Iberostar’s Megan Morikawa appointed as chair of the Travel Foundation

by: Felicity Cousins | February 28, 2024

UK: Dr. Megan Morikawa has been elected as the new chair of the Travel Foundation on the Board of Trustees, replacing Helen Marano, who first assumed the role in December 2020.

The Travel Foundation has declared an ambition to scale its global impact alongside its call for accelerated climate action and increased equity in the travel and tourism sector. 

Morikawa assumes the leadership position as the organisation begins implementation of its recently developed Strategy 2030.

Morikawa is global director of sustainability officer at Iberostar, and has advised on sustainable tourism with the World Economic Forum (WEF), World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA), and the Marrakesh Partnership affiliated with the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreements. 

Morikawa will work closely with Travel Foundation CEO Jeremy Sampson to forge new partnerships, recruit new trustees, and serve as an ambassador for the organisation to the industry. 

She said: “I am honoured to support the Travel Foundation as it launches its new strategy to further support the needs of communities and environments of destinations and businesses in tourism. 

“The Travel Foundation has a bold ambition to foster real systems change in the sector, and I could not be more excited to support the team and engage the Board to help bring the new strategy to life.” 

Morikawa joined Iberostar in 2018, leading the company’s lauded Wave of Change movement focused on work in the circular economy, sustainable fisheries and coastal health. 

Morikawa, who earned her PhD in biology and brings a scientific approach to corporate sustainability, is based in Washington DC and has been a trustee of the Travel Foundation since October 2022. Sustainable Hotel News interviewed Morikawa about her role with Iberostar in September last year.

Helen Marano who will continue to serve on the Board for the remainder of her term said: “It is my honour and pleasure to offer Megan Morikawa as the new chair for the Travel Foundation. As we continue focusing on climate action and equitable outcomes from tourism, she is well qualified to lead us in this direction. I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting this organisation and leading the Board through the major transition period we have experienced.”

Communications specialist Debbie Hindle will remain as vice chair. 

New appointments to the Board are expected later this year, which will seek to continue to broaden its representation. 

The charity’s Board of Trustees also includes:

Jane Ashton, sustainability director, easyJet

Dr Susanne Etti, global environmental impact manager, Intrepid Travel

Georgette James, founder of Clynice Travel & Tourism Consulting

Dr Manal Kelig, co- founder of Gateway To Egypt

Cathy Ritter, director, Better Destinations

Şemsi Toprak, Turkey programme manager at the TUI Care Foundation

Rochelle Turner, head of sustainability, Exodus Travels

Q&A: Megan Morikawa, global sustainability office director, Iberostar Group

Image supplied