Twenty-five years ago, Megan Epler Wood founded The International Ecotourism Society, the first nongovernmental organization dedicated to employing tourism as a sustainable development tool, and was its CEO until 2002. Since then Epler Wood, a Burlington, Vt., resident, has been a consultant and instructor, for the past several years teaching online tourism courses through Harvard Extension School. Last year, Epler Wood became director of the new International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and this year was named senior project associate with the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Below are edited excerpts from an interview with Epler Wood about sustainability in the trillion-dollar travel and tourism industry.


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