As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Tourism Day, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) invites businesses and individuals to harness the power of change of tourism.
We are driven by the possibility of tourism to preserve the world’s travel and tourism destinations—so that our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy all of the world’s natural and cultural resources that we have today. Through the understanding and adoption of global sustainable tourism standards, businesses and travelers can take the first step to advance conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC—with founding members such as Ecotourism Australia, Gap Adventures/Planeterra, Rainforest Alliance, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Sabre Holdings, Travelocity, Ties, UN Foundation, UN Environmental Programme, World Tourism Organization—will work together to promote the GSTC and sustainable tourism to its customers, vendors and peers. The GSTC is made up of tourism and travel industry members representing all seven regions of the world and including UN agencies, tour operators, travel companies, individual hotels and government tourism councils.
We at the GSTC know that there is real power in the travel and tourism industry to make change in local communities and around the globe.
According to the UN’s World Tourism Organization, in 2009 international tourist arrivals were estimated at 880 million, generating over 235 million jobs. Tourism for developing countries is significant as they receive approximately 30% of global tourism expenditures. Our coalition is working together to increase the knowledge, understanding and adoption of sustainable tourism practices. At the core of the GSTC’s mission is ensuring that the tourism industry continues to drive conservation and poverty alleviation. We owe it to the planet, and we owe it to the people who live here. At the core of our efforts are the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe.
The GSTC can harness that power and help promote sustainable tourism in a way that it is clear to consumers and the industry.