discussion held the week of May 18-22 that focussed on responsible tourism around the world. Using examples pulled from their extensive store of experiences or promoted through their organisations, the speakers’ primary objective was to demonstrate the universal appeal of responsible tourism to a broad range of constituencies in all sectors.

If you wish to listen to and then share the proceedings of this completed webinar, a full recording, a chat transcript and written summary are all available online.

After your listen, please share with us:

  • your thoughts (constructive and deconstructuve) about this first webinar
  • the topics/themes you would like us to address in coming sessions
  • the names and/or kinds of qualifications of guest presenters you would like us to invite to coming sessions.

We hope to see you at our next webinar: 1pm GMT on 18 June. Mark it in your calendars and share the news with others.

The six featured presenters on 4 June were:

* Sally Broom, CEO of Your Safe Planet & Fringe Network
* Stephen Chapman, Founder of Make Travel Fair

* Len Cordiner, CEO of whl.travel
* Ron Mader, Founder of Planeta
* Kenrick Theus, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism-Belize
* Valere Tjolle, Editor of Vision on Sustainable Tourism for TravelMole.

Brief biographies of the speakers can be found below.

For more information, contact:
* Shaun Gilchrist, Chief Operations Officer, whl.travel, +61 431 020 173; [email protected]
* Ethan Gelber, Media Liaison, whl.travel, [email protected]


SALLY BROOM – CEO, Your Safe Planet & Fringe Network
Sally Broom is founder of the unique travel website YourSafePlanet.com, the global network of trusted local experts. YSP connects travellers with experts at the grassroots who advise on trip planning using their up-to-date local knowledge. The goal of YSP is support slower and more rewarding travel.

‘Fringe’ network was a name given by media to a group of grassroots tourism organisations and individuals who feel that there is an opportunity to collaborate with more people on the important issues around local tourism, sustainable travel etc. What started as nothing more than a few drinks between friends around WTM has developed into a global network of hundreds of members. Their simple aims are to bring attention and energy to grassroots projects and, through collaboration, facilitate more local/sustainable travel.

STEPHEN CHAPMAN – Founder, Make Travel Fair
Stephen Chapman has travelled extensively and spent time living in both Australia and USA. After graduating from Edinburgh University in 2005 he spent a short period working offshore as a geologist in the oil & gas industry before changing direction completely to follow his passion for travel and established Make Travel Fair. The website won a TravelMole Web Award in its first year for ‘Best Online Education Site’, and more recently he was selected as ‘One-to-Watch’ in Travel & Leisure as part of The Courvoisier Future 500. This year he began working as part of the whl.travel team.

LEN CORDINER – CEO of whl.travel
In incubating and running numerous companies over 35 years in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Oceania, Len Cordiner has developed a passion for win-win outcomes. He was active early in the move to triple-bottom-line reporting and the development of certification programmes for the environment and sustainable travel. More recently, he has made harnessing the power of the Internet and new communications tools central to his mission to change paradigms in travel, making it more accessible to all. In this vein, founding whl.travel is Len’s latest and most ambitious global business initiative.

whl.travel is a global grassroots network of travel websites catering to independent travelers journeying off the beaten track and tired of the limited travel options offered by most online service providers. whl.travel emphasises responsible travel and keeping things local by focusing on smaller hotels, guesthouses and tour operators, particularly, but not exclusively, in developing countries where it can really make a difference. As of late May, whl.travel spans 170 destinations in 76 countries, with further expansion into more than 100 destinations (including 23 new countries) in the next six months.

RON MADER – Founder, Planeta
Ron Mader is a professional journalist and the founder of Planeta.com, the web’s first site dedicated to ecotourism. Ron’s work catalyzes action and conservation about environmental conservation, responsible travel and peacemaking. Ron’s work includes facilitating online and natural-world seminars and workshops, the most popular of which is the Web Seminar that shows professionals how to make effective use of Planeta.com and improve their own web presence.

Planeta.com has won many awards, including recognition from the Mexican government for exemplary coverage of Mexico. Presidents Fox and Zedillo presented Ron with the Lente de Plata Award in 1999 and 2002. Outside magazine called Planeta.com, the virtual vanguard. Ron is also the ecotourism and Latin America contributing editor for the U.S. magazine Transitions Abroad.

KENRICK THEUS – Director, International Centre for Responsible Tourism-Belize
Kenrick Theus, a native of Belize, has worked in the hospitality industry for the past 18 years as an operations manager, chef, food and beverage manager, general manager and trainer. He is presently employed as the Food and Beverage Management Lecturer at the University of Belize for the Bachelor Degree Students. In April 2008, he joined Mr. Yashin Dujon, Technical Officer in the Ministry of Tourism in Belize, and started the International Centre for Responsible Tourism-Belize (ICRT-Belize). They are both presently working at getting International certification bodies for hotels into the country such as Green Globe and Green Deal by the end of 2009. Mr. Theus has been President of the Belize Hotel Association since 2007 and currently serves as a Director on the   Board of Directors of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

VALERE TJOLLE – Editor, Vision on Sustainable Tourism, TravelMole
TravelMole is the most highly acclaimed and largest global online community for the travel and tourism industry with over 450,000 registered newswire subscribers – travel and tourism professionals worldwide.

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Ethan Gelber

In addition to his freelance travel writing (Lonely Planet author, ex-AFAR Ambassador, Huffington Post Travel blogger and more), Ethan has agitated tirelessly for responsible/sustainable travel practices, family travel, keeping things local, and quality and relevance in publishing and destination marketing. Among many other things, Ethan is editorial director of the Family Travel Association, a co-founder of OutBounding, and tackles content projects for HomeExchange.com and RW Social, which produces the NY Trav Fest. Previously, Ethan was Chief Communications Officer of the WHL Group, for which he founded and edited The Travel Word (this now-independent blog); publications manager of the French government tourist office (Atout France) in NYC; and helped manage a Paris-based bicycle tour operator.
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2 Responses to “Global Leaders of Responsible Tourism Launch Public Webinar Series”

  1. Miguel says:

    He has worked on developing sustainable tourism projects throughout Chile, including initiatives in the Biosphere Reserve of Cabo de Hornos and Easter Island

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