Initiative «Tourism for Sustainable Development» (overview) - University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons

A Global Initiative for Tourism Executives
Tourism for Sustainable Development
About the Initiative

About the Initiative

How to make tourism recover from the COVID-19 crisis in a resilient and sustainable way? If you are a public or private sector executive, who has to cope with this challenging question, we support you. The global initiative Tourism for Sustainable Development (Tou4SD) provides you with information and orientation, gives you access to an inspiring exchange of experiences and strategies with leading policy makers and business protagonists, and offers you training and education opportunities.

The initiative Tou4SD is organised by the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (Switzerland), in cooperation with the Global Compact Network Switzerland & Liechtenstein, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the UN World Tourism Organization, and the World Economic Forum. It consists of the following offers:

  • a virtual Tourism Recovery and Resilience Dialogue (October 2020 to January 2021), which presents and analyses the experiences and strategies of leading policy makers and business executives to a broad audience, namely micro, small, and medium-sized organisations from all over the world;
  • a Distinguished Education Course, which consists of online and on-site modules in Switzerland, and is characterised by individual support for participants and their case work, which they develop and implement during the course;
  • an Online Education Course, which takes place exclusively online and without extensive supervision and support by the organisers, and is therefore affordable and accessible for a very broad audience. 


Strategic partners

Global Compact Network Switzerland & Liechtenstein (GCNSL): The GCNSL is the UN Global Compact’s network in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and promotes responsible business conduct with the aim to contribute to realising the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Tou4SD offers the opportunity to the GCNSL to develop competences and reach out to more enterprises in the realm of tourism.

UN-World Tourism Organization (UNWTO): The UNWTO is the UN agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. In 2017, it was mandated to facilitate the organisation and implementation of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017). The UAS Grisons was the academic partner of IY2017, in the aftermath of which the two organisations developed the idea that would lead to «Tourism for Sustainable Development. A Global Initiative for Tourism Executives».

World Economic Forum (WEF): The WEF is a leading international organisation for public-private cooperation. It engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Sustainable development and tourism having been relevant topics for the WEF for a long time, Tou4SD offers the opportunity to develop and implement a flagship project with partners from the host country Switzerland.

Watch the welcome message to the TouRRD by Alois Zwinggi, Managing Director of the WEF.

Institutional partner

Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO): SECO is the Swiss Confederation's competence centre for all core issues related to economic policy, including cooperation with numerous economies in transition. Its aim is to contribute to sustained economic growth, high employment and fair working conditions, by creating the necessary regulatory, economic and foreign policy framework. SECO supports Tou4SD through its Economic Cooperation and Development Division and its Tourism Policy Section.

Knowledge Partner

The Sustainability Leaders Project (SLP) offers a collection of interviews with world's leading tourism and sustainability changemakers who share intriguing stories, invaluable insights and timely advice. Founded in 2014 by Florian Kaefer, PhD to encourage tourism professionals to embrace sustainability as a strategy for making tourism as businesses and destination experiences more resilient and better for communities and the natural environment. SLP is an independent, self-funded private initiative and a global networking platform managed by Florian Kaefer, Switzerland.

Members of the Advisory Board

The function of the Education Program’s Advisory Board is to institutionalise the relationships with the partners and other relevant stakeholders, give access to ideas and know-how, and provide legitimacy and international projection. To date, the board counts the following members:

  • Christof Abegg / Team Leader, Urban and Regional Economic Development, EBP, Zurich
  • Vincenzo Ciardo / Managing Director, Hospitality Group SHRF SA, Geneva
  • Jon Erni / Digital Entrepreneur, Founder Mia Engiadina, Zurich/Grisons
  • Daniela Fabel Glass / Program Manager, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Bern
  • Antonio Hautle / Executive Director, Global Compact Network Switzerland, Zurich
  • Hassan Kadbi / CEO, Hapimag AG, Zug
  • Jürg Kessler / President, University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, Chur
  • Matthias Leisinger / Co-Founder and Director, focusright, Zurich
  • André Lüthi / Chairman, Globetrotter Travel Service AG, Bern
  • Michèle Mischler / Head, Swiss Public Affairs and Sustainability, World Economic Forum, Geneva
  • Philipp Ries / Head of EMEA Assistant Distribution Partnerships, former Industry Leader Tourism, Google, Zurich
  • Roland Schmid / Expert on Environmental & Social Affairs, Swiss Travel Association, Zurich
  • Zoritsa Urosevic / Director, Institutional Relations and Partnerships Department, UN World Tourism Organization, Geneva
  • Renée Nicole Wagner / Personal Assistant to the CEO and Project Manager Corporate Social Responsibility, Accor Northern Europe
  • Andreas Züllig / Hotelier, President of the Swiss Hotel Association HotellerieSuisse, Lenzerheide/Bern
Target group

Target group

The initiative Tou4SD is aimed at decision-makers from industrialised, emerging and developing countries who shape tourism in the public and private sector (enterprises, associations, think tanks). Participants are aware that a sustainable transformation of tourism as a sector and business is necessary, and they want to learn how to approach and overcome this challenge.

The diversity of participants is one of the initiative's goals and strengths. Sustainable development requires a change of perspective and partnerships between actors from different countries, regions, and sectors (government, business, and civil society). Through the Tourism Recovery and Resilience Dialogue, as well as the executive education courses, the initiative helps them develop new ways of thinking and cooperating.



Do you have any questions about Tourism for Sustainable Development, the global initiative for tourism executives? Would you like any advice on the Tourism Recovery and Resilience Dialogue, the Distinguished Education Course or the Online Education Course? We are happy to help.

University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons
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7000 Chur

Phone +41 81 286 24 45

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