GSTC for Certification Schemes and Standard Owners

New Destination Certification Policy Announcements

The GSTC has set the following new policies for GSTC Destination Certification:

Transitional Destination Certification Policy v2.0

Consultations on GSTC Policy and Certification Requirements

Accredited Certification Bodies and Certification bodies in the process of accreditation are being consulted on GSTC policies related to certification requirements outlined in the Accreditation Manuals.

Become Accredited to Certify to the GSTC Criteria

“Accredited to Certify to the GSTC Criteria” means that a Certification Body (CB) awards certification according to processes that comply with international standards and good practices. The CB may certify with either the GSTC Criteria + Performance Indicators or their own standard IF that standard is GSTC-Recognized, meaning that the standard complies with the GSTC Criteria.

Businesses certified by an Accredited CB can use the GSTC logo in accordance with GSTC licensing agreements with the accredited CB.

Accredition is the most reliable and cost effective way to ensure confidence and credibility of sustainable tourism certification, and worldwide acceptance. All CBs with programs relating to hotels/accommodations, tour operators, or destinations are encouraged and are eligible to apply.

Have your sustainable tourism standard or system Recognized by GSTC

GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard or a similar system has been deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. This designation is made by GSTC’s independent Assurance Panel. This means that the GSTC has verified that the standard (or similar system) aligns with the GSTC Criteria and that any additional clauses do not contradict GSTC Criteria requirements.

Note: this is not a quality mark because it does not relate to the process by which the owner of the standard applies their standard.

All derogations of auditing allowed by GSTC for accredited Certification Bodies have terminated.

See below for archives of those past derogations:

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak during which auditing processes were interrupted, the GSTC issued the following derogations to allow for scheduling and conducting of remote audits. Each subsequent derogation notice replaced the previous notice.

GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2020 #1, 16th March 2020
GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2020 #2, 7th April 2020
GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2020 #3, 10th July 2020
GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2021 #1, 8th March 2021
GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2022 #1, 24th March 2022
GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2022 #2, 14th October 2022
GSTC COVID-19 Derogation 2022 #3, 20th December 2022