Deirdre Shurland

Chief Steward, DestiSist Consulting; FORUM ANCHOR

Deirdre Shurland

Chief Steward, DestiSist Consulting; FORUM ANCHOR

Biography

Deirdre specializes in management consulting for tourism private and public sector agencies and in the development of products and services developed with less resource use and that are sensitive to natural and cultural heritage. The objective is to ensure that businesses are aware of their operating environments, can incorporate sustainability criteria into their operations, and promote their products and services authentically to compete well in the global tourism marketplace.

With 25 years experience in management consulting in the services, manufacturing and mining sectors, she started out conducting environmental impact assessments and providing project advice to businesses on environmentally sound development. Her expertise evolved to advising governments, associations and non-profit groups in strategic management operations and institutional organization for sustainable performance. Her main expertise is in sustainable development, project design and implementation and more recently tourism product development.

She is currently assisting the IUCN and the Government of Albania in managing tourism and visitor impacts on the Lake Ohrid World Heritage site. Prior assignments were with UN Environment, UNESCO and UNDP on sustainable tourism, advisory services, project development and coordinating partnership networks. Key focal areas were climate change, tourism value chains, institutional strengthening, coordinating global partnerships and project fund raising.

Her passion is helping destinations and World Heritage sites sort through institutional barriers to get to effective management solutions and to develop products and services that are unique, tell great stories and yield good returns. Over the years she has delivered several million dollars in funded projects, trained 400 professionals, organized 7 international conferences, and produced a range of research and technical briefs and reports.

During her years of experience in industry and environmental management, she developed and implemented guidance and tools for businesses, advised on enterprise management solutions and conducted facility audits for industrial, infrastructural and mining industries.

She is a Senior member of the American Society for Quality, a founding member of the Trinidad & Tobago Society for Quality, and also previously served as the inaugural chair of the technical working group on hospitality standards of the Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality.

Moderator: CTO in Action Session & General Session 1