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Sustainable Travel International Announces Appointment of Geoff Bolan to CEO

Seattle, WA (October 4, 2016) – Sustainable Travel International, the leading nonprofit focused on improving lives and protecting places through changes in the way destinations around the world manage travel and tourism, announced today that Geoff Bolan is named Chief Executive Officer.  Bolan succeeds Sustainable Travel International’s Founder and CEO, Brian Mullis. Mullis will transition into an Executive Advisor role after nearly 14 years guiding the organization. Bolan will lead Sustainable Travel International in its next chapter of growth, focusing on expanding the organization’s global impact to combat threats like environmental degradation and economic inequality.

GB image 2Bolan joined Sustainable Travel International in January 2016 as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. His background includes more than 25 years of management, business development, and strategic planning on a global scale in both the non-profit and private sectors. Bolan held multiple leadership roles with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), leading all commercial development for the Americas region, then running all aspects of U.S. operations.  He has held previous management positions in the hospitality sector with TravelCLICK, McDonalds, and iExplore. Bolan started his career in enterprise and ecotourism development with Conservation International, working primarily in Latin America. Bolan earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA in international relations from Tufts University.

“Geoff has exhibited the expertise and leadership skills necessary to guide Sustainable Travel International into its next phase of growth,” said Roger Lang, Chairman of the Board. “The work of this organization is crucial to ensuring the well-being of destinations and people around the world and the Board is confident in Geoff’s vision for the organization and ability to expand this impact going forward.”

“We’re working to ensure a better future for some of the world’s most vulnerable destinations – such as the Galapagos Islands, Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, Panama, and Indonesia. I look forward to helping Sustainable Travel International deepen this global impact,” said Bolan. “Travel and tourism represents 1 in 11 jobs around the world; and harnessing this economic strength to improve living conditions and protect sensitive environments is no small task. It requires the participation of governments, the private sector, and individuals. I greatly appreciate the confidence of our Board, and all the accomplishments of the organization’s founder, Brian Mullis.”  

For any media inquiries regarding the transition, please contact Kaitlyn Brajcich at


About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of people around the world and the environments they rely on. By leveraging the power of travel and tourism, which employs 1 in every 11 people on the planet, we aim to ensure that communities thrive and their environments are healthy for future generations. For more information, visit


Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research receive SASI-ONE Award for 2016 Sustainable Traveler Research

(September 20, 2016) – Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research received a SASI-ONE Merit Award in the market research category for the 2016 study The Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism. SASI-ONE Awards (SASI = Shop America Salutes Innovation) recognize prominent leaders in the tourism industry for their vision and commitment to developing shopping and cultural tourism. The award was presented at the annual SASI-ONE Awards Breakfast on Friday, September 9, during the ONE Travel Conference at Le Meridien Delfina in Santa Monica California.

Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research conducted the 2016 Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism research to help the travel and tourism industry better understand how travelers define sustainable tourism and how they incorporate it into their travel decisions and behaviors. The report revealed compelling results, most notably that 60 percent of U.S. travelers (105.3 million) have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years. These travelers spend more (on average $600 per trip), stay longer (seven days compared to four days) and bring higher benefits to local communities including job creation, giving-back and volunteering. More details and a full copy of the 2016 Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism report can be found at

The SASI-ONE Awards are sponsored by CenterCal Properties in partnership with Shop America Alliance and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council. The 2016 judges were Jan Kroells, Vice President, Bloomington MN Convention & Visitors Bureau; Rose Hapanowich, Director of Travel & Tourism, Destiny USA and Christine Szalay Strange, Vice President, The Outlet Resource Group. The SASI-ONE Awards are presented annually at the ONE Travel Conference. To view the video award presentation of the 2015-16 SASI-ONE Awards, visit

The Role of Sustainability in Travel and Tourism research was supported by lead sponsor, Visit California. Additional study sponsors include Travel Oregon, G Adventures, Destination Better, Shop America Alliance, Louisiana Tax Free Shopping, and Wild Rivers Coast Alliance.

For more information regarding the award or study, please contact Kaitlyn Brajcich.


About Sustainable Travel International. Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of people around the world and the environments they rely upon. By leveraging the power of travel and tourism and providing business and government leaders with the guidance, policies and solutions they need, we aim to ensure that the communities they’re engaged in thrive and their environments are healthy for future generations. For more information, visit or call +1-917-677- 5731.

About Mandala Research. Mandala Research is one of the leading travel and tourism research companies in the world. The firm has pioneered the “firsts” of many niche studies in the travel industry and offers extensive knowledge of several growing demographics and trends, including African American, LGBT, and U.S. Hispanic, and women travelers; and niche markets such as cultural, arts, and heritage tourism, retail/shopping tourism, wine and culinary tourism. Mandala’s clients include destinations, major travel brands, associations, government agencies, and NGOs and has expertise in brand tracking, brand equity and brand identity research. For more information, contact or call 703.820.1041.

ONE Travel Conference for Shopping, Dining and Cultural Tourism is produced annually by Shop America Alliance and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council. The Conference brings together leaders in the travel industry to focus on The Power of Partnership, speaking with ONE Voice. The 2016 ONE Travel Conference was held at Le Meridien Delfina in Santa Monica California September 7-9. For more information visit or call 707-224-3795.

Shop America Alliance is the travel trade organization representing hundreds of the premier shopping tourism destinations, retailers, shopping centers and outlets in America. Founded in 1998, Shop America Alliance co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook, publishes Shop America Magazine and markets more than 100 shopping tours and cultural heritage experiences in 40 cities. For more information, visit or call 707-224-3795.

US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) is a travel trade association with the mission to market U.S. cultural and heritage tourism experiences. USCHT represents leading U.S. tourism destinations, attractions and travel partners engaged in marketing U.S. cultural and heritage to travelers throughout the United States and around the world, co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook and sponsors market research on the Cultural and Heritage Traveler. For more information, visit or call 760-703-6020.


Red Pepper Chopping

Partnering Together to Reduce Food Waste in Hotels

We are planning an ambitious new project to reduce the amount of food that is wasted in hotels under the United Nations’ 10 year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP). This flagship project will be supported by UNEP, the 10 YFP Secretariat, and UNWTO the lead for the 10 YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme and will be delivered by a partnership consortium including the Travel Foundation, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and Sustainable Travel international.

food photoThe objective of the project is to reduce food loss in hotels by 20% across five destinations globally by introducing tried and tested techniques. This will result in corresponding reductions in the carbon emissions associated with food production and transportation. The project will create models for reducing food waste which can then be adapted and replicated in other destinations.

Salli Felton, Travel Foundation Chief Executive said: “This has the potential to be a very exciting project, which will support hotels to reduce their food waste and carbon emissions. The project will see us broaden our work on a global scale and proactively contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Tourism Programme. To achieve this we are looking for destinations and hotel chains who would like to get involved in the project and lead the way in sustainable tourism practice.”

Dr Richard Swannell, Director of WRAP said: “This project builds on WRAP’s UK work which has already helped identify why food is wasted in the hospitality sector and helped companies reduce it cost-effectively. We are delighted to be adding our knowledge and expertise to this pioneering global project for hotels as it has the potential to deliver real change to the benefit of the hotels, their visitors and the wider environment. WRAP is committed to helping achieve Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 around the world, and this project is an initial step in delivering this ambitious goal in the hotel sector.”

Dr. Louise Twining-Ward President of Sustainable Travel International, added: “This long-awaited initiative addresses one of the most under researched sustainability issues in tourism—the enormous amount of food waste from hotels. The project has huge potential to drive change, through simple industry friendly solutions that save resources, minimize environmental impact, and benefit local communities.”

The project is expected to be implemented over a 3 to 5 year period and is currently in planning and development phase. If you would like to get involved or find out more, please contact Louise Twining-Ward.

Header photo courtesy hmerinomx