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Coastal Conversations: The Transformation of Travel with Costas Christ

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The Transformation of Travel: The power of sustainable tourism to make the world better

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With a dynamic career spanning decades, Costas has gained many titles: Ecotourism Pioneer, Sustainable Tourism Visionary, Award-Winning National Geographic Travel Writer - to name a few - and his life’s work has helped shape the world of travel and tourism as we know it today.

As a Harvard University wildlife field researcher when he was a student, long before the concept of ecotourism was established, Costas began to ponder a different model for tourism - one in which the travel industry would help protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and directly support local community development.

In 1991, Costas helped to officially define ecotourism for the first time as “Responsible travel to natural areas that protects nature and sustains the well being of local people.” He then worked to introduce these same principles into the global travel industry, helping to establish sustainable tourism based on three key pillars: Environmentally-friendly practices; Protection of natural and cultural heritage; and Social and economic benefits for local people.

This led to a new vision for tourism that continues to transform the travel industry today. An inspirational thought leader and a dynamic speaker, Costas has appeared onstage at conferences and summits around the world.

His media appearances include Travel Channel, Good Morning America, National Geographic Channel, NatGeo Weekend, BBC World, CNN International, FOX News, National Public Radio and several film documentaries. Costas has served as a senior advisor to CEOs, nonprofit organizations, government officials and heads of state to achieve tourism development success based on a model of doing well by doing good.

He was honored together with Dr. Jane Goodall for his lifelong work to protect the environment and was also recognized as a “Tourism Visionary” by the International Restaurant and Hotel Awards.

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