Albert Salman is an opinion leader and disruptive innovator in tourism committed to mainstream sustainability and fighting greenwashing. Albert holds a MSc degree in biology and environmental studies (1981) and started his career in European coastal ecology and conservation. In 2007 he created QualityCoast, the first sustainable tourism standard and certification for coastal and island destinations, supported by the Global Sustainable Tourism Review (GSTR), a database and assessment system on tourism sustainability covering 2000 destinations.
As a response to greenwashing in the emerging sustainability certification of destinations, notably the notorious case of Barcelona and other cities in Spain, Albert founded Green Destinations in 2014, which quickly developed into the world’s largest network of 200 destinations; the Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100, the world’s leading competition; and in 2015 the Sustainable Destination Awards, hosted and sponsored by ITB Berlin.
Because mainstream tour operators and OTAs – in spite of lip service to sustainability – continued to refuse providing certified destinations any advantage in marketing, Albert started to develop the Good Travel Guide, the world’s first travel website exclusively featuring certified destinations and their ecolabel businesses on a non-commercial basis. It was launched in July 2020. And because of the failure of ecolabel programs to support SMEs in many places, he created the Good Travel Seal, a transparent and affordable certification for SMEs and a Virus-Aware certification as a free add-on.
Finally, Albert is also a co-founder of the Future of Tourism Coalition. He is very concerned about the impact of the pandemic on local communities, especially in the Global South.