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News & Announcements

Green Growth 2050 Achieves GSTC-Recognized Status

GreenGrowthFebruary 25, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that GreenEarth.travel and VisionCSR's Green Growth 2050 sustainable tourism certification program has achieved 'GSTC Recognized' status. The awarded status affirms Green Growth's commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.

Green Growth 2050 has been developed to meet the needs of tourism and travel businesses seeking today's solutions to the issues driving social, cultural and environmental change. It is designed to allow organizations to not only undertake certification through third-party assessment, but also accurately measure their global impact across a framework of over 200 CSR and sustainability related metrics. The addition of business intelligence and analytics provides Green Growth 2050 customers with new insights into their organization on both an individual basis and across their entire portfolio.

"When we developed our certification standard one of our primary goals was to identify and align our program with globally respected International Conventions such as GSTC and the UN Global Compact. Green Growth 2050 is a proud member of the GSTC and we support their mission of making all tourism more sustainable by increasing the reach of sustainable tourism practices to traditional, small, and large-scale operations," said Green Growth 2050's CEO, Wayne McKinnon.

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First GSTC-Approved Destination Certification, Biosphere Responsible Tourism

BiosphereFebruary 12, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR) Biosphere Responsible Tourism destination certification program has achieved 'GSTC Approved' status. The Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification program is now the first to achieve GSTC Approval for both Hotel & Tour Operator and Destination certification standards. This outstanding accomplishment exemplifies ITR's commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.

ITR created and developed the Biosphere Responsible Tourism Program, which is acknowledged by the BIOSPHERE certification to regulate the sustainable behavior within the international tourism industry. BIOSPHERE is an international and voluntary certification based on the principles of sustainable development. This label is granted to establishments in different countries around the world. Currently, BIOSPHERE is present in destinations, hotels, restaurants, zoos, active recreation centers, museum and golf courses in several European, Latin American and African countries, among which include the following: Spain, UK, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Chile, Mexico and Sao Tome and Principe.

"This dual approval has a triple meaning for ITR; Firstly, this approval represents recognition by the highest and most prestigious international institution of our work in favor or responsible tourism, factor and harmonic engine of social and economic development; secondly, it serves us as a powerful stimulus to continue and improve our mission; and finally, let it be said, feeling of pride that always feel the first to reach the goal. For those who have trusted our certification also represents a guarantee of your success in choosing our certifications, as well as, a sense of satisfaction because they and their clients, apart from achieving their goals, are aware that actively support a process of sustainable development" said Juan Antonio Menéndez-Pidal, ITR's Vice President of International Relationships.

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GSTC Latin America Regional Meeting

quito frankfurterFebruary 9, 2015- The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to be hosting the 2015 Latin America Regional Meeting, taking place at the Palacio de Cristal in Quito, Ecuador on April 26, 2015.

The GSTC Latin America Regional Meeting will give travel and tourism professionals a foundational list of tools, contacts, and references to improve overall sustainability of their operations. Structured in part like a workshop, presentations and round-table discussions will center on sustainable tourism standards, destination management, industry best practices, and the GSTC Destinations Program. The Latin America Regional Meeting will be held in cooperation with The International Ecotourism Society's- Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC15), and take place the day prior to the start of the conference.

"I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting opportunity in Quito. The GSTC brings together highly experienced and talented sustainable tourism industry leaders. The meeting is also an opportunity to start a dialog between countries of Latin America towards networking, sharing knowledge, and common visions." commented Jorge Moller, CEO and Founder of Darwin's Trails, Chile and GSTC Board of Directors.

Everyone in the travel and tourism industry is invited to this event. Registration includes lunch plus coffee breaks. The price for GSTC Members is US $90 per person and Non-Members US $160 per person. Registration prices will increase after March 29th. Sign up between now and the meeting as a new GSTC Organization Member and receive 1 free registration for a staff member. You can learn more about the event and registration by visiting www.gstcouncil.org/participate-in-gstc/events.html.

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GSTC Participates in FITUR

fitur luigiThe Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and several members recently participated in FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair, held January 28 to February 1, 2015 in Spain. During this event, GSTC Chair Luigi Cabrini and board member Jane Ashton (TUI Travel), participated at the meeting of the Advisory Group for the United Nations recently launched Sustainable Tourism Program. Cabrini and Ashton also participated in a roundtable discussion held by FITUR GREEN where the goals of the Sustainable Tourism Program were announced and discussed. The GSTC committed to an active involvement in the implementation of the projects deriving from this global initiative, approved at the Rio +20 conference as a means to accelerate the shift toward more sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The GSTC, represented by Mr. Cabrini, and the President of the Instituto de Turismo Responsable (ITR) (Member of the GSTC) signed Letters of Commitment with two major Spanish destinations, Fuerteventura (one of the Canary Islands), and the autonomous community of Catalonia. Both destinations committed "to advance toward a new model of tourism development based on the principles of sustainability, cultural diversity and social responsibility, sharing a common future and to undertake a series of strategic actions".

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Sustainability Planning & Food Waste Prevention

food waste

There is a heightened awareness of the growing global issue that food waste represents in a context of booming populations, shrinking arable land, freshwater scarcity and climate change. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), roughly 33% of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted. The GSTC is already recommending hotels and destinations to put efforts in demonstrating effective sustainable management, a guideline that encompasses minimizing food wastage and finding ways to create value out of food waste.

Aligned with GSTC principles and philosophy, a Food Waste Prevention program for hotels has been developed by LightBlue Environmental Consulting, a Bangkok based hotel sustainability auditing, training and consulting firm. Within 5 to 10 years, most major hotel chains will understand the true cost of food wastage and will be controlling their food waste much more carefully", predicts Benjamin Lephilibert, Founder and MD of LightBlue Environmental Consulting.

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