The week started off running with Megan Epler Wood’s orientation lectures and a great kick-off presentation by Peter Shumlin, VT Gubernatorial Candidate and Senate Pro-tem leader.

The discussion for the night’s events centered around how sustainable tourism can better benefit local economies. He was joined at the podium by internationally renowned corporate CEO, Bruce Poon Tip of Gap Adventures in Toronto, Canada. Together they officially launched the new short course, Global Sustainable Ecotourism currently being conducted from July12-16 at UVM as part of the Continuing Education Program.

David Kestenbaum of the UVM Extension Tourism Data Center facilitated and Meghan Sheradin Executive Director of Vermont Fresh Network  co-hosted.
Shumlin discussed his work with his family firm, Putney Student Travel, and the positive economic impacts he has seen from sustainable tourism, both in Vermont and around the world. Bruce Poon Tip, who launched his innovative firm 20 years ago this year, discussed how through incorporating sustainability into all corporate operations has helped to make Gap Adventures the largest independent adventure travel firm in the world. Meghan Sheradin, Executive Director of Vermont Fresh Network provided data on how the tourism and hospitality industry is a primary driver for Vermont’s local food economy.

Kick-off for first annual UVM Summer Program for Global Sustainable Tourism

Peter Shumlin, VT Gubernatorial Candidate delivers the opening remarks.

Participants enjoy the opening day reception.