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Sustainable Destinations Summit, Mallorca (VIDEOS) – Unravel Travel TV

Sustainability is one of the great challenges that destinations face. With an increasingly aware traveler and many global challenges such as climate change, destinations face a profound transformation.

Convinced that information and the exchange of good practices are key tools to achieve the necessary transformation and consequently increased sustainability, the Fundació Mallorca Turisme of Consell de Mallorca,  in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) hosted the second edition of the Sustainable Destinations Summit: Leading de Transformation took place on the 30th and 31st of March 2023 in Palma de Mallorca.

The Sustainable Destinations Summit sought to provide a platform for tourism stakeholders where sharing knowledge and learning best practices in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. In addition, international media representatives, agents, and academics were invited to participate in the summit and visit the island, which has to offer a variety of initiatives and good practices in tourism sustainability.

The summit brought together some of the most influential tourism leaders and institutions to outline the necessary transformation of the tourism sector with concrete examples and practices.

The 2-days summit discussed subjects aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Glasgow Declaration

Day One

Sustainable Destinations Summit Welcome remarks

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO. (Vídeo)
Ms. Catalina Cladera i Crespí, President of the Consell Mallorca, Spain

Keynote speech: “The needed transition of the tourism sector”

Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director, UNWTO

Status Quo Of Global Sustainability:

Mr. Pepijn Rijvers, Executive Vice President, Redefining Value, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Status quo of sustainability in tourism:

Mr. Thomas Ellerbeck, Member of the Group Executive Committee & Chief Sustainability Officer of TUI Group

The Indigenous Perspective

A deep dive into the indigenous way of living: what do traditions, inclusiveness, and good stewardship mean for the balance with nature and the needs of communities, and what concrete solutions can they provide to help us transform the tourism sector?

Chief Frank Antoine, Co-Owner Moccasin Trails / Chief, Bonaparte First Nation Thompson Valley, Okanagan Valley, Gold Country, Canada

The Outer Perspective

Learning from an astronaut and taking a bird’s view of Earth gives us a fresh and genuine understanding of how to behave when resources are scarce.

Mr. Pedro Duque, Spanish Astronaut (Virtual)

The Financial Perspective

The future of financing will increase the importance of sustainable development priorities. This includes better managing environmental and social risks, greater accountability, and helping to build back towards a greener future.

Dr. Denise Urias Levy, Environmental Senior Specialist, Environment, Rural Development and Disaster Risk Management Division (CSD/RND), Climate Change and Sustainability Sector, Interamerican Development Bank

Interview Prof. Dr. Massimo Marchiori “A society in transformation – Learning from history”

Prof. Dr. Massimo Marchiori was the driving force behind HyperSearch, the backbone of Google’s work as a search engine, which changed the way society searches and uses the information in the most drastic way since Gutenberg invented the printing press. How does he see how this affected today’s world, and what does he foresee to come?

Mr. Michael Collins, Founder, Managing Director,

Prof. Dr. Massimo Marchiori, University of Padova, Italy, and European Institute for Science, Media, and Democracy (EISMD), Belgium

Panel discussion 1: Destinations – Catalysts of Sustainable and Regenerative Development

Destinations very often lead the implementation of tourism policy objectives, and tourism destination managers can inspire through the impacts of their actions beyond the tourism sector. Destinations often provide the framework for effective sustainable and regenerative development where stakeholders agree on objectives and monitor and analyze the success of their actions. This panel provides a reflection on key elements and enabling policy factors that facilitate inclusive and resilient sustainable development.

Dr. Dirk Glaesser, Director, Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO

  • Ms. Petra Stušek, CEO, Ljubljana Tourism and President of the Board at City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA), Slovenia
  • Mr. Ronald Anthony Sultana, Director, Tourism and Economic Development Directorate, Ministry of Gozo, Malta
  • Ms. Yaiza Castilla Herrera, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Government of the Canary Islands, Spain
  • Ms. Ellen Walker-Matthews, Chief Executive Officer, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), Canada

Panel Discussion 2: Precompetitive Cooperation for Sustainable Actions

Pre-competitive collaboration is key to successful sustainability strategies in tourism and plays an important role in destinations. A good understanding of the challenges and industry needs allows the core issues of sustainable development to be addressed and managed based on evidence but avoids impacting competition among businesses. This panel addresses tourism companies’ relevant areas, information needs, and the role that DMOs can play to ensure impactful and effective solutions.

Keynote speech
Ms. Wenche Gronbrekk, Director of Strategy, Partnerships and External Relations, Senior advisor, Ocean, UN Global Compact, Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS)

Mr. Glenn Mandziuk, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

  • Mr. Gines Martinez, CEO Jumbo Tours, Spain
  • Ms. Inge Huijbrechts, Global SVP Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications, Radisson Hotels
  • Ms. JoAnna Abrams, Founder, and CEO, MindClick
  • Ms. Sara Digiesi, CEO, Best Western Hotel Group Italy

Panel Discussion 3: Implementing Circularity

Circularity in tourism aims to transform the sector to regenerative, minimize resource use, and avoid waste. Many efforts in this area are underway, and this panel will focus on the priorities and practical insights needed for the successful transformation.

Dr. Antoni Riera Font, Director, Fundació Impulsa Balears

Dr. Antoni Riera Font, Director, Fundació Impulsa Balears

  • Ms. Gloria Fluxà, Vice-Chairman & Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar
  • Mr. José Guillermo Díaz Montañés, CEO, ARTIEM Hotels


  • Mr. Iago Negueruela, Minister of Economic Model Tourism and Work Territory of the Balearic Islands
  • Ms. Aurora Ribot, Minister of Sustainability and Environment, Consell de Mallorca

Panel Discussion 4: Nature-Related Data For anagement

Experiences by destinations with measurement and indicators, their comparability, and usefulness are key for successful decision-making. However, the assessment of nature-related impacts, dependencies, risks, and opportunities is currently used to a lesser extent by the tourism sector. In contrast, other sectors have already started moving into the natural space.

Ms. Cordula Wohlmuther, Coordinator, Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO

  • Mr. Jesús Maria Alquézar Sabadie, European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment
  • Ms. Alexa Firmenich, Co-director of SEED, Crowther Lab at ETH Zürich
  • Ms. Cecilia Hertz, Founder, and Managing Director of Umbilical Design, Co-Founder of I.S.A.A.C. International Space Asset Acceleration Company, Sweden
  • Dr. Sergio Guerreiro, Senior Director of Knowledge Management and Innovation, Turismo de Portugal

Panel discussion 5: Governance models strengthening sustainability

Effective governance is an important prerequisite for the sustainable development of tourism destinations. Its effectiveness depends largely on inter-relation between the relevant actors in the sector, which are involved in shaping policies and decisions through participatory processes.

Dr. Dirk Glaesser, Director, Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO

  • Mr. Juan Jose Alvarez Brunel, Guanajuato State’s Secretary of Tourism
  • Ms. Gracen Chungath, Senior Vice President, Destination Development, Destination Canada
  • Mr. Mathias Schattleitner, President Austrian Tourism Managers, Managing Director Schladming-Dachstein, Austria

Panel discussion 6: Action Frameworks Driving Transformation

Action frameworks are needed to accelerate sustainable consumption and production patterns. They help to build the needed synergies and support the transformation process through pooled research, guidance, and networking to be successful. Their catalytic function triggers an impact on a larger scale, which is urgently needed to make the tourism sector more sustainable and resilient.

Ms. Virginia Fernández-Trapa, Coordinator, Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO

  • Mr. José Juan Lorenzo Rodríguez, Executive Director, Turismo de Islas Canarias
  • Mr. Jorge Laguna-Celis, Head, One Planet Network, UN Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP), UN Environment Programme
  • Ms. Samantha Kenny, Senior Program Officer, Food Waste, World Wildlife Fund
  • Mr. Tono Franco, Managing Partner of globaldit, Spain
  • Mr. Kees Jan, Head, Travel Sustainable Program,
  • Mr. Wassim Daoud, Head of Sustainability and CSR, PONANT

12.45h – 13.30h

Two Generations – One Perspective

Ms. Maria Frontera, President of FEHM, Federación Empresarial Hotelera de Mallorca, Spain

  • Ms. Sabina Fluxá Thienemann, Vice-Chairman & CEO, Iberostar Group
  • Ms. Carmen Riu Güell, CEO,  RIU Hotels & Resorts chain

Living and promoting sustainability

How do destinations committed to sustainability communicate and promote their attractions, products, and services and strive towards a balance between marketing and storytelling? How do markets, operators, and clients demand information and support? What have we learned from these responses to continue fostering sustainable and resilient destinations?

Mr. Michael Collins, Founder, Managing Director,

  • Mr. Mark Tanzer, CEO, ABTA, UK
  • Ms. María Frontera, President FEHM, Federación Empresarial Hotelera de Mallorca, Spain
  • Mr. Miguel Sanz, Director-General, Turespaña, Spain
  • Mr. Andreu Serra, Conseller de Turismo, Consell Insular Mallorca, Spain
  • Mr. Thomas Ellerbeck, Member of the Group Executive Committee & Chief Sustainability Officer of TUI Group

Sustainable Destinations Summit Closing

Ms. Isabel Oliver Sagreras, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sustainability, UNWTO
Ms. Rosa Ana Morillo Rodríguez, Secretary of State for Tourism, Spain
Ms. Catalina Cladera i Crespí, President of the Consell Mallorca, Spain

Sustainable Destinations Summit, UNWTO Link: