In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and in consideration of the welfare of all individuals participating in the GSTC system, the GSTC is issuing derogations to allow for scheduling and conducting of remote audits. GSTC will continue monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and supporting tourism efforts to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19.
So far, the GSTC has issued the following derogations, while the second derogation amends the first one and so forth:
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.
“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.