GSTC For the Press2023-08-01T17:00:46+08:00

Plan to write about GSTC? Here are the basics

The GSTC in 2 sentences

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC®) manages the GSTC Criteria, the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism; as well as acts as an international body providing assurance for sustainable tourism certification in three key subsectors of tourism: hotels/accommodations, tour operators/agencies, and destinations.

The GSTC in 4 paragraphs

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.

The Criteria are arranged in four pillars: (A) Sustainable management; (B) Socioeconomic impacts; (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes). Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s role in providing assurance for impartiality and competence of Certification Programs that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it provides assurance for those that do.

The GSTC® is an independent and neutral organization, legally registered in the USA as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. GSTC is an ISEAL Community Member.

Understand Certification and Accreditation

GSTC does NOT certify businesses and destinations, but is deeply involved certification of sustainable tourism by promoting certification and providing an assurance that select Certification Bodies operate with impartiality and competence.

Certification is defined as a voluntary, third-party assessment, through an audit, of a tourism enterprise or destination for conformity to a standard. GSTC does NOT conduct certification. That is the job of the many Certification Bodies throughout the world; our job is to accredit those that certify. [e.g. Certification Body, Certification Scheme, Certified Hotel]

Accreditation is a mark of quality that GSTC places on Certification Bodies that choose our independent and neutral process to verify that they certify businesses, such as hotels or tour operators, or destinations, in a competent and neutral manner. We at GSTC look very hard at their process of certification to ensure you that they issue certifications based on merit and neutrality. [e.g. GSTC Accredited Certification Body]

NOTE: These are not merely GSTC’s definitions. The globally recognized ISO system of international standards provide clear definitions of certification and accreditation. GSTC adheres to ISO’s definitions and terminology. The media is highly encouraged to reduce the massive confusion currently seen in society and the media by using these terms correctly.

Recent GSTC press releases

GSTC in the Media

Travel in the Time of Climate Crisis

May 31st, 2023|

As climate-related disasters ramp up, how can travelers minimize the harms and maximize the benefits they bring to recovering destinations? Photo credit: Gabriel [...]

Recent GSTC news

RoyalCert is now GSTC-Accredited

August 4th, 2023|

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that RoyalCert has gained the GSTC-Accredited Certification Body status.  RoyalCert is an International certification [...]

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