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

Convinced that information and the exchange of good practices are a key tool 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) will host a second edition of the Sustainable Destinations Summit: Leading de Transformation on 30th and 31th of March 2023 in Palma de Mallorca.

The Sustainable Destinations Summit seeks to provide a platform for tourism stakeholders where sharing knowledge and learning best practices in environmental, social, and economic sustainability will be in the centre. In addition, international media representatives, agents, and academics are 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 will bring together some of the most influential tourism leaders and institutions to outline the necessary transformation of the tourism sector by concrete examples and practices.

The 2-days summit will discuss subjects aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Glasgow Declaration and will focus on five topics that are key for any sustainability discussion:

Our proposal is focused on 2 days of work based on themes aligned with the Glasgow agreement, the Sustainable Development Objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the UNWTO Plan of Action and the FMT Strategic Plan.

In this second edition we will have round tables where the speakers will discuss a specific topic and first-person interviews.

Round tables on:

  • Renewing sustainable perspectives:
    • The indigenous perspective
    • The external perspective
    • The financial perspective
  • Destinations: catalysts for sustainable and regenerative development
  • Pre-competitive cooperation for sustainable actions
  • Implementing circularity
  • Nature data for management
  • Governance models that reinforce sustainability
  • Action frameworks driving transformation

First-person interviews:

  • A society in transformation: learning from history
  • Two generations, one perspective

The afternoon of 30th March and 1st April, the Fundació Mallorca Turisme  proposes a social program to visit some of the most outstanding sustainable initiatives that are being developed in Mallorca.

Thursday, 30 March

8.30h – 9.20h


9.30h – 10.15h

Welcome remarks

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

10.00h – 10.15h

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

    Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director, UNWTO

    10.15h – 10.45h

    Setting the scene

    10.15h – 10.30h

    Status quo of global sustainability:

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

      10.30h – 10.45h

      Status quo of sustainability in tourism:

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

        10.45h – 12.10h

        Refreshing sustainable perspectives

        10.45h – 11.05h

        The indigenous perspective

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

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

        11.05h – 11.30h

        Coffe break

        11.30h – 11.50h

        The outer perspective

        Learning from an astronaut and taking the bird´s view on earth gives us a fresh and very real understanding of how we need to behave when resources are really scarce.

        Mr. Pedro Duque, Spanish Astronaut (Virtual)

        11.50h – 12.15h

        The financial perspective

        The future of financing will increase the importance of sustainable development priorities. This includes the better management of 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

        12.10h – 12.40h

        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 is searching and using information in the most drastical way since Gutenberg invented the printing press. How does he see how this affected the world of today 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

        12.40h – 13.45h

        Lunch Break

        13.45h – 14.45h

        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 their actions impacts beyond the tourism sector. Destinations many times provide the framework for effective sustainable and regenerative development where stakeholders agree on objectives, monitor and analyse the success of their actions. This panel provides a reflection on key elements and enabling policy factors that facilitate an 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

        14.45h – 16.00h

        Panel discussion 2: Precompetitive cooperation for sustainable actions

        Pre-competitive collaboration is key to the success of sustainability strategies in tourism and plays an important role for destinations. A good understanding of the challenges and industry needs allows that core issues of sustainable development are addressed and managed based on evidence but avoid impacting competition among businesses. This panel addresses relevant areas and information needs of tourism companies as well as 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

        16.00h – 17.00h

        Panel discussion 3: Implementing circularity

        Circularity in tourism aims to transform the sector to become regenerative, minimize the use of resources and avoid waste. Many efforts in this area are already 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

        Friday, 31 March

        09.00h – 09.20h

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

          09.20h – 10.20h

          Panel discussion 4: Nature-related data for management

          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, while other sectors have already started moving into the nature 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 Knowledge Management and Innovation, Turismo de Portugal

          10.20h – 11.05h

          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

          11.05h – 11.35h

          Coffe break

          11.35h – 12.45h

          Panel discussion 6: Action frameworks driving transformation

          Action frameworks are needed to trigger and guide the necessary acceleration towards 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 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

          13.30h – 14.30h

          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

          14.30h – 14.45h


          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