Mr. Masaru Takayama was born in Kyoto (Japan). His education in oceanography and a world trip helped him to understand the positive ecological, economical and socio-cultural impacts of tourism. In the late 90s, he witnessed how Costa Rica was driving ecotourism, which motivated him to replicate a similar movement in Japan.
In 2005, he founded the Japan Ecolodge Association, the first in Asia with a GSTC-recognized standard, that later merged into the Asian Ecotourism Network (2015) to promote authentic ecotourism in the Asia Pacific region by creating a networking platform. Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies (JARTA) launched to enhance responsible tourism businesses in Japan in 2018.
Masaru has been on several key positions in international organizations such as judge for the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2013-2015 and for the National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2015-2017, UN Multi Stakeholder Advisory Committee Member of 10 YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme until 2019, GSTC authorized trainer as well as auditor, coach and trainer at Green Destinations and Travelife and member of the Japan Tourism Agency Sustainable Tourism Indicators Committee.
Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) comprises 17 countries and a province in Asia Pacific creating a common platform of ecotourism stakeholders for knowledge transfer, consulting, marketing, and business development to achieve sustainability.
Chair & Founder
Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN)
CityCube Berlin, Hall A1