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News & Announcements

GREAT Green Deal Accomplishes GSTC Recognized Certification Status

Logo GGD no sello 2April 14, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the GREAT Green Deal Sustainable Certification Program has achieved ‘GSTC Recognized’ status. The awarded status affirms GREAT Green Deal’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services

The GREAT Green Deal Sustainable Certification Program (GGD) represents a way of doing business while taking care of all stakeholders involved in the tourism operations. The GGD standard has more than 400 indicators that provide hotel and tour operators (lodging facilities, hotels, tour operators and rental car companies) a map that takes executives and entrepreneurs on a path to be more successful in their business while being responsible with employees and their families, the community, the cultural heritage and traditions including the environment. For the GGD Program it’s important that businesses are profitable and jointly all stakeholders feel valued, cared for and supported. Currently, 10 hotels and 1 rental car company located in the main touristic destinations of Guatemala and Central America are GGD certified in sustainability.

“The GSTC Recognition of our Standard is a confirmation that we are fully committed to sustainability and the international criteria. It gives full trust to the certified companies and others, mainly tourism companies in Latin America that GGD is following the actual market trends in order to provide companies a secure path to internationalization with a trustable and transparent image”, expressed Carmen Pérez, Executive Director, GGD. “We expect that this recognition of our standard invites tourism entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and and Latin America to decide soon on following global steps through reaching a certification as the one GGD offers in order to fulfill what international markets are looking for every time in a stronger way.”

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GSTC Announces Assessments for Destinations through New Destinations Program

 April 8, 2015- The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce the recent launch of the GSTC Destinations Program. For all destinations, even those with no previous experience with sustainability, the GSTC Destinations Program offers valuable engagement with a GSTC destination expert providing custom guidance on the world’s leading destination sustainability standard: the GSTC Criteria for Destinations. The Destinations Program offers 2 key resources for destinations: Destination Assessments and Destination Sustainability Training.

“For the first time, the GSTC is offering destinations direct guidance from a GSTC expert onsite,” said Kathleen Pessolano, Director of the GSTC’s new Destinations Program. “We work directly with destination stakeholders to apply the GSTC Criteria, to highlight areas of good practice and identify risks that jeopardize destination resources and may concern potential investors.”

The GSTC Destination Assessment onsite process allows a destination to participate directly in GSTC application of the Criteria to the destination, to understand the destination’s sustainability status against the world’s leading standard, and to identify areas for improvement based on the GSTC Criteria. Two types of Destination Assessments are offered: 1) a 3-day Snapshot Assessment, or 2) a 10-day Comprehensive Assessment.

The Comprehensive Assessment builds upon the multi-stakeholder assessment that 14 Early Adopter destinations were selected to participate in during pilot testing of the GSTC Criteria before their launch in 2013. Both types of GSTC Assessments are led by GSTC experts with global experience in the practical evaluation of sustainability and best practices globally, and a thorough understanding of the GSTC Criteria for Destinations.

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GSTC Integrity Program: Guiding the Standards of Sustainability

okavango guidingSustainable tourism certification programs have increasingly become an important strategy for encouraging the sustainable production of travel & tourism goods and services. However, the overwhelming number of existing sustainable tourism certification programs create both market and consumer confusion regarding what is to be expected from a sustainable tourism product or experience. Since 2008, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is addressing these issues with the creation of the world's most widely accepted sustainable tourism standards.

The GSTC Criteria, a globally recognized set of sustainable tourism standards for Hotels, Tour Operators and Destinations, help build consumer confidence, promote efficiency, and fight false claims. Through the application of the GSTC Criteria, certification programs are increasingly using the GSTC Integrity Program to ensure that their standards meet or exceed these sustainable tourism baseline standards. The GSTC Integrity Program is a step-wise process for certification programs to complete GSTC Recognition, Approval and Accreditation of their sustainable tourism standards.

GSTC Integrity Program
Recognition, Approval and Accreditation of Sustainable Tourism Standards

The GSTC Integrity Program is a step-wise process created to ensure that sustainable tourism standards and certification programs meet or exceed the global baseline standards of sustainability. At the heart of this, the GSTC strives to uphold and improve the quality of sustainable tourism standards that are implemented around the globe.

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EarthCheck Achieves GSTC Recognition for Destination Certification


March 17, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that EarthCheck has achieved ‘GSTC Recognized’ status for their Destination Certification. The awarded status affirms EarthCheck’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services worldwide.

EarthCheck is an international environmental management and professional services group, which was established in 1987. EarthCheck products and services are used by all sectors of the travel and tourism industry across the world to guide their broader sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives. This includes guidance and advice on the design, construction and operation of tourism infrastructure. EarthCheck has access to world leading research, science and technology, providing a strong foundation to address the economic, social and environmental sustainability challenges facing the planet. Over the past 25 years, EarthCheck has delivered tailor-made and market-driven tourism solutions to destination, government, business and community clients. www.earthcheck.org

“EarthCheck has been working with leading destinations of the world for over fifteen years. GSTC recognition acknowledges the important work that EarthCheck is doing to help destinations deliver sustainable outcomes,” commented Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck.

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GSTC members EarthCheck and IHG extend partnership

IHG EarthCheckThe Global Sustainable Tourism Council welcomes the news that longtime member and GSTC-Recognized standard EarthCheck has renewed its partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), GSTC’s newest sponsor. This collaboration will support IHG hotels in furthering their sustainability pathway by working towards sustainable tourism certification through EarthCheck’s GSTC-Recognized standards program.

Last year IHG announced that its IHG Green Engage™ system, a point-based metric program similar to LEED, would be rolled out across the company’s global estate of over 4,800 hotels from 1 January 2015. Properties that wish to move beyond internal recognition and earn independent third party certification will now have the option of seamlessly and cost-effectively gaining EarthCheck Certification.

Stewart Moore, CEO of EarthCheck, congratulated IHG on its commitment to sustainability and the group’s achievements.

"IHG is one of EarthCheck’s standout sustainability heroes in the Asian region. We are proud to extend our partnership and have more of their properties certified. Our aim is to provide IHG hotels with quantifiable metrics to address their risks, deliver bottom line efficiencies, maximize guest experiences and minimize their environmental footprint.”

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