10 sustainable tourism heroes to watch in 2018 and beyond

When it comes to finding interesting discussions and new ideas about sustainable hotel management, Twitter is an absolute gold mine. That’s why I decided to put together a list of 10 industry thought leaders that never fail to share their insights and help the industry move towards greener, more eco-friendly, and more socially sustainable practices.

Psst! Make sure to also check out our new post on how some of Europe’s leading hotel chains manage sustainability. But without further ado, let’s get started with our top 10! 👇


Megan Epler Wood, Research Director at Harvard & Cornell and Author of Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet

Megan Epler Wood is best known as the author of Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet, a thought-provoking book that offers hoteliers and other international tourism professionals the tools and skills they need to protect natural resources while running a business.

And while the book is a definite must-read, Megan’s expertise reaches far beyond its pages. As a Research Director at Harvard and Cornell, her twitter feed is a mix of interesting articles (like this one about the “triple bottom line” or this one about consumers’ role in sustainable tourism) and poignant commentary about the problems the tourism industry is currently facing.

You can follow Megan at: @Planetreboot


Sven Wiltink, Director of Sustainable Business at Radisson Hotel Group

If his Twitter feed is anything to go by, Sven’s interests span across the whole spectrum of hotel sustainability themes. From Radisson’s own sustainability initiatives (like this one about water stewardship) to industry news (like this piece about tackling forced labor), his tweets manage to put a positive spin on serious topics.

Psst! If you’re looking for more detailed information about the many ways in which Radisson Hotel Group and 5 other large hotel chains manage sustainability, check out this article.

You can follow Sven at: @SvenWiltink


Inge Huijbrechts, Global VP of Responsible Business at Radisson Hotel Group

Much like her colleague Sven, Inge Hujbrechts’s tweets touch upon a number of important topics within the realm of hotel sustainability. With a special focus the Radisson Hotel Group’s own initiatives, following Inge has made us aware of several interesting projects, including the brand new solar-powered hotel Radisson Blu hotel in Norway, recipes for recycled orange peel, and the Blu Planet housekeeping program.

You can follow Inge at: @I_Huijbrechts


James Pitcher, Director of Sustainability at Whitbread

James Pitcher is the Director of Sustainability at Whitbread, the largest hospitality company in the UK. True to his role, his twitter activity mainly consists of promoting the many ways in which Whitbread’s brands promote sustainable development.

Especially if you’re interested in best practices from an industry leading hospitality chain, James’s tweets are a great source of inspiration. From solar panels at the roofs of Premier Inn hotels to the sustainably sourced fish served at the group’s restaurants, his tweets never fail to give us new hotel sustainability ideas.

You can follow James at: @Pitcher_CSR


Julie Middleton, Head of Sustainable Practice at the Travel Foundation

The Travel Foundation is a sustainable tourism charity that works in partnership with businesses and governments to make sure that tourism brings a greater benefit to people and the environment. Julie Middleton is the charity’s Head of Sustainable Practice.

With her tweets ranging from the charity’s most successful projects to concrete tips for reducing plastic pollution, Julie’s account is a must-follow for anyone interested in running ambitious sustainability initiatives with a big impact.

You can follow Julie at: @JMsustravel


Nicolas Perin, Programme Manager at the International Tourism Partnership

Nicolas Perrin is the London-based Programme Manager of ITP (the International Tourism Partnership). On his Twitter feed, he shares the important advances that the tourism industry has achieved so far as well as the organization’s goals for going forward.

You can follow Nicolas at: @NicolasPerinITP


Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

As the Head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim’s tweets are largely focused on recognizing businesses, organizations, and governments that have successfully introduced sustainable practices into their operations. By sharing news about sustainable innovations like this drone-based technology for catching illegal fishing, he manages to demonstrate time and time again that individuals can make a huge difference.

You can follow Erik at: @ErikSolheim


Maria Reynisdottir, Tourism Specialist at the Ministry of Industries and Innovation in Iceland

Maria Reynisdottir works as a Tourism Specialist at the Ministry of Industries and Innovation in Iceland. And when it comes to finding and sharing interesting articles (like this one about humans’ impact on the environment) and videos (like this one about embracing tourism without resenting tourists), there’s no one quite like her.

In fact, it was Maria who first brought the amazing overtourism documentary ‘Crowded Out’ to my attention. And if you ask me, that’s reason enough for you to follow her!

You can follow Maria at: @tourismfix


Enric Ortiz Llaquet, Hotelier at Meliá Hotels International

While not strictly focused on content about hotel sustainability, Enric Ortiz Llaquet’s Twitter feed is worth a follow, as he shares interesting updates about Meliá hotels around the world. And hey, the breathtakingly beautiful pictures from remote locations can’t hurt either!

You can follow Enric at: @Enric1967


Niki Zoli, Director of Social Impact at Marriott

CSR Veteran Niki Zoli’s tweets focus on celebrating Marriott’s sustainability efforts across a number of social and environmental issues. It is experts like her that manage to lift the lid on the broad spectrum of positive impact large hotel chains can make if they just appoint the right people and empower the whole organization.

You can follow Niki at: @NikiZoli

Psst! In case you’re hungry for more inspiration and expert tips, make sure to download our brand new hotel sustainability report — completely free of charge!

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