Building Back Better: Reconstructing Governmental Systems and Policies for Sustainable Tourism

logos for harvard extension, isti, the travel foundation and pata

We are reviewing how governments can create responsive, data-driven policies for sustainable tourism. With the collaboration of policy experts throughout the world, ISTI is reviewing policy models with leading experts and discussing how taxation, sustainable financing, and public private collaborations will need to be designed to respond to the pressure on destinations in the 21st century. 

The first stage of this research program was an online Roundtable on November 19, 2020, hosted together with the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Travel Foundation, and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

It was designed to allow experts in sustainable tourism governance to present a summary of their papers in advance on video, discuss in detail how tourism can improve its governance, and how tourism can be more responsive to the issues related to both sustainability and the recovery of destinations hit hard by the spread of COVID 19.

Access Results Here


Live Roundtable Participants


  • Manuel Alejandro Cardenete, Vice Minister Regional Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration, Andalucia Spain
  • Antonia Alomar, Director, Agency for Tourism Strategy of the Balearic Islands 
  • Matt Berna, Managing Director, North America, Intrepid Group
  • Gwendal Castellan, Manager, Sustainable Destination Development, Tourism Vancouver
  • Margaux Constantin, Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company
  • Megan Epler Wood, Director, International Sustainable Tourism Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Tim Fairhurst, Secretary General, European Tourism Association (ETOA)
  • Anna Fink, Economist, Asian Development Bank
  • Sofia Fotiadou, Research Manager, Tourism and Environmental Health in a Changing Climate Project, International Sustainable Tourism Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2017-2018)
  • Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Travel Corporation 
  • Frank Haas, Former Dean, Hospitality, Business & Legal Education, University of Hawaii, Kapiolani Community College; Former Vice President, Tourism Marketing, Hawaii Tourism Authority
  • Peter Romer Hansen, CCO and Founding Partner, Group Nao
  • Graham Harper, Director of Sustainability, PATA
  • Andreas Hoffmann, Project Manager, Tourism, GIZ 
  • Christopher Imbsen, Director of Destination Stewardship, WTTC
  • Signe Jungersted, CEO and Founding Partner, Group Nao
  • John M. Knox, President, Knox and Associations
  • Ben Lynam, Head of Communications, the Travel Foundation
  • Dr. Mark Milstein, Director, Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell University
  • Wendy Moore, Director of Programmes, Travel Foundation
  • Bernadett Papp, Researcher, European Tourism Futures Institute
  • Maria Reynisdóttir, Specialist, Department of Tourism & Innovation, Ministry of Industries and Innovation, Iceland 
  • Jeremy Sampson, Director, Travel Foundation
  • Steven Schipani, Senior Specialist, Asian Development Bank 
  • Jack Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, and Director of the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Jane Stacey, Head of Tourism Unit, OECD
  • Davide Strangis, Executive Director EU Programmes, Partnerships & Geographical Commissions, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions 
  • Jos Vranken, CEO, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions
  • Trevor Weltman, Chief of Staff, PATA
  • Greg Wong, Country Director, Agoda


Bibliography of Papers Presented: