Travalyst’s Independent Advisory Group makes key appointments

by: Felicity Cousins | May 15, 2024

UK: Travalyst’s Independent Advisory Group (IAG), which oversees the work delivered by the coalition, has made some key appointments including a new chair and vice chair.

Following the departure of Diana Walker, who has taken a role as senior advisor climate in the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate within the Biden Administration, the group will now be chaired by Dr Anna Spenceley, who has been part of the IAG since Travalyst’s inception. 

Spenceley, a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Johannesburg, has more than 20 years experience in sustainable tourism globally and has led the development of landmark publications on sustainable tourism also compiling the ‘Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners: The Essential Toolbox’. 

She is co-author of the books ‘Private Sector Tourism in Conservation Areas in Africa’ and ‘The Responsible Tourist’. 

Between 2010 and 2023 Spenceley was chair of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group) and is also part of the UN World Tourism Organisation’s Panel of Experts, sits on the Board of Trustees of the Seychelles Island Foundation, and is a contributing expert to the Tourism Panel on Climate Change. 

Dr Anna Spenceley, the new chair of Travalyst’s IAG

Sarah Holloway will also step into the newly-created role of vice chair of the IAG. Holloway is an independent advisor on sustainability strategy and a B Leader, supporting businesses along their journey to B Corp certification.

She is the author of ‘Networks for Sustainability’, a guide for leaders on how to embed sustainability into their organisations, and a regular guest lecturer at Imperial College London. 

Holloway sits on SES Water’s Environmental Scrutiny Panel and Provenance’s Integrity Council, supporting and challenging their work.

The IAG has also gained another expert, Professor Sara Dolnicar, who has been appointed to the group.

Professor of Tourism at The University of Queensland, Dolnicar develops and experimentally tests theory-informed practical measures that trigger pro-environmental tourist behaviour. She has published more than 300 papers and won more than 30 awards for her work.

Travalyst has assembled a coalition of some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, including Amadeus,, Expedia Group, Google, Mastercard, Sabre, Skyscanner, Travelport, Group, Tripadvisor and Visa. 

The organisation recently announced it was launching an initiative to review sustainability certification bodies, which are displayed against available accommodation on its partner platforms.

The aim of the initiative is for Travalyst to be able to offer consistency to travellers trying to choose sustainable accommodation.

Travalyst to review sustainability certifications on partner platforms

Photo by Gaël Gaborel – OrbisTerrae on Unsplash