Seleni Matus is the Executive Director of the International Institute of Tourism at the George Washington University. She has spent more than 15 years designing and directing large, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative and the Sustainable Destinations Alliance of the Americas, that have mainstreamed sustainable tourism principles into key sectors of the tourism industry.
Seleni has worked in close collaboration with governments and private sector in tourism destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to develop and implement sustainable management plans and programs that have enhanced the quality of tourism offerings and helped to ensure the long-term health of natural ecosystems. She has also assisted multinational corporations, such as Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., to implement strategies for destination stewardship.
A native of Belize, Seleni served as the country’s Director of Tourism and oversaw the reorganization of the Belize Tourism Board in order to meet the demands of a fiercely competitive global marketplace. Earlier in her career, she developed the country’s tour guide training and certification program and managed the Programme for Belize’s ecotourism tour operation and lodges.
She has co-authored several publications including, Linking Communities, Tourism & Conservation: A Tourism Assessment Process; From Ship to Shore: Sustainable Stewardship in Cruise Destinations; Tourism and Biodiversity: Mapping Tourism’s Global Footprint; and, Indigenous People and the Travel Industry: Practical Global Guidelines to Good Practice.