GSTC For the Press2021-12-09T07:08:29+08:00

Plan to write about GSTC? Here are the basics

The GSTC in 2 sentences

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) manages the GSTC Criteria, the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism; as well as acts as an international body providing assurance for sustainable tourism certification in three key subsectors of tourism: hotels/accommodations, tour operators/agencies, and destinations.

The GSTC in 4 paragraphs

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.

The Criteria are arranged in four pillars: (A) Sustainable management; (B) Socioeconomic impacts; (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes). 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.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s role in providing assurance for impartiality and competence of Certification Programs that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it provides assurance for those that do.

The GSTC is an independent and neutral organization, legally registered in the USA as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. GSTC is an ISEAL Community Member.

Understand Certification and Accreditation

GSTC does NOT certify businesses and destinations, but is deeply involved certification of sustainable tourism by promoting certification and providing an assurance that select Certification Bodies operate with impartiality and competence.

Certification is defined as a voluntary, third-party assessment, through an audit, of a tourism enterprise or destination for conformity to a standard. GSTC does NOT conduct certification. That is the job of the many Certification Bodies throughout the world; our job is to accredit those that certify. [e.g. Certification Body, Certification Scheme, Certified Hotel]

Accreditation is a mark of quality that GSTC places on Certification Bodies that choose our independent and neutral process to verify that they certify businesses, such as hotels or tour operators, or destinations, in a competent and neutral manner. We at GSTC look very hard at their process of certification to ensure you that they issue certifications based on merit and neutrality. [e.g. GSTC Accredited Certification Body]

NOTE: These are not merely GSTC’s definitions. The globally recognized ISO system of international standards provide clear definitions of certification and accreditation. GSTC adheres to ISO’s definitions and terminology. The media is highly encouraged to reduce the massive confusion currently seen in society and the media by using these terms correctly.

Recent GSTC press releases

Subscribe to receive GSTC Press releases

GSTC in the Media

GSTC on Treehugger

March 12th, 2021|

Treehugger: What Is Sustainable Tourism and Why Is It Important? As people begin to pay more attention to sustainability and the direct and indirect [...]

Recent GSTC news

Sonoma County Joins GSTC

January 19th, 2022|

Sonoma County Tourism has joined as a Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) member. Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) is the destination stewardship organization dedicated to [...]

Rhodes Joins GSTC

December 10th, 2021|

The Municipality of Rhodes has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands [...]

Sentosa Joins GSTC

November 23rd, 2021|

Sentosa Development Corporation has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), paving the way for the island destination to achieve [...]