Forward-thinking and innovative conferences have become a trademark of CREST programming. Our main conference focuses are on Innovation in Coastal Tourism, Climate Change and Coastal & Marine Tourism, Travelers' Philanthropy, and an annual World Tourism Day Forum in Washington, DC, featuring a hot-button issue.

If you are interested in coordinating a conference with CREST, let us know! The following conferences have been produced or co-hosted by CREST:

"Overtourism: Seeking Solutions": A World Tourism Day Forum

Washington, DC

In response to the growing global problem of overtourism, CREST and The George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies co-hosted a 2018 World Tourism Day Forum focused on finding solutions. The forum, which took place on September 27, brought together industry experts working on the front lines to address overtourism in their destinations. This day-long, interactive event featured panel discussions on overtourism in historic cities, national parks and protected areas, World Heritage Sites, coastal and beach communities, and national and regional destinations. Participants included over 200 thought leaders and practitioners from the tourism sector, the media, NGOs, academic institutions, government organizations, and international agencies.

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Forum Recognizing the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Washington, DC

This CREST/UN Environment forum was designed to showcase the importance of the UN’s declaration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This invitation-only, day-long event took place on World Tourism Day, September 27, 2017, at the UN Foundation in Washington, DC. The event featured panels covering the five key areas identified by the UNWTO for this international year. Each one-hour panel was moderated by a well-known journalist and included two presenters giving exemplary and inspiring case studies.

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Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

CREST partnered with the University of Pinar del Rio's Centro de Estudios de Gerencia, Desarrollo Local y Turismo (GEDELTUR) to host a three-day sustainable tourism and marketing workshop as part of the larger 2nd International Congress on Marketing, Local Development and Tourism (MARDELTUR) 2017. CREST identified and supported 10 international experts to participate, supported 8 Cuban speakers, and covered the costs of certain other components. The sustainable tourism workshop featured eight panels with presentations on topics ranging from agritourism, nature-based tourism, and travelers' philanthropy to cruise tourism, urban and cultural tourism, marketing, and quality and sustainability standards.

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2015 Innovators Think Tank: Climate Change and Coastal & Marine Tourism

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

CREST partnered with the Puntacana Ecological Foundation and Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic to host the first ever Innovators Think Tank: Climate Change & Coastal Tourism. Grupo Puntacana was one of the first large tourism complexes in the Caribbean to adopt good practices of both ecotourism and of climate change adaptation and mitigation. As hosts for this Think Tank, CREST and Puntacana brought together success stories from sustainable tourism innovators, as well as the latest evidence from climate change experts. The geographic focus of this invitation-only Think Tank was on North and Central America and the Caribbean. Photo courtesy of Puntacana Resort & Club.

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2014 Innovators in Coastal Tourism Symposium

St. George's, Grenada

CREST hosted the 3rd Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism in St. George's, Grenada, together with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and Grenada’s government and private sector tourism associations. Some 150 delegates attended the content-rich event, the program which, organized by CREST, included over 50 speakers, 14 workshops and 4 plenary sessions. Inspired by the Symposium, Grenada's government and tourism leaders have stepped up their goal of becoming the leader of responsible tourism in the Caribbean. CREST continued work in Grenada by helping create a new Travelers' Philanthropy program and training community members on climate change impacts to and solutions by the tourism sector. Photo courtesy of the Grenada Tourism Authority.

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2013 Innovators in Coastal Tourism Symposium

Los Cabos, Mexico

CREST hosted the 2nd Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism in Los Cabos, Mexico. Over 140 participants attended, representing innovators currently involved in designing, financing, constructing, and operating socially and environmentally sustainable coastal tourism developments, as well as host governments and potential adopters.

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2011 Travelers' Philanthropy Conference

San Jose and Monteverde, Costa Rica

The "3rd International Travelers' Philanthropy Conference: A Core Component of Responsible Travel" was organized by CREST in Costa Rica, in partnership with the Monteverde Institute, to further advance the travel-giving movement. Over 120 participants from 20 countries attended the four-day how-to meeting, which began in San Jose and concluded in Monteverde.

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2010 Innovators in Coastal Tourism Symposium

Palo Alto, California

CREST hosted the first Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism -- "Rethinking Coastal Tourism Development: The Importance of Innovators in Times of Climate Change & Economic Crisis" -- at Stanford University. Some 85 tourism executives and experts attended, including featured guest Chris Blackwell, founder and owner of Island Records and Island Outpost Resorts, Jamaica.

2010 INTIRUNA Network Conference

Chiapas, Mexico

CREST organized and hosted the 2nd international conference of the INTIRUNA network of indigenous ecotourism operators. The network seeks to strengthen the capacity of indigenous communities to use tourism as a tool to sustain and enhance culture and protect the environment.

2008 Travelers Philanthropy Conference

Arusha, Tanzania

CREST helped to improve the effectiveness of travel giving in Africa by organizing the 2nd International Travelers’ Philanthropy Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, for 230 delegates. Keynotes speakers included Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai.

2004 Travelers' Philanthropy Conference

Palo Alto, California

Hosted at Stanford University, California, this conference brought together nearly 80 tour operators, UN officials, academics, foundation representatives, and NGOs to discuss how to best harness tourists’ interests in giving back to the often-impoverished communities that they visit. Participants learned that through a combination of "time, talent, and treasure," there are many ways to work constructively with host communities, while poorly planned projects can result in unintended negative consequences.