Stewart Moore in this interview shares insights gained and lessons learned through his work as founder and CEO of EarthCheck in Australia. He also illustrates how Asia Pacific’s leading organization in the business of measuring and benchmarking sustainability helps tourism businesses and destinations become more sustainable.
- How Stewart first got in touch with sustainability and tourism, and how his view on the topic has changed over the years;
- The origins of EarthCheck, Asia Pacific’s leading organization for measuring and benchmarking sustainability in travel and tourism;
- Where he sees the priorities for sustainable tourism development;
- Which sustainability issues his clients struggle most with;
- How the EarthCheck certification scheme works;
- His advice to newcomers to the sustainable tourism business.
Stewart, a few words on your current work and professional responsibilities?
As CEO of EarthCheck, I manage the operations of the company and its dealings with our 1,800+ clients across the world (70% in the Asia Pacific region). Many of these clients have been working with EarthCheck for over 15 years.
I maintain a hands-on approach to everything that EarthCheck now delivers, including training and capacity building, R&D projects, destination management plans and anything to do with developing more sustainable enterprises. I am lucky to work with a wide range of talented people who keep me on my toes.
I am also the Executive Director of the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism (AICST) and Chairman of the National Centre for Studies in Travel and Tourism (NCSTT), both of which are not for profit research centres.
I work with a number of centres for research excellence, such as the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) directed by Susanne Becken.
I am a firm believer that innovation and smart technology are the engines that will help us to achieve better sustainable outcomes in the future.
Were sustainability and tourism a topic when you started your professional career? What got you interested?
When I started my career in 1982, sustainability was barely a buzzword and tourism was still in its infancy in the Asia Pacific. I graduated as a Regional and Town Planner with a special interest in resource economics, and one of my first jobs was working as a natural resource planner on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. At that point the first reef management and zoning plans were still under preparation.