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A New Way to See and Experience Lanzarote in the Canary Islands

Arrecife, April 22, 2016 – This week, Turismo Lanzarote launched “The Lanzarote Effect” (#LanzaroteEffect), a new promotional tourism campaign focused on the island’s commitment to balancing art and nature with sustainable tourism development. While most visitors come to Lanzarote for the sun, sand and sea, this campaign will highlight a new way to experience the volcanic island, showcasing its unique cultural and historical attributes and told through the eyes of locals.

“We are proud of our island’s commitment to sustainability and to see how that commitment helps to shape a more inviting and authentic experience for our visitors. ‘The Lanzarote Effect’ campaign will help us share our yet to be told story with the rest of the world,” remarks Hector Fernández, CEO of Turismo Lanzarote.

The destination image of Lanzarote has historically been that of most other Mediterranean islands—sun, sand and sea. However, Lanzarote has much more to offer visitors. From their strict land-use and tourism infrastructure codes to the establishment of seven cultural centers highlighting the art, history, and values of the people, Lanzarote fosters a visitor experience that is more connected and enriched because of its commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. In 1995 they developed the Lanzarote Declaration, staking claim on their commitment to sustainable tourism values. Today, everywhere you go on the island, you are surrounded by culture, history, and gastronomy. In April 2015, Lanzarote was the first destination in the world to receive the Instituto de Turismo Responsible’s Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification, the first Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) approved certification for the globally recognized GSTC destination standard.

“Sustainable tourism certification may be better known for hotels, tours, and attractions, but destination certification is now growing.  The Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification is one of the few certification schemes available for destinations, and has achieved the elite level “GSTC-Approved” mark. Destinations around the world can use the GSTC Destination Criteria to improve their sustainability policies and practices, and many are now pursuing certification as a means of proving their commitment and actions” remarked Randy Durband, CEO of the GSTC.

Turismo Lanzarote has partnered with Sustainable Travel International since 2012 to receive guidance on how to better identify and promote the island’s responsible actions and values. In 2012, Lanzarote was one of the Early Adopters of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Destination Criteria. The organizations have worked together to refresh Turismo Lanzarote’s brand values and communications strategy, train public and private sector stakeholders about sustainable tourism messaging, and helped them achieve sustainable destination certification. In 2015, the island became the world’s first GSTC-recognized Biosphere Certified Destination. This certification highlights the island’s exemplary efforts toward mindful tourism development, conservation, and green growth. In 2016, Turismo Lanzarote and Sustainable Travel International developed “The Lanzarote Effect” campaign based on their six brand values: nature, gastronomy, health and sports, culture, the arts, and leaving a legacy.

“The compassion and commitment that the people of Lanzarote have toward their island’s future is both captivating and addictive. ‘The Lanzarote Effect’ draws you into the island in a way not experienced in other destinations,” stated Lizzie Keenan, Director of Marketing and Communications at Sustainable Travel International. “Lanzarote is one of the world’s best examples of destination stewardship. It is time they are recognized for it and more people experience what makes Lanzarote so special.”

Over the next 12 months, Lanzarote’s story will be told through the voices of local people. “The Lanzarote Effect” campaign, which was inspired by a short film produced by Lea Amiel and Nicolas Libersalle, will highlight the island’s spirit, something not commonly shared in its marketing campaigns. From artists to educators, scientists to wine makers, the people of Lanzarote will tell their story of what makes Lanzarote valuable and worth experiencing, both now and in the future.

In addition to a dynamic social media campaign, destination training is planned for travel trade in the UK and other target markets.

For the latest updates on the campaign, please visit or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.


About Turismo Lanzarote

Lanzarote is a unique island of extreme and unusual beauty. Amazing nature, dramatic landscapes, long sandy shores, a deeply rooted local culture and gastronomy, and above all a genuine respect for nature and its environment. All of them make Lanzarote an ideal destination to enjoy, and visit again. Let yourself be surprised! Visit us at to learn more.

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


Earth Day: The Lanzarote Effect

Imagine an island where scarce water brings ancient vineyards to life. Where art, culture and the landscape is celebrated in every household, in every town center. This place is Lanzarote, an island with a story to tell. If you thought Lanzarote was just sun, sand and sea, think again. Conservation and cultural heritage are embedded in the history of Lanzarote and its people. Through a strong commitment and adherence to sustainable tourism development, this island offers unspoiled views and a visitor experience that leaves a mark on your soul long after you depart. In honor of Earth Day, we are celebrating the island of Lanzarote, one of seven Canary Islands off of the coast of Morocco.

2015 Year In Review

Three months into the New Year and we are still reflecting on, and seeing the benefits of, the exciting progress we made in 2015 with communities, destinations, and tourism businesses around the world. We are excited to share with you some of our, and our partners, recent accomplishments in our 2015 Year in Review.

International Women’s Day – Women in Tourism

Women around the world play a significant role in the travel and tourism industry. Tourism offers respectable, stable opportunities to underserved populations who may not have benefited from formalized educations –– many of whom are women. Today is International Women’s Day and we are celebrating by highlighting some of the women we respect the most when it comes to changing how travel affects our world. We are honoring women who are building better futures for themselves and their communities through this large, diverse industry.

Sustainable Travel International Names Business Sustainability Leader as Chief Operating Officer

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK February 4, 2016 – Sustainable Travel International, a leading nonprofit organization focused on improving lives and protecting places through changes in the way travel and tourism is managed, today named Geoff Bolan as Chief Operating Officer to help meet the growing demand for sustainable tourism solutions to some of the world’s greatest global threats like climate change and economic inequality. Bolan will work closely with Sustainable Travel International’s CEO and President to expand the organization’s resource base and build a strong foundation for strategic growth.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Geoff as Sustainable Travel International is poised to expand its global impact,” says Brian Mullis, CEO and founder.  “Geoff brings a wealth of expertise in sustainability as well as travel and tourism.  His broad experience at the nexus of business and environmental sustainability will be a tremendous asset.”

Bolan’s 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. Most recently he held multiple leadership roles with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) program, leading all commercial development for the Americas region, then running all aspects of U.S. operations.  He’s 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 (CI), working primarily in Latin America. Bolan also holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and BA from Tufts University.

“I look forward to returning to the tourism sector and helping to expand Sustainable Travel International’s worldwide impact,” Bolan says.  “For 13 years, Sustainable Travel International has racked up a proven track record in helping align the interests of people, planet, and tourism through well-crafted and thoughtful strategic planning and training.  I’m very excited to bring Sustainable Travel International’s work to the next level in bettering people’s lives and minimizing environmental and cultural impact through smarter tourism.”


About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International (STI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works toward improving lives and protecting places through travel and tourism. For 13 years, Sustainable Travel International has been developing, testing, and sharing cutting edge methodologies, solutions and knowledge to drive greater sustainability in destinations. Governments, companies, NGOs and communities worldwide are uniting and using these solutions to achieve the right balance between economic and sustainable development, and protection of their natural, cultural and heritage assets.

Visit us at to learn more.


Media Contact

Sustainable Travel International

Lizzie Keenan

Director, Marketing and Communications

+1 917-338-9628


Panama’s Tourism Ministry Achieves Progress on the Development of Ecotourism in Protected Areas with the Help of Sustainable Travel International

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – November 23, 2015 This month, global NGO Sustainable Travel International met with Panama’s new Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Him, to discuss best practice approaches to the development of ecotourism in Panama. The objective of the work being conducted is a comprehensive and stakeholder-driven vision for the development of national parks and protected areas and their buffer zones that benefits of local communities. In a series of meetings the new Minister of Tourism Gustavo Him reaffirmed Panama’s commitment to pursuing tourism development in a way that improves livelihoods and conserves Panama’s world-class natural attractions and unique ecosystems.

Panama boasts some of the most diverse wildlife in Central America, including large rainforests that form a biological bridge between North and South America, and some of the world’s best bird watching, home to almost 1,000 different species. But, until recently, Panama has not actively promoted tourism in its parks and protected areas. Most of its 2.3 million annual visitors still don’t venture outside Panama City, where they come for shopping and business related to the canal.

An unusually large portion Panama’s land area—39%—is under protection. UNESCO Natural World Heritage site Coiba Island in the southwest of the country is part of the Pacific Marine Biological Corridor—a world-class destination for diving and whale watching. The island also has pristine beaches, mangrove forests, scarlet macaws, mantled howler monkeys, and four species of sea turtles.

In Boquete, Volcan Baru, a key destination for hikers, is the one place in the world with views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The legendary routes of Camino Real and Camino de Cruces, where the Spaniards originally crossed from the Pacific to the Caribbean by land (a predecessor to the Panama Canal) have the potential to be developed as ecotourism routes across highly diverse landscapes. They could link tropical rainforest and mountain ecosystems, and access rural and indigenous communities.

Since Panama’s formal commitment to ecotourism, in an agreement signed on Earth Day, April 22, 2015, Sustainable Travel International has been working closely with the Ministry of the Environment, the Tourism Authority, and private sector organizations in Panama, to conduct a comprehensive diagnostic of opportunities and challenges for developing tourism in Panama’s protected areas.

The project to develop a common vision for the responsible and sustainable development of ecotourism is due to be completed in January 2016. “Responsibly developed tourism offers unparalleled opportunities to stimulate the local economy, benefit indigenous communities and conserve rich biodiversity”, said Dr. Twining-Ward. “Panama is well on the way to the development of a world–class ecotourism offering. They are doing all the right things to maintain the authenticity of the experience, preserve ecosystems and keep visitors safe.”

The next step in the project is for Sustainable Travel International to develop a strategic vision and action plan for ecotourism in Panama. This will provide the framework for a coordinated approach to tourism in parks and protected areas.

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Media Contact:

Lizzie Keenan

Director, Marketing and Communications

+1 (917) 382-9185


About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International’s mission is to improve lives and protect places through travel and tourism. A global non-profit and industry thought leader since 2002, Sustainable Travel International has helped communities, hotels, airlines, cruise lines and governments to plan responsibly—to chart their road maps for responsible growth so that they can contribute to the economic and social well-being of people around the globe whose lives and livelihoods depend on the world’s wanderlust.

Visit us at to learn more.