Saúl is responsible for leading the Preferred by Nature Sustainable Travel Programme, a unit designed to engage with, support and increase the various global initiatives and business practices that in the travel sector seek to benefit people, nature, and the climate.
Building on Preferred by Nature's proven capacity and experience in developing effective sustainable solutions that address many of the most important environmental and social challenges of our time, Saúl is responsible for implementing and growing the impacts of Preferred by Nature activities designed for promoting sustainability in the travel sector.
The Sustainable Travel Programme focuses on service delivery as well as the development and implementation of new initiatives. It includes the implementation of Preferred by Nature sustainable certification for hotels and tour operators, developing training content about the most relevant sustainability topics for the travel sector, providing tailor-made advisory services; and promoting the adoption of other Preferred by Nature services relevant to the travel sector, such as the carbon footprint management programme or the ecosystem restoration initiative, among others.
Working with Preferred by Nature allows me to drive positive change through a sector that is unique in its capacity to positively transform the lives, perceptions and behaviours of hosts and visitors alike.
Tourism is not just an industry, it's a powerful tool for raising awareness about some of the world´s most concerning environmental, cultural, and social issues. It’s a powerful instrument to educate and create a common front committed to conserving our biodiversity, fighting climate change, improving cultural understanding, lowering discrimination and boosting equity.
Saúl is Preferred by Nature´s Sustainable Travel Programme Director. Besides the strategic role that Saúl plays for this Programme, he´s also a staff elected member at Preferred by Nature Board of Directors.
Saúl was born in Guatemala, Central America. Majored in social and legal sciences and specialised in tourism business administration. He's been working in the tourism industry for more than 27 years, where he started as a trip leader and tour guide for various natural and archaeological trips in Guatemala; in 1999 he moved into the field of sustainable tourism certification and since then, has worked for different national and international organisations such as The Guatemala´s Development Foundation – FUNDESA -, The Guatemala´s Tourism Board, USAID Guatemala, Counterpart International and The Rainforest Alliance, in leading and/or providing technical assistance for tourism projects for SME's, rural and indigenous communities; providing training on the implementation of best management practices and development of tools for measuring the impact of sustainable practices.
Saúl joined Preferred by Nature in 2018 because of the acquisition of Rainforest Alliance, RA-Cert unit where he was the Sustainable Travel Specialist managing the sustainable tourism certification services, which are now owned and operated by Preferred by Nature.
- BSc In Legal and social Sciences, specialised in tourism administration
- Senior auditor and auditor trainer for Preferred by Nature sustainable tourism certification services.
- Trainer and technical assistance experience in the implementation of best management practices for hotels and tour operators.
- Worked at various countries in Latin America leading projects related to sustainable tourism development, certification, community-based tourism and auditing.
- Spoken languages: Spanish and English