The GSTC Criteria are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. Focusing on social and environmental responsibility, as well as the positive and negative economic and cultural impacts of tourism, the criteria are organized into four topics.
Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes)
The GSTC Criteria have been built on decades of prior work and experience around the world, and they take into account the numerous guidelines and standards for sustainable tourism from every continent. During the process of development, they were widely consulted throughout the globe, in both developed and developing countries, in several languages. They reflect our goal in attaining a global consensus on sustainable tourism.
The Criteria are the minimum, not the maximum, which businesses and destinations should achieve to approach social, environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability. Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity.
To date, two sets of GSTC Criteria have been developed: for hotels and tour operators, and for destinations (currently in the process of public consultation of the first draft). Please click on the following link to see the Criteria:
In March 2012, GSTC announced the second version of the Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators. After over 3 years of review and public comment on version 1, these new set of criteria are a true collaboration between tourism organizations, stake-holders and individuals. To read more about how these standards were created and to see a full list of the new criteria Click here.
GSTC Criteria for Destinations has been designed to guide destination specialists, managers, communities, and businesses towards the steps that are needed to sustain the natural and cultural attractions that draw-in tourists, while economically benefitting the local community and businesses. The draft version of the Destination Criteria is available in for public consultation, for the next two months. We invite all interested persons and organizations to comment or suggest improvements until June 2, 2012. Your considerations can be made here in English, French, Spanish and Mandarin. Click here for more information on the Criteria for Destinations.