Climate scientist elected chair of Travel Foundation

Climate scientist elected chair of Travel Foundation

Iberostar global sustainability director Megan Morikawa succeeds Helen Marano

Iberostar global sustainability director Megan Morikawa has been elected as the new chair of the Travel Foundation board of trustees.

She succeeds Helen Marano, who assumed the role at the charity in December 2020. 

Washington DC-based climate scientist Morikawa assumes the leadership position as the organisation begins implementation of its recently developed ‘Strategy 2030’.

Morikawa has advised on sustainable tourism with the World Economic Forum, World Travel & Tourism Council, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and the Marrakesh Partnership affiliated with the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreements.

She joined Iberostar in 2018, leading the company’s work in the circular economy, sustainable fisheries and coastal health, and has been a trustee of the Travel Foundation since October 2022. 

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

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

Morikawa 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.”

PR specialist Debbie Hindle will remain as vice chair. New appointments to the board are expected later this year as it seeks 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

–          ┼×emsi Toprak, Turkey programme manager at the Tui Care Foundation

–          Rochelle Turner, head of sustainability, Exodus Travels