GSTC Destination Criteria

The GSTC Destination Criteria (GSTC-D) have been built on decades of prior work and experience around the world, and they take into account the numerous guidelines and standards for sustainable tourism from every continent. During the process of development, they were widely consulted throughout the globe, in both developed and developing countries, in several languages. They reflect certification standards, indicators, criteria, and best practices from different cultural and geo-political contexts around the world in tourism and other sectors where applicable. Potential indicators were screened for relevance and practicality, as well as their applicability to a broad range of destination types. They were field-tested around the world. The process of developing the Criteria was designed to adhere to ISO codes of conduct and the standards-setting code of the ISEAL Alliance, the international body providing guidance for the development and management of sustainability standards for all sectors.

The GSTC Destination Criteria v2.0 is the first revision to GSTC Destination Criteria. The GSTC-D v2 includes performance indicators designed to provide guidance in measuring compliance with the Criteria. Application of the criteria will help a destination to contribute towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  Against each of the Criteria, one or more of the 17 SDGs is identified, to which it most closely relates.

What are the Criteria for?

Some of the expected uses of the criteria by tourism management organizations include the following:

  • Serve as basic guidelines for destinations that wish to become more sustainable
  • Help consumers identify sound sustainable tourism destinations
  • Serve as a common denominator for information media to recognize destinations and inform the public regarding their sustainability
  • Help certification and other voluntary destination level programs ensure that their standards meet a broadly-accepted baseline
  • Offer governmental, non-governmental, and private sector programs a starting point for developing sustainable tourism requirements
  • Serve as basic guidelines for education and training bodies, such as hotel schools and universities

Download the GSTC Destination Criteria:

GSTC Destination Criteria
+ suggested performance indicators

The GSTC Destination Criteria v2.0 includes performance indicators designed to provide guidance in measuring compliance with the Criteria. Against each criterion, one or more of the 17 SDGs is identified.

GSTC Industry Criteria

There are three sets of the GSTC Criteria. The other set is the GSTC Industry Criteria, for the Tourism Industry, including performance indicators for hotels and tour operators.
GSTC Industry Criteria

GSTC MICE Criteria

The third set is the GSTC MICE Criteria, for Venues, Event Organizers and Event & Exhibitions.
GSTC MICE Criteria

GSTC Criteria Translations

The GSTC Criteria are used for a variety of applications (education and awareness-raising, policy-making for businesses and government agencies and other organization types, measurement and evaluation, and as a basis for certification). Therefore, the GSTC Criteria have been translated into many languages, available to the public to download on the GSTC website:

Translations of the GSTC Criteria in other languages

Future Revisions of the GSTC Criteria

The GSTC Criteria is being revised every few years, in a manner to comply with the ISEAL Alliance standard-setting code. The revision process includes two public consultations, allowing anyone interested to comment.

More details on the GSTC Criteria Revision & Feedback

Commercial use of the GSTC Criteria

The GSTC Criteria are available from the GSTC website free of charge for their non-commercial use. As the owner of the GSTC Criteria, the GSTC reserves the right to assess and charge fees for the commercial use of the GSTC Criteria.

View the GSTC Destination Criteria v2:

SECTION A: Sustainable management
A(a) Management structure and framework
A1 Destination management responsibility

The destination has an effective organization, department, group, or committee responsible for a coordinated approach to sustainable tourism, with involvement by the private sector, public sector and civil society.  This group has defined responsibilities, oversight, and implementation capability for the management of socio- economic, cultural and environmental issues.  The group is adequately funded, works with a range of bodies in delivering destination management, has access to sufficient staffing (including personnel with experience in sustainability) and follows principles of sustainability and transparency in its operations and transactions.

a.       Documentary evidence showing relevant make-up and responsibilities of the group.

b.      A financial plan and budget showing current and future funding sources.

c.       Evidence of links and engagement with other bodies.

d.      Records of permanent staff and contracted personnel, indicating relevant experience.

e.      Management guidelines and processes, which demonstrate awareness and adherence to sustainability principles and transparency in operations and letting of contracts.

A2 Destination management strategy and action plan

The destination has established and is implementing a multi-year destination management strategy and action plan that is publicly available, is suited to its scale, was developed with stakeholder engagement and is based on sustainability principles.  The strategy includes an identification and assessment of tourism assets and considers socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues and risks.  The strategy relates to and influences wider sustainable development policy and action in the destination.

a.       A published document setting out the current destination strategy and action.

b.      The strategy/plan clearly visible and available on-line.

c.       Evidence of stakeholder consultation, meetings etc. in developing the plan.

d.      Reference to sustainability principles and an assessment of assets, issues and risks, contained in the strategy and action plan.

e.      Specific references in the strategy/action plan to wider sustainable development policy (including pursuit of the SDGs), and vice versa.

A3 Monitoring and reporting

The destination is implementing a system to monitor and respond to socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues and impacts arising from tourism.  Actions and outcomes are regularly monitored, evaluated and publicly reported.  The monitoring system is periodically reviewed.



a.       Specific quantifiable socio-economic, cultural and environmental indicators and targets identified.

b.      Measurement against these indicators, with results recorded and publicised at least annually.

c.       Written evidence of monitoring and reporting of actions and outcomes.

d.      Previous reviews of monitoring system and schedule for future reviews.

A(b) Stakeholder engagement
A4 Enterprise engagement and sustainability standards

The destination regularly informs tourism-related enterprises about sustainability issues and encourages and supports them in making their operations more sustainable.  The destination promotes the adoption of sustainability standards, promoting the application of GSTC-I Recognized standards and GSTC-I Accredited certification schemes for tourism enterprises, where available.  The destination publicizes a list of sustainability certified enterprises.

a.       Evidence of regular communication of sustainability issues to tourism-related businesses (Media, meetings, direct contact etc.).

b.      Sustainability support and advice to tourism-related business – available and promoted.

c.       Number and percentage of businesses certified against tourism sustainability standards (and whether GSTC recognised/accredited), with targets for wider outreach.

d.      Evidence of promotion of certification schemes.

e.      List of tourism-related certified enterprises, kept up to date.

A5 Resident engagement and feedback

The destination enables and promotes public participation in sustainable destination planning and management.  Local communities’ aspirations, concerns and satisfaction with tourism sustainability and destination management are regularly monitored and publicly reported, and action is taken in response to them.  The destination has a system to enhance local understanding of sustainable tourism opportunities and challenges and to build the capacity of communities to respond.


a.       Evidence of the promotion and facilitation of public participation in destination planning/management.

b.      Information on the type and level of such participation.

c.       Surveys of residents and other systematic feedback mechanisms, covering tourism issues.

d.      Evidence of action taken in response to residents’ feedback.

e.      Programme of information, education and training on tourism provided for residents.

A6 Visitor engagement and feedback

The destination has a system to monitor and publicly report visitor satisfaction with the quality and sustainability of the destination experience and, if necessary, to take action in response. Visitors are informed about sustainability issues in the destination and the part that they can play in addressing them.


a.       Visitor surveys (and other feedback mechanisms) – carried out and reported.

b.      Surveys and feedback includes visitor reaction to sustainability issues.

c.       Evidence of actions taken in response to visitor survey/feedback findings.

d.      Examples of visitor information that covers sustainability issues and how to respond to them.

A7 Promotion and information

Promotion and visitor information material about the destination is accurate with regard to its products, services, and sustainability claims. Marketing messages and other communications reflect the destination’s values and approach to sustainability and treat local communities and natural and cultural assets with respect.


a.       Current information and promotional material with appropriate content.

b.      A process exists for checking the accuracy and appropriateness of destination promotion and information.

c.       Evidence of consultation with local communities and environmental and cultural bodies on communications content and delivery.

A(c) Managing pressure and change
A8 Managing visitor volumes and activities

The destination has a system for visitor management which is regularly reviewed.  Action is taken to monitor and manage the volume and activities of visitors, and to reduce or increase them as necessary at certain times and in certain locations, working to balance the needs of the local economy, community, cultural heritage and environment.


a.       The destination management strategy and action plan addresses seasonality and spread of visitation.

b.      Variation in visitor volumes throughout the year is monitored, including in the most visited locations.

c.       Impacts of visitor volumes and activities are identified through observation and community and stakeholder feedback.

d.      Actions taken to manage visitor flows and impacts.

e.      Marketing strategy and selection of target markets takes account of visit patterns, the impact of activities and destination needs.

A9 Planning regulations and development control

The destination has planning guidelines, regulations and/or policies which control the location and nature of development, require environmental, economic, and socio-cultural impact assessment and integrate sustainable land use, design, construction, and demolition. Regulations also apply to operations, including property rental and concessions for tourism purposes. The guidelines, regulations and policies were created with public participation and are widely communicated and enforced.

a.       Specific policies/regulations/ guidelines which control development – documented and identified by title and date.

b.      Impact assessment requirements are set out, covering environmental, economic, and socio-cultural impacts, at sufficient scale to address long term issues for the destination.

c.       Specific regulations on property rental and operation for tourism, with evidence of their application and enforcement.

d.      Evidence of public participation in the development of policies/regulations/guidelines.

e.      Evidence of consultation with, and consent from indigenous people or minority ethnic groups when tourism development has been proposed or has occurred in their territories.

f.        Evidence of communication and enforcement of the policies/regulations/guidance, at planning, development and implementation stages.

A10 Climate change adaptation

The destination identifies risks and opportunities associated with climate change.  Climate change adaptation strategies are pursued for the siting, design, development and management of tourism facilities. Information on predicted climate change, associated risks and future conditions is provided for residents, businesses and visitors.


a.       The destination management strategy and action plan identifies and addresses climate issues.

b.      Regulations, guidelines and zoning for tourism development and activities accommodate the consequences of climate change.

c.       A climate risk assessment, covering current and future risks – undertaken and made publicly available.

d.      Evidence of consideration of impact on, and contribution of, local ecosystems to climate change adaptation.

e.      Information on climate change that has been made publicly available.

A11 Risk and crisis management

The destination has a risk reduction, crisis management and emergency response plan that is appropriate to the destination.  Key elements are communicated to residents, visitors, and enterprises.   Procedures and resources are established for implementing the plan and it is regularly updated.


a.       A documented risk reduction, crisis management and emergency response plan for tourism in the destination.

b.      The plan recognises a wide range of risks, including natural disasters, terrorism, health, resource depletion, and others appropriate to the location.

c.       Communication procedures identified for use during and after an emergency.

d.      Programme for local delivery of information and training on risk and crisis management.

SECTION B: Socio-economic sustainability
B(a) Delivering local economic benefits
B1 Measuring the economic contribution of tourism

The direct and indirect economic contribution of tourism to the destination’s economy is monitored and publicly reported. Appropriate measures may include levels of visitor volume, visitor expenditure, employment and investment and evidence on the distribution of economic benefits.

a.       Programme of economic data gathering.

b.      Annual reports on the direct and indirect economic contribution of tourism in the destination.

c.       Data covering a range of measures of economic impact (e.g. volume, expenditure, employment, investment and spread of economic benefit in the destination).

B2 Decent work and career opportunities

The destination encourages and supports career opportunities and training in tourism.   The destination’s tourism enterprises commit to providing equality of opportunity for local employment, training and advancement, a safe and secure working environment, and a living wage for all.


a.       Provision of relevant skills training programmes/courses, available locally.

b.      Statements of commitment by tourism enterprises to the provision of decent work/ career opportunities.

c.       Training and employment opportunities promoted to and taken up by local people, including women, young people, minorities and people with disabilities.

d.      Channels for checking working conditions and receiving/handling grievances (e.g. involvement of labour unions).

B3 Supporting local entrepreneurs and fair trade

The destination encourages the retention of tourism spending in the local economy through supporting local enterprises, supply chains and sustainable investment.  It promotes the development and purchase of local sustainable products based on fair trade principles and that reflect the area’s nature and culture. These may include food and beverages, crafts, performance arts, agricultural products, etc.


a.       Advice, finance or other support – available in the destination for tourism-related SMEs.

b.      Assistance with market access for local tourism-related SMEs.

c.       Action to encourage and assist local tourism enterprises to purchase goods and services locally.

d.      Initiatives to help local farmers, artisans and food producers to engage in the tourism value chain.

e.      Local produce and crafts identified, promoted and available for sale to visitors in the destination.

B(b) Social wellbeing and impacts
B4 Support for community

The destination has a system to enable and encourage enterprises, visitors, and the public to contribute to community and sustainability initiatives in a responsible manner.


a.       Support for local community and sustainability initiatives by local tourism enterprises is encouraged and facilitated.

b.      Schemes exist, and are promoted, for visitors to support local community and sustainability initiatives.

c.       Volunteering and engagement with the community does not involve intrusion or exploitation.

B5 Preventing exploitation and discrimination

The destination upholds international standards on human rights.  It has laws, practices and an established code of conduct to prevent and report on human trafficking, modern slavery and commercial, sexual, or any other form of exploitation, discrimination and harassment of or against anyone, particularly children, adolescents, women, LGBT and other minorities. The laws and established practices are publicly communicated and enforced.

a.       Reference (title, date) to specific laws that pertain in the destination regarding human rights, exploitation, discrimination and harassment.

b.      Evidence of communication and enforcement of above laws and related good practice (including to tourism enterprises and visitors).

c.       Risk and impact analysis regarding human rights, including human trafficking, modern slavery and child labour – conducted regularly.

d.      Destination and key tourism players are signatories to the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.




B6 Property and user rights

Laws and regulations regarding property rights and acquisitions are documented and enforced. They comply with communal and indigenous rights, ensure public consultation and do not authorize resettlement without free prior and informed consent and fair and just compensation. Laws and regulations also protect user and access rights to key resources.

a.       Reference (title, date) to specific laws that pertain in the destination regarding property rights and acquisitions and user and access rights to resources.

b.      Reference in the above laws to communal and indigenous rights, public consultation and resettlement.

c.       Evidence of enforcement of the above laws in the context of tourism development and activity.

d.      Evidence of community consultation, consent and compensation.

B7 Safety and security

The destination has a system to monitor, prevent, publicly report, and respond to crime, safety, and health hazards that addresses the needs of both visitors and residents.


a.       Security and health services are well established and active in the destination.

b.      The needs of visitors are identified and addressed in the delivery of security and health services.

c.       Tourism facilities are inspected for compliance with safety and hygiene standards.

B8 Access for all

Where practical, sites, facilities and services, including those of natural and cultural importance, are accessible to all, including persons with disabilities and others who have specific access requirements or other special needs. Where sites and facilities are not immediately accessible, access is afforded through the design and implementation of solutions that take into account both the integrity of the site and such reasonable accommodations for persons with access requirements as can be achieved. Information is made available on the accessibility of sites, facilities and services.


a.       The existence of any regulations and standards regarding the accessibility of visitor sites, facilities and services.

b.      Consistent application of accessibility standards in public facilities.

c.       Data on the extent/proportion of visitor sites and facilities that are accessible.

d.      Evidence of programmes to improve access for people with a range of access needs.

e.      Information on accessibility included in communications about the destination as a whole.

f.        Details of accessibility included in visitor information about key sites.

SECTION C: Cultural sustainability
C(a) Protecting cultural heritage
C1 Protection of cultural assets

The destination has a policy and system to evaluate, rehabilitate, and conserve cultural assets, including built heritage and cultural landscapes.


a.       Lists of cultural assets, including evaluation and indication of vulnerability.

b.      Programme of rehabilitation and conservation of assets.

c.       Mechanisms for using income from tourism to support conservation of cultural assets.

C2 Cultural artefacts

The destination has laws governing the proper sale, trade, display, or gifting of historical and archaeological artefacts.  The laws are enforced and publicly communicated, including to tourism enterprises and visitors.


a.       Reference to relevant laws relating to historical artefacts pertaining in the destination (title, date).

b.      Evidence of communication of relevant laws to tourism enterprises and visitors.

c.       Evidence of enforcement of relevant laws.

C3 Intangible heritage

The destination supports the celebration and protection of intangible cultural heritage, including local traditions, arts, music, language, gastronomy and other aspects of local identity and distinctiveness.  The presentation, replication and interpretation of living culture and traditions is sensitive and respectful, seeks to involve and benefit local communities, and provides visitors with an authentic and genuine experience.


a.       Identification and listing of intangible cultural heritage.

b.      Examples of celebration and visitor experiences of intangible cultural heritage (events, distinctive products etc.).

c.       Evidence of involvement of local and indigenous communities in developing and delivering visitor experiences based on intangible cultural heritage.

d.      Feedback from visitors and local communities on delivery of intangible heritage experiences.

C4 Traditional access

The destination monitors, protects, and when necessary rehabilitates or restores local community access to natural and cultural sites.


a.       Monitoring of accessibility to natural and cultural sites for the local community.

b.      Evidence of engagement with the local community regarding traditional access.

c.       Specific action to protect and/or rehabilitate local community access.

C5 Intellectual property

The destination has a system to contribute to the protection and preservation of intellectual property rights of communities and individuals.


a.       Reference to laws on intellectual property pertaining in the destination (title, date).

b.      Communication of intellectual property rights to tourism stakeholders.

c.       Evidence that intellectual property rights are protected in the development of cultural experiences for visitors.

C(b) Visiting cultural sites
C6 Visitor management at cultural sites

The destination has a system for the management of visitors within and around cultural sites, which takes account of their characteristics, capacity and sensitivity and seeks to optimize visitor flow and minimize adverse impacts.  Guidelines for visitor behaviour at sensitive sites and cultural events are made available to visitors, tour operators and guides before and at the time of the visit.


a.       Monitoring of visitor flows and impact on cultural sites, with results shared across the destination.

b.      Evidence of action to manage tourism-related impacts in or around cultural sites.

c.       Existence and distribution of published guidelines on visitor behaviour at sensitive sites and cultural events and periodic monitoring of compliance.

d.      A code of practice for tour operators and tour guides and/or other engagement with them on visitor management at cultural sites.

e.      Provision of training for guides.

C7 Site interpretation

Accurate interpretative material is provided which informs visitors of the significance of the cultural and natural aspects of the sites they visit.  The information is culturally appropriate, developed with host community collaboration, and clearly communicated in languages pertinent to visitors and residents.


a.       Provision of informative interpretative material on site and in formats that are accessible pre-arrival.

b.      Evidence that interpretative material has been well researched and is accurate.

c.       Interpretation material that identifies the significance and sensitivity/fragility of sites.

d.      Evidence of host community collaboration in preparation of relevant interpretative material.

e.      Interpretative material available in relevant languages.

SECTION D: Environmental sustainability
D(a) Conservation of natural heritage
D1 Protection of sensitive environments

The destination has a system to monitor, measure and respond to the impacts of tourism on the natural environment, conserve ecosystems, habitats and species, and prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.

 a.       List of natural heritage sites and assets, indicating type, conservation status and vulnerability.

b.      Programmes to conserve biodiversity and natural heritage.

c.       Programmes to eradicate and control invasive species.

d.      Action to identify, monitor and mitigate tourism impacts on biodiversity and natural heritage.

e.      Mechanisms for using income from tourism to support conservation of natural assets.

f.        Communications with visitors and enterprises on reducing spread of alien species.

D2 Visitor management at natural sites

The destination has a system for the management of visitors within and around natural sites, which takes account of their characteristics, capacity and sensitivity and seeks to optimize visitor flow and minimize adverse impacts.  Guidelines for visitor behaviour at sensitive sites are made available to visitors, tour operators and guides before and at the time of the visit.

 a.       Monitoring of visitor flows and impact on natural sites, with results shared across the destination.

b.      Evidence of action to manage and mitigate tourism-related impacts in or around natural sites.

c.       Existence and distribution of published guidelines on visitor behaviour at sensitive sites, and periodic monitoring of compliance.

d.      A code of practice for tour operators and tour guides and/or other engagement with them on visitor management at natural sites.

e.      Cooperation with local conservation bodies to identify environmental risks associated with tourism and measures to reduce them.

f.        Provision of training for guides.

D3 Wildlife interaction

The destination has a system to ensure compliance with local, national, and international laws and standards for wildlife interactions.  Interactions with free roaming wildlife, taking into account cumulative impacts, are non-invasive and responsibly managed to avoid adverse impacts on the animals concerned and on the viability and behaviour of populations in the wild.

 a.       Reference (title, date) to international, national and local laws that apply in the destination regarding interaction with wildlife.

b.      Endorsement of international standards for wildlife viewing for both marine and terrestrial species.

c.       Distribution of a code of practice for wildlife interaction, including viewing, which reflects international standards.

d.      System for checking compliance with regulations, and code of practice amongst tourism operations.

e.      Actions to monitor wildlife wellbeing and minimize disturbance, in locations where interactions occur.

f.        Provision of information to visitors on harmful wildlife interaction, such as touching and feeding.

D4 Species exploitation and animal welfare

The destination has a system to ensure compliance with local, national, and international laws and standards that seek to ensure animal welfare and conservation of species (animals, plants and all living organisms).  This includes the harvesting or capture, trade, display, and sale of wildlife species and their products.  No species of wild animal is acquired, bred or held captive, except by authorized and suitably equipped persons and for properly regulated activities.  Housing, care and handling of all wild and domestic animals meets the highest standards of animal welfare.

 a.       Reference (title, date) to specific international, national and local laws, standards and guidelines that apply in the destination regarding animal welfare and conservation of species.

b.      Notification of laws, standards and guidelines to tourism enterprises and guides.

c.       A system for inspection of the conditions of captive wildlife and domestic animals, including their housing and handling.

d.      Licensing and checking of qualifications of personnel responsible for captive wildlife.

e.      Action to promote the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in the tourism sector and to ensure compliance with it.

f.        Provision of information to visitors on avoiding trade in endangered species, e.g. in purchase of souvenirs derived from threatened species of wildlife notified by IUCN or CITES.

g.       Enforcement of legislation to ensure that any hunting activity is part of a scientifically based, properly managed and strictly enforced approach to conservation.

D(b) Resource management
D5 Energy conservation

The destination has targets to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency in its use, as well as increase the use of renewable energy.   The destination has a system to encourage enterprises to measure, monitor, reduce, and publicly report their contribution to these targets.

 a.       Energy consumption targets are publicised and promoted.

b.      Programme to increase energy efficiency – e.g. promoting and supporting insulation.

c.       Investment in renewable energy and percent of total provision/consumption.

d.      Support and incentives for energy monitoring and reduction by enterprises.

D6 Water stewardship

The destination encourages enterprises to measure, monitor, publicly report and manage water usage.  Water risk in the destination is assessed and documented.  In cases of high water risk, water stewardship goals are identified and actively pursued with enterprises, to ensure that tourism use does not conflict with the needs of local communities and ecosystems.

a.       Provision of guidance and support for monitoring and reduction of water usage by enterprises.

b.      Program to regularly assess water risk.

c.       Setting, publication and enforcement of water stewardship goals, where water risk has been assessed as high.

d.      Monitoring and control of sources and volume of water used for tourism purposes and its effect on local communities and ecosystems. Promotion and checking of adherence to goals by tourism enterprises.

e.      Visitor information on water risk and minimising water use.

D7 Water quality

The destination monitors water quality for drinking, recreational and ecological purposes using quality standards. The monitoring results are publicly available, and the destination has a system to respond in a timely manner to water quality issues.

 a.       Programme of water quality monitoring.

b.      Existence of data and reports on water quality.

c.       Monitoring bathing water, with certification and identification of sites reaching set standards.

d.      Evidence of actions to improve water quality.

e.      Information for visitors on quality of local drinking water, to encourage use as alternative to bottled water.

D(c) Management of waste and emissions
D8 Wastewater

The destination has clear and enforced guidelines in place for the siting, maintenance and testing of discharge from septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.  The destination ensures that wastes are properly treated and reused or released safely without adverse impacts on the local population and the environment.

a.       Written guidelines and regulations on wastewater treatment.

b.      System of enforcing guidelines amongst enterprises.

c.       Monitoring/testing of released wastewater.

d.      Provisional of sustainable municipal water treatment systems, for use by the tourism sector, where practical and appropriate.

D9 Solid waste

The destination measures and reports on its generation of waste and sets targets for its reduction. It ensures solid waste is properly treated and diverted from landfill, with provision of a multiple-stream collection and recycling system which effectively separates waste by type.  The destination encourages enterprises to avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle solid waste, including food waste.  Action is taken to eliminate or reduce single-use items, especially plastics. Any residual solid waste that is not reused or recycled is disposed of safely and sustainably.

a.       Waste monitoring programme, with results and targets published.

b.      Coordinated campaign/advice/support with tourism enterprises on waste management, including food waste.

c.       Campaign to reduce/eliminate single use items, especially plastics.

d.      Waste management programme for public offices and facilities.

e.      Provision of a collection and recycling system, with at least four streams (i.e. organic, paper, metal, glass and plastic).

f.        Provision of sustainable system for disposal of residual waste.

g.       Campaign to eliminate dropping of litter, including by visitors, and to keep public spaces clean.

h.      Adequate bins for separated waste disposal.

D10 GHG emissions and climate change mitigation

The destination has targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and implements and reports on mitigation policies and actions. Enterprises are encouraged to measure, monitor, reduce or minimise, publicly report and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from all aspects of their operation (including from suppliers and service providers).  Offsetting of any remaining emissions is encouraged.

a.       Published target for percentage of emissions reduction by specified date.

b.      Annual climate report, including monitoring and mitigation actions.

c.       Supported campaign or other engagement with tourism enterprises on reduction and mitigation of emissions.

d.      Action to reduce emissions from public sector operations.

e.      Information for enterprises and visitors on offsetting schemes that meet recognised standards.

D11 Low-impact transportation

The destination has targets to reduce transport emissions from travel to and within the destination.  An increase in the use of sustainable, low-emissions vehicles and public transport and active travel (e.g., walking and cycling) is sought in order to reduce the contribution of tourism to air pollution, congestion and climate change.

 a. Investment in more sustainable transport infrastructure, including public transport and low emissions vehicles.

b. Information promoted to visitors on alternative transport options to and within the destination

c. Data on visitor use of alternative transport modes.

d. Improvement and promotion of cycling and walking opportunities.

e. Prioritization of visitor markets accessible by short and more sustainable transport options.

f. Public sector and tourism enterprises prioritise low-impact transportation in their own operations.


D12 Light and noise pollution

The destination has guidelines and regulations to minimize light and noise pollution.  The destination encourages enterprises to follow these guidelines and regulations.

 a.       Guidelines on light and noise pollution – produced and promoted to tourism enterprises.

b.      Identification and monitoring of potential sources of noise and light pollution related to tourism.

c.       Mechanisms to enable residents to report noise and light pollution, with follow-up action.

Note on the usage of the GSTC Criteria:

  • The GSTC encourages broad use and application of the GSTC Criteria, which are available from this website free of charge for their non-commercial use.
  • However, the GSTC reserves the right to assess and charge fees for the commercial use of the GSTC Criteria.