Christine Jacquemin is Sustainability Coordinator for EXO Travel, and Director for EXO Foundation, an independent not-for-profit regional organization registered in Cambodia, which aims to use tourism to contribute to improve the livelihoods of the most disadvantaged populations while minimizing the negative social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts tourism may generate. EXO Foundation advises EXO Travel teams and its clients (travel agents and direct travelers) on the best practices in responsible travel to ensure their activities support the sustainable development of the region, and provides financial support for local projects addressing various socio-cultural, environmental and economic issues facing local destinations and communities.
After graduating from the Sorbonne University, Paris with a BA in English literature and a Master in Tourism Management & Marketing and, a few years work experience in airlines, hotels or as a tourism consultant, she left to Thailand to work for a French magazine called ‘Le Mekong’. From 1994 to 2001, she always worked at promoting the then nascent Mekong destinations; among other things she initiated and conducted the launch of the first travel magazine dedicated to the Mekong ‘Thailand & Indochina Traveller’ with the Post Publishing Public Cy in 1997.
Witnessing the negative social and environmental impacts of tourism, while she worked as production manager for a regional tour operator based in Thailand, she designed in 1999 a code of conduct. But this was not enough, she decided to specialise in sustainable tourism development, and went back to Europe to graduate from Greenwich University, UK with a Msc in Tourism Conservation and Sustainable Development conducted by Harold Goodwin. She then entered the world of International and development organisations, (UNWTO, French International Cooperation, ADB) with as a cutting edge advantage her wide experience of the private sector and of Southeast Asia. She launched the first and only dedicated website exclusively dedicated to responsible tourism in 2011 to promote committed enterprises www.mekongresponsibletourism.org. Since 2001, she’s been passionately advocating and working in favour of mainstreaming responsible tourism principles, frustrated by slow progress and poor implementation by institutions, she chose to go back to the private sector where results are more important than statements and where she could walk the talk.