Webinar I The Suit in the Bag, Due Diligence at Home? Organising Business Travel that Respects Human Rights


The Suit in the Bag, Due Diligence at Home?

Organising Business Travel that Respects Human Rights

Experts input

15 June 2021, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CEST

Many face-to-face business encounters could be bridged with digital meetings and valuable online tools during the pandemic. Still, business travel will return on a large scale. With the "Building Back Better" premise, many companies want to plan sustainable business travel that respects human rights, but they often lack knowledge about concrete implementation. The need to implement due diligence processes applies both to companies that handle business travel booking internally and corporate travel companies.

Employees are often entrusted with booking their business travel independently. Still, every employee is a representative of their company - especially when travelling - and the misconduct of one individual can cause lasting damage to the image of the entire company. Thus, business travellers should book their trip carefully and behave in a responsible manner on site.

Randy Durband, CEO at Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and
Jessica Espinoza, international expert in business and human rights who conducted numerous research studies and trainings for ECPAT and other human rights organizations, will share first-hand experiences and recommendations to take action.

This webinar will help clarify what needs to be done to make business travel socially responsible. The focus will be on two crucial basic questions:
How do I book?
How do I train?

People in charge of booking business trips within a company will be advised on how to minimise human rights risks already when choosing accommodation, forms of transport or other services. Companies will be supported to understand how a comprehensive code of conduct supports the company's sustainable narrative and educates employees.

This introductory webinar is explicitly targeted at people who are responsible for planning and booking business trips. Depending on the company's size, this may involve the management, travel managers or individual employees and is intended to:
▪ look before book: Minimise risks from scratch
▪ standardise processes: Include respect to human rights and due diligence
▪ implement a code: Train employees to become more responsible business travellers


Randy Durband is the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), a UN-created NGO that establishes and manages global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The GSTC Criteria include guidelines for minimizing negative environmental, cultural, and social impacts while maximizing travel and tourism as a force for good.

He brings a unique blend of skills and experience based on two career paths he has taken in travel and tourism – nearly 30 years in the private sector, mostly in senior leadership positions with major tour operators including President of Travcoa, INTRAV and Clipper Cruise Lines, (brands within TUI Group), and Executive Vice President of Tauck World Discovery. His second career, now in its 2nd decade, began with economic development projects through tourism in developing countries in Southeast Asia and South America relating to emerging destinations including CBT and rural tourism, with UNESCO and ILO. He became CEO of GSTC February 2014.

Mr. Durband is a frequent speaker on sustainable tourism and has served on many tourism boards in Europe, North America, and Asia; and sustainable tourism awards judging panels including the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, UN Environment Inspire Awards, and the PATA Gold Awards.


Jessica Espinoza is an international expert in business and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. She has conducted numerous research studies and trainings for ECPAT and other human rights organizations.

She currently works as Vice President for Private Equity & Venture Capital Investments in emerging markets at DEG, the German Development Finance Institution (KfW Group) and is the Chair of the 2X Challenge, a global initiative that has mobilized over $7 billion of gender lens investments since its launch at the G7 Summit in 2018. Jessica is the Founder of XOCO, an edtech venture empowering adolescent girls in the Global South and a fellow at Columbia eLab. She serves on the Board of Directors of AlphaMundi Foundation and of the Mexican financial institution Mega as well as on the Advisory Board of several private equity funds. As a mentor for Endeavor, she supports high impact companies as they scale up. Prior to joining DEG, Jessica was a Member of the Management Board at ProCredit Bank Nicaragua and part of the Group Funding team at ProCredit Holding. She managed the Africa Regional Office of MicroFinance Transparency in Ghana and led a flagship program to promote responsible finance across Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Jessica is a PhD candidate at University of Siegen, researching the transformative potential of gender lens investing. She holds a first class honors double degree in International Business Management from ESB Business School in Germany and Dublin City University as well as an executive diploma in Children’s Rights from Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico. 


Katharina Stechl is working as Program Manager for the multi-stakeholder initiative and non-profit association Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism. After her studies in Tourism Management at the University of Applied Science in Munich, among other jobs, she worked for the “Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) in India in the field of urban and industrial development. She has profound experience in the areas of international development cooperation and communication/copywriting.

The Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism builds a trusted network of currently 33 tourism stakeholders from six countries. It provides access to expertise, initiates pilot projects and develops learning materials to support the implementation of human rights due diligence in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles within tourism companies, the supply chain and in destinations.