The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global, multi-stakeholdermembership organization dedicated to setting baseline sustainability standards for travel and tourism and applying the standards as an Accreditation Body that governs certification of sustainable products.
Born as a strategic coalition of partners the UN Foundation, the UN Environmental Program, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and Rainforest Alliance, supported by many others, the GSTC brings together businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations, academia, individuals and communities engaged in and striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. The GSTC serves as the international body for promoting education, understanding and adoption of global sustainable tourism practices. At the core of its work are the GSTC Criteria, which are developed and periodically revised via extensive and inclusive public consultation, striving to adhere to the Standards-Setting Code of the ISEAL Alliance. The Accreditation Program is designed to adhere to the Assurance Code and Impacts Code of the ISEAL Alliance.
Vision: Tourism fulfills its potential as a vehicle for social, cultural, and economic good while removing and avoiding any negative impacts from its activities in terms of environmental and social impacts.
Mission: To be an agent of change in the world of sustainable travel and tourism by fostering the increased knowledge, understanding, adoption and demand for sustainable tourism practices.
GSTC Criteria: The GSTC Criteria provide globally-applicable guiding principles. They serve as the basis of GSTC activities. There are two sets of criteria: GSTC Industry Criteria for the private sector and Destination Criteria for the public sector. GSTC Industry Criteria provide guiding principles for sustainability to all subsectors and business types, with specific Performance Indicators provided for hotels/accommodations and for tour operators including DMCs and land-transport providers. These criteria represent the minimum requirements necessary for any travel and tourism businesses and destinations to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
Strategic Plan: The Strategic Plan highlights the planned activities and goals of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC):
Bylaws: Bylaws of Global Sustainable Tourism Council as Amended 28 May 2020 are available here.