DENVER -- A leading NGO focused on the global advancement of sustainable tourism has named Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) Director Cathy Ritter among five new trustees selected to bring fresh perspectives to its work.
The Travel Foundation, based in Bristol, England, has for the first time looked beyond the U.K. for the 12-member board. Other new trustees are:
- Elke Dens of Flanders, Marketing Advisor for Visit Flanders and Chair of the Marketing Group at the European Travel Commission;
- Dr. Manal Kelig of Cairo, Co-Founder of Gateway To Egypt and Great Wonders of Egypt, and Executive Director of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) MENA Region;
- Jacqueline Kuehnel of Toronto, Business Development Director at VoX International; and
- Rochelle Turner of London, Head of Research & Insight at MaCher USA
"It is an honor to support The Travel Foundation in its mission of driving global tourism sustainability," Ritter said. "I'm looking forward to cross-pollinating its innovative thinking with ideas emerging in Colorado and elsewhere in North America. Finding ways to identify and address visitor impacts is absolutely essential to securing the future health of the world's biggest industry and ensuring that it delivers maximum benefits for tourism destinations."
The CTO, led by Ritter, was the first U.S. state travel office to develop a comprehensive destination stewardship plan aimed at inspiring travelers to reduce their impacts. Central to the plan was a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, resulting in the creation of the Care for Colorado Principles. With simple, memorable phrases like “Trash the Trash” and “Keep Wildlife Wild,” the Principles enlist visitors and residents alike in ensuring that Colorado remains pristine and accessible for generations to come.
Ritter’s extensive career is one of industry advocacy and leadership. In addition to being named a trustee, Ritter is chair of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) and sits on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Travel Association. She also is the secretary-treasurer of the Western States Tourism Policy Council. A journalist by training, she has worked in nonprofits and formerly headed Illinois' tourism office.
The Travel Foundation was founded in 2003 and has worked in nearly 30 countries around the world, bringing together travel businesses, suppliers, community groups, governments, local authorities and more to develop practical solutions that maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impacts of tourism.