Martha Honey is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), which is headquartered in Washington, DC. Over the last two decades, she has written and lectured widely on ecotourism, Travelers’ Philanthropy, cruise and resort tourism, coastal and marine tourism, climate change, and certification issues. Her books include Coastal Tourism, Sustainability, and Climate Change in the Caribbean, Vol. 1 & 2, and Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resilience in the Caribbean, Vol. 1 & 2 (Business Expert Press, 2017), Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (Island Press, 1999 and 2008) and Ecotourism and Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (Island Press, 2002).
She is Executive Producer of CREST’s film, Caribbean ‘Green’ Travel: Your Choices Make a Difference, released in May 2016. Most recently, she has been an editor and author of a new study on cruise tourism, published in April 2018 by Ediciones Temas in Havana (Por el Mar de las Antillas: 50 Años de Turismo de Cruceros en el Caribe) and to be published by Routledge Press in late 2018 (Selling Sunshine: Lessons Learned from a Half Century of Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean.) Previously, Martha worked for 20 years as a journalist based in East Africa and Central America. She holds a Ph.D. in African history from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Samantha Bray is the Managing Director at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), providing administrative, research, and consulting support for a wide-range of sustainable tourism projects. A native of the rural Missouri, she grew up with an appreciation for the charm of small-town communities and the unspoiled environment. This, combined with the opportunity to travel internationally and throughout the United States during her childhood, had a profound impact on Samantha's view of global citizenship and the power of sense of place. Also a lover of performing and visual arts and their contribution to culture, Samantha earned a degree in Entertainment Management, with an emphasis in performing arts management, from Missouri State University.
During her time at Missouri State, Samantha also had the opportunity to become one of the world's first students of geotourism. She went on to apprentice under Jonathan Tourtellot, the director of the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations, and obtain a Master of Tourism Administration from the George Washington University School of Business, with a concentration in sustainable destination development. She is a strong advocate for sustaining and enhancing our world’s cultures and environments through travel, and using tourism as a mechanism for community empowerment. Samantha is a trained Climate Reality Leader.
Rebekah Stewart is the Communications and Outreach Manager at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Rebekah comes to CREST from the Tahirih Justice Center, a nonprofit that provides legal and social services to immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence. In her position at Tahirih, Rebekah oversaw the organization’s policy advocacy and program communications and managed media relations. Prior to joining Tahirih, Rebekah served as the Senior Associate for Growth Strategy and Development in the Americas region at Teach For All, a global education nonprofit. Her experience in communications, outreach, and international affairs has included roles in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors.
Rebekah is a passionate storyteller and advocate for responsible travel, and her perspective has been shaped both by her travels around the world and by her experience growing up in a tourism destination on California’s Central Coast. She has also lived and worked in Luanda, Angola, Santiago, Chile, and Geneva, Switzerland. Rebekah holds an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. from Occidental College. She speaks Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.
Daniela is a tour guide and a cofounder of Eco alterNATIVE Tours, a Copper Canyon eco tourism tour company focusing on Cultural Tours. Originally from California, she worked with several community-based organizations such as Lideres Campesinas and House Farm Workers in California. She also collaborated with various organizations in the state of Chihuahua to produce a number of social documentaries on the Tarahumara culture. Currently, she is leading CREST's project on community-based tourism in Chihuahua, México. She is also an active member in a local Creel tourism committee “Pueblos Magicos” as the Education and Research representative. She holds BA in cultural anthropology from the University of California Berkeley and received her Masters degree in Chihuahua from the National School of Anthropology and History and CIESAS. Her thesis work focused on Tarahumara indigenous development. Daniela is fluent in Spanish and English.
Kelsey Frenkiel is the Program Coordinator at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), where she manages fundraising activities and supports research and projects. She attended the College of William & Mary for her undergraduate studies, where she developed a passion for interdisciplinary studies involving the environment and social impact. During this time, she completed archaeological field work and studied prehistorical resource depression in French Polynesia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, magna cum laude, in 2016. To pursue an interest in wildlife, she then obtained a Master of Science in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, completing her degree in September 2017.
During her time in Oxford, Kelsey studied the intersection between ecotourism and primate conservation. She carried out field work in Java, Indonesia for her dissertation research, where she learned both of the positive potential of responsible travel for communities and the environment and the destructive potential of unsustainable forms of tourism. She is passionate about the sustainable tourism industry and its intersection with wildlife conservation, along with its more holistic impacts on communities, visitors, and the landscape.
Gabriela Cicenia is a PhD candidate in International Economics and Tourism at the University of Valencia (Spain). As part of her program, she is doing a fellowship at The George Washington University during the summer of 2017. While in Washington, she is also interning at the Center for Responsible Travel.
Many years ago, she decided to travel to Spain to study tourism and realized through her studies that her birth country (Ecuador) had a lot to offer to the world. At only 16 years old, she thought Sustainable Tourism could be a way for a developing country to improve societal needs and at the same time create jobs for local people.
After she finished her undergraduate degree, she returned to Ecuador to search for her next steps. After working in the country for a while, she decided to continue her studies in Spain in order to be more prepared. While she was studying her Master’s she learned about Planning of Tourism, and she began to understand subjects like Governance, Sustainable Tourism, Statistics, and Tourism Policy.
In 2014 she started her PhD in Valencia. Now, as an International Economics and Tourism Ph.D. student, she is extremely interested in gaining experience in the field of Sustainable and Responsible Travel. An internship at CREST is providing her the opportunity to apply this knowledge in an international organization, as well as develop the communication, organization, and research skills she has acquired through her work experience.
Maureen became interested in sustainable tourism during her study abroad in China. She spent the summer that year working at a small hotel in rural China, the Linden Centre, that practiced sustainable tourism. After graduating from Middlebury College, she spent the next 4 years managing international recruiting events and traveled around the world for work and pleasure. In 2017, Maureen moved to Battambang, Cambodia where she managed a small bicycle tour company called Soksabike and helped the business transition to local ownership. Maureen is now a candidate for a Master in Tourism Administration at George Washington University with a focus on Sustainable Destination Management.
Maureen hopes to work on overarching policy and programs at the country level that will help support sustainable tourism development. One of her other passions in the field is ensuring that local entrepreneurs that are vital to the success of responsible tourism have the support and training they need to access these markets and effectively manage and grow their businesses. Maureen is excited to join CREST as an intern and to gain practical experience on different research and consulting projects that contribute to these goals.
Ellen Rugh is a current master’s student, rejoining the CREST team after a year abroad. After completing an undergraduate thesis on ecotourism in Costa Rica and Panama during her years at Penn State University, Ellen’s academic and professional goals immediately began to focus on sustainable tourism. Now, she is fulfilling her last semester of a dual MA degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC and in Natural Resources & Sustainable Development from the University for Peace in Costa Rica.
While in Costa Rica, Ellen had the opportunity to work in a sustainable luxury hotel, learning how to champion sustainability as the cornerstone of a successful business model. Additionally, Ellen continues to work closely with CREST’s partner, the Destination Stewardship Center, where she is compiling a report on exemplary case studies of destination stewardship councils around the globe. Ellen is very excited to be back and once again supporting CREST’s mission.
Alex was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, but moved at an early age to Quito, Ecuador, where he grew up. His family had a small lodge in the Amazon, where he spent most of his time. He obtained a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in culinary arts at USFQ. He lived in New York where he was part of Avroko Hospitality group, managed two restaurants, and opened a speak easy bar, which is ranked top 10 in the nation. Alex later became a coffee roaster and barista, managed a coffee shop called COFFEED, and worked closely with Brooklyn Grange, which is one of the few rooftop farms in the city. He later on moved to Hawaii, where he had the chance of growing coffee and helping run a small B&B. After this experience, he worked closely with the tree industry and learned about sustainable practices for gardens and landscaping in the state of Florida.
Currently, Alex is pursuing a masters degree in Sustainable Development at School for International Training in Washington, DC. He is passionate about traveling, literature, food, and learning from others. His future plan is to integrate sustainable practices into the hospitality industry and to work as a restaurateur that helps businesses create revenue, while at the same time creating social good.
Nicole is originally from Juneau, Alaska, and is currently obtaining an undergraduate degree in tourism management. She then plans to either enter law school and focus on environmental policy and conservation law or enter graduate school and obtain a masters in sustainable tourism. As and adult, Nicole has lived in seven states across the U.S. and has held all types of jobs within the hospitality and tourism industry. Alaska is what sparked her interest in sustainable tourism, based on the need that she saw there. Nicole is looking forward to utilizing her internship at CREST to get a first hand look at helping communities create more sustainable plans that encourage a more immersive kind of travel. In her spare time, she likes to cuddle up with her three dogs, read, adventure outside, and travel as much as she can.
Shelby is originally from Champaign, Illinois and is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 2014 with a major in Italian, a minor in Linguistics, and the goal to pursue an academic career in comparative literature. Following her studies in Illinois, she secured an eight-month internship position in Lombardy, Italy through the Study, Intercultural, Training, and Experience (SITE) Program, teaching English in high school classrooms around Milan. This extended stay in Italy allowed for travel within the country, and with it, an introduction to overtourism and its effect on local residents and culture. Upon return to the United States, she made the decision to alter her course from academia. Fueled by her recent experiences, she chose to instead enter the multidisciplinary field of sustainable tourism. Shelby currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia and is a Masters candidate at The George Washington University in Washington, DC through the Master of Tourism Administration program, and her concentration is in sustainable tourism. She looks forward to applying the skills she will learn at CREST to help make destinations more economically, environmentally, and culturally sustainable in a changing world, for travelers and residents alike.
Taylor is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Tourism Administration degree from The George Washington University’s School of Business with a focus in Sustainable Destination Management. She was the Graduate Assistant for the Tourism and Hospitality Management Research course and is currently a Graduate Research Assistant for the International Institute of Tourism Studies at GWU. Last summer, she was part of a team of graduate students who conducted the first ever sustainable destination assessment of Bali and provided recommendations for the development of community-based tourism products in the villages of Bandung, Indonesia. She is now assisting with the second sustainable destination assessment of Roatán, Honduras and the tourism destination development and management plan for the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica.
Outside of her work and studies at GWU, Taylor’s professional experiences have been focused in account and project management, research and analysis, and consulting for a wide-range of organizations, including an international business start-up, international trade nonprofit organization, and information technology service management firm. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond where she double majored in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Business Administration, concentrating in International Business and Marketing. She has studied abroad at both the Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and the Centro Universitario EUSA at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain.
Anam Khan is a Program & Research and Communications & Outreach Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Her passion for sustainability, tourism, and wildlife conservation was sparked by her early years of globetrotting. The diversity in culture, people, and wildlife influenced her actions; whether it was the flamingos conservation volunteer work with Bombay Natural History Society or with upcycle teaching through organic farming in an orphanage called Sanjivani in Mumbai. In the process of exploring and experiencing diverse fields, from a real estate consultant with Jones Lang LaSalle, to a tourism consultant with Arcadia Travels, she was drawn toward the idea of sustainable tourism as the answer for all.
Anam is currently pursuing her master’s degree in International Sustainable Tourism Management from Monash University, Melbourne. She’s fascinated by the concept of resilience tourism, the potential for women in tourism, as well as sustaining the paradoxical balance between the tourism industry and the destinations. Anam is also a Green Stepper, an initiation by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. When she’s not doing research on tourism, she’s busy travelling, hiking, running, or bouldering. She’s positive that the future of sustainable tourism will be a unified approach by the government, tourists, and locals.
Dahye Youn is from Bucheon, South Korea. She studied interdisciplinary studies in social sciences at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. She is currently participating in the Korean government exchange program, KOREA WEST, to sponsor her internship with CREST. Dahye has been interested in international development and human rights throughout her undergraduate career. She has worked for non-profits like Save the Children and Amnesty International as a fundraiser. She has also participated in political campaigns and town meetings, as she is interested in seeing how political decisions and social changes are made. These experiences influenced her to move abroad to see the world. Through her internship, she hopes to help CREST empower communities through sustainable tourism. Furthermore, she wants to become a responsible traveler herself.
Jill is the director of CARE for the Cape & Islands, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Science in Food, Hotel and Tourism Management from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work in the hotel industry brought her to Boston and Cape Cod 25 years ago where she fell in love with the ocean. She was Sales Director for Group Tour Magazine representing New England and Eastern Canada for fifteen years. Jill is Past President and Scholarship Chair of Cape Cod Hospitality Marketing Association.
She founded and led Single Volunteers of Cape Cod for five years, connecting volunteers with local nonprofit organizations. A growing concern for the wellbeing of her surroundings sent her back to school to earn her Master of Tourism Administration, Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University. Her degree and an internship with CREST led her to found CARE (Creating A Responsible Environment) for the Cape and Islands in 2012, a Travelers' Philanthropy program committed to engaging others in the stewardship and long-term sustainability of our region. CREST is its fiscal sponsor.
Jill is an Adjunct Instructor at Cape Cod Community College, co-chair of her town’s Recycling and Solid Waste Committee, an advocate to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and most recently, Jill has been trained as a Climate Reality Leader through Al Gore's Climate Reality Project.