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News & Announcements

TUI Group's Sustainability Report for 2014 Released

August 26th, 2015 - In TUI Group’s recently released Sustainable Holidays Report 2014, the multinational travel and tourism company highlights continued work on their sustainability program. TUI had identified four goals in their three-year sustainability program, related to the priority areas of destinations, carbon, colleagues and customers. The report provides updates on the progress made toward those goals, as well as the specific commitments made surrounding those goals.

The original goal for destinations was to provide 10 million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays between 2012 and 2014. This goal was surpassed, as the total number of TUI customers staying in hotels with sustainability certifications, such as those recognized by the GSTC, is now greater than 11.5 million, including more than 5.5 million in 2014 alone. TUI now features over 5,900 hotels with sustainability certifications, up from 850 in 2012. Of these, approximately 1,300 were certified by GSTC-Recognized schemes.

TUI Group’s goal related to carbon was to operate Europe’s most fuel-efficient airlines and save more than 20,000 tonnes of carbon from their ground operations. TUI airlines’ carbon emissions were 69.9g per revenue passenger kilometer, which ranked them as the most fuel-efficient in Europe. The company consistently surpassed their stated emission reduction targets, and is working toward achieving ISO 14001 certification for all of TUI airlines. TUI Group also achieved all of its commitments related to carbon on the ground and at sea.

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EarthCheck's Company and Destination Standard Programs Achieve GSTC-Approval

EarthCheck logo med

Aug 11, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the EarthCheck Destination Standard and EarthCheck Company Standard certification programs have achieved ‘GSTC-Approved’ status. EarthCheck is one of the first of three certification bodies to achieve GSTC Approval for its sustainable tourism certification of hotels and tour operators and only the second to achieve GSTC Approval for its destination certification program. These outstanding accomplishments exemplify EarthCheck’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.

EarthCheck operates in more than 70 countries and is considered a global leader in sustainable tourism.

Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck, said the company’s access to world-leading research, science and technology to address sustainability challenges facing the travel and tourism industry helped EarthCheck earn GSTC Approval.

“EarthCheck has been working tirelessly with leading operators and destinations for more than 25 years. GSTC Approval of our Company and Destination Standards is a tremendous coup; one that reinforces the credibility of our benchmarks,” Mr. Moore said.

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Ecotourism Australia Achieves GSTC-Approval

EA LogoAugust 10, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program has achieved ‘GSTC-Approved’ status. Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program is one of the first of three bodies to achieve GSTC Approval for its sustainable tourism certification of hotels and tour operators. This outstanding accomplishment exemplifies Ecotourism Australia’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.

Ecotourism Australia is a not for profit organization, formed in 1991, that is focused on inspiring environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism. As the peak industry body for ecotourism in Australia, they manage sustainability certification programs for nature based tourism operators. Ecotourism Australia’s primary product development tool, ECO certification, certifies close to 500 Ecotourism operators across Australia according to measures including environmental responsibility, interpretation and contribution to conservation. It is a world recognised program, with a UNESCO World Heritage Centre MOU, and works closely with Protected Area Managers, State and Regional Tourism Organisations, Government Agencies and various other stakeholders.

“The acceptance of ECO certification as a GSTC Approved standard builds on the ECO certified tour operators’ deserved reputation for delivering high quality, sustainable best practice, tourism experiences that have true conservation benefits. GSTC Approval status brings further credibility to our well-respected and established brand, and raises its profile in the global arena. International guests can now recognise and choose with confidence high quality tour operators delivering true ecotourism experiences” said Rod Hillman – CEO Ecotourism Australia.

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Board Election Results 2015


August 3, 2015 - The Global Sustainable Tourism Council announces the results of their 2015 Board of Directors Elections. The GSTC Board of Directors plays an integral role in the leadership of the organization. Most seats on the board are filled via annual elections of and by current members of the Council. The GSTC Election Committee has validated the votes and has released the results.

Two current board members were re-elected: Heidi van der Watt (Better Tourism Africa) and Melinda Watt (Earthcheck, as the board’s designated Certification Representative). The election brings one new member to the board: Molly Turner (Airbnb).

Commenting on the election, Board Chair Luigi Cabrini stated “I am very pleased to welcome the newly elected and re-elected members of the Board. The GSTC can count on a vibrant, committed and respected group of professionals ready to engage with all its members and to strengthen our organization as a global leader on sustainable tourism."

GSTC CEO Randy Durband adds: “As we welcome one new board member and the return of two through re-election, we wish to acknowledge and thank outgoing board member Gwen Migita for her contributions. She devoted her time and organizational resources from Caesar’s to support GSTC, especially in the area of our communications activities and team.”

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TOFTigers Initiative's Pug Mark Eco Certification Achieves GSTC Recognition

PUG ECO RATINGJuly 7, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the TOFTigers Initiative’s Pug mark Eco Certification program has achieved ‘GSTC Recognized’ status. The awarded status affirms TOFTigers Initiative's commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.

Started in 2008, the PUG certification is a credible eco-label that highlights the very best wildlife accommodation providers in the booming nature tourism market in India, Nepal and South Asia. In cooperation with over 150 of the world’s best known inbound Tour operators to India, together with DMC’s and agents and over 70 certified lodges in 20 of the finest wilderness destinations in India and Nepal, operators and travelers can use our TOFTigers PUG kitemark to ensure an eco-friendly visit to some of India and Nepal’s finest tiger reserves and sanctuaries. Along with the achievement of GSTC recognition, TOFTigers is celebrating their 10th anniversary.

“We are delighted to have GSTC recognition, as it will help us to drive the sustainable agenda in nature tourism across India, South Asia and other Tiger range states, and ensure the very best providers can thrive and contribute much to conservation, sustainable development and rural livelihoods in the coming years.” Says Julian Matthews, Founder of TOFTigers.

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