Expressed simply, sustainable tourism can be defined as: “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”

ETC’s Sustainability Vision (Focusing on the pillar of community-based tourism)

ETC aspires to make a distinctive and unique mark in furthering sustainability agendas, leveraging the current interest and expertise of the consortium to focus on community-based tourism as a key driver to fully engage our constituent base in sustainable tourism initiatives.


ETC defines Community Tourism as sustainable, educational travel that supports local communities, cultural heritage and strengthens destinations for future travelers.

According to the UNWTO Sustainable Community-Based Tourism:

  • Revives traditional activities and customs
  • Empowers communities and nurtures pride within them
  • Cultivates a favorable business environment, characterized by stability and supportive policies
  • Promotes cultural diversity
  • Supports local communities and empower women and youth
  • Raises awareness of the value of heritage
  • Breaks down barriers and builds bridges between visitors and hosts
  • Provides opportunities for cross-cultural encounters that can build peace
  • Contributes to mutual understanding, peace and security


  • Innovative programming with dynamic speakers, case studies, storytelling and destination deep dives that show why sustainability is a movement and benchmark for all tourism business.
  • Supporting an ETC Sustainability Committee
  • Providing Online Resources for Travel Planners
  • Greening the Conference

Some suggestions on how to reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting your participation. 

  • Ie. Southpole calculator
  • Offsetting airfare
  • Chef promotes menus with Locally sourced food
  • Recycling and reducing waste by eliminating single use products when possible
  • Marriott’s hotels chosen for CSR practices
  • Conference destination directly benefits local communities/economies
Photo of woman in Peru


As part of the Educational Travel Consortium’s commitment to advancing responsible tourism, ETC has hosted a Community Tourism Showcase to recognize the efforts of ETC members and their partners working diligently in the field to develop and implement community tourism initiatives.

In past years, two to three Honorees were recognized at the Community Tourism Showcase and are featured as part of ETC’s annual conference along with a variety of educational sessions and roundtable discussions on current Community Tourism issues and best practices. View past honorees!


The Sustainability Tourism Committee is comprised of Educational Travel Consortium members who suggest, review and implement the sustainable tourism track at the annual conferences as well as community regional venues.

Chair: Andrea Holbrook, Holbrook Travel; Jill Bernier, ETC Program Development, Staff Liaison (formerly with The Nature Conservancy)

Committee Members: Beth Ray-Schroeder, Duke University; Ben Sander, Black Sheep Adventures; Jared Dial, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA);  Andrew Lockwood, Pacific Islands Institute; Karen Kuttner-Dimitry, Lindblad Expeditions; Jean Bouffard, Adventure Canada; Kate Sanders, Oregon State University


Are you interested in working with the Sustainability Tourism Committee on projects?

Connect to the Committee!