Criteria Revisions & Feedback

The GSTC-Destination Criteria are due for revision in 2017. Please return to this page for announcements regarding the timeline and calls for public consultation.

To participate in the next or other future Criteria revisions and development, and to provide feedback on current Criteria, please sign up here.


The 2016 GSTC-Industry Criteria development public consultation periods are now closed

To review the work completed to date, you may download DRAFT GSTC-I Criteria

For reference: the compilation of input from the 1st round consultation can be downloaded here, organized by the 4 sections of the Criteria, listing the specific individual comments and the responses to each:    Section A       Section B       Section C       Section D

The 1st round public consultation was held from January to March 2016. The 2nd round commenced 9 July 2016 and closed 2 September 2016 as announced. The 2nd round consisted of a review of the draft GSTC-Industry Criteria which was created based on 1st round consultation input.


GSTC-Industry Development Overview:

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is revising the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators version 2.0 (GSTC-H&TOv2)  which is due for a scheduled revision, and expanding the GSTC-HTO and to become the GSTC-Industry.

The Vision

GSTC's vision is to develop three sustainable tourism criteria: GSTC–Country, GSTC–Destination, GSTC–Industry; and detailed indicators for GSTC–Industry (e.g. GSTC–Hotels and Tour Operators, GSTC – MICE, GSTC-Attractions, etc.).


The scope is to slightly modify the current GSTC-HTO to become GSTC – Industry, with core criteria addressing all tourism enterprises. The current Hotel and Tour Operators Indicators will be revised to be sector indicators within GSTC-Industry. This paves the way for other sectors to have indicators developed within the context of GSTC-Industry.

The Need

The current GSTC-HTO has been well received globally and there is a desire by many stakeholders to have similar guidance and norms for the wider tourism industry. GSTC-HTO is not overtly covering the gamut of tourism, yet it is very close to an all encompassing set of criteria for all tourism enterprises.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators (GSTC-HTO) are general sustainability aspects that apply more broadly to the greater tourism industry at the enterprise level. Countries have adopted the GSTC-HTO as broad sustainability guidelines across sectors and GSTC-Recognized certification programs wish to be able to have their standards Recognized for other tourism sectors.

Within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, the GSTC has identified and is responding to the need for a wider, multi-sector sustainable tourism norm by developing the GSTC-Industry as an evolution of the globally accepted benchmark standard, the GSTC-HTO.

The Process

The process is intended to comply with the ISEAL Alliance standard-setting code, the key aspects of the process are:

·       Resourced by the GSTC Technical Director, guided by the International Standards Working Group (GSTC-ISWG).

·       Two rounds of consultation, initial call for input, then a second round to comment on draft criteria.

·       The GSTC-ISWG and GSTC Board consider comments before adopting criteria, based on consensus across the balance of interested parties.


The proposed program for development of GSTC-Industry is:

·       Initial Consultation                       Dec 2015-Mar 2016

·       Draft Criteria Consultation           July-August 2016

·       GSTC-Industry Adopted              Expected December 2016 (originally planned for October 2016)

Impact on Recognized, Approved, or Accredited Standards and Certifiers

Per the terms of the Integrity Program marks as stated in the Manuals for the marks, following the revision of GSTC Criteria, holders of Integrity Program marks have two years from the dates of release of the revisions to make any necessary revisions to their standards in order to remain compliant with the GSTC mark. Questions may be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Indicators for Hotels and Tour Operators (GSTC-HTO) (current active version)

GSTC-Industry Terms of Reference

GSTC Standard Setting System Report

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