GSTC Designations of Key Stakeholders

GSTC-Accredited Certification Body (ACB)

Accredited means that a Certification Body has been verified through a rigorous external review that their certification processes are according to and comply with international norms and standards on how to conduct certification.

Logo: unique code that can be used only by GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodys (ACB).

Certified Hotel by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body

Hotels/accommodations certified by an ACB receive a GSTC logo with a specific code. GSTC sends batches of the codes to ACBs who record the numbers when they distribute to the certified business. The code allows identifying details of the certification.

Code details: HA = hotel/accommodation; CB = unique two letters representing the ACB; YY = two-digit year; #### = four-digit serial number.

Logo: GSTC Certified logo; example of a logo of a hotel with accredited certification.

Certified Tour Operator by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body

Tour operators certified by an ACB receive a GSTC logo with a specific code. GSTC sends batches of the codes to ACBs who record the numbers when they distribute to the certified business. The code allows identifying details of the certification.

Code details: TO = tour operator; CB = unique two letters representing the ACB; YY = two-digit year; #### = four-digit serial number.

Logo: GSTC Certified logo; example of a logo of a tour operator with accredited certification.

Certified Destination by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body

Destination certified by an ACB receive a GSTC logo with a specific code. GSTC sends batches of the codes to ACBs who record the numbers when they distribute to the certified business. The code allows identifying details of the certification.

Code details: D = destination; CB = unique two letters representing the ACB; YY = two-digit year; #### = four-digit serial number.

Logo: GSTC Certified logo; example of a logo of a destination with accredited certification.

GSTC-Recognized Standards

‘Standards’ are documents. GSTC-Recognized Standards are sustainable tourism standards that adhere to and are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. This means that the GSTC Criteria are included within the set of standards owned by a certification body or a local, national, or specialized tourism organization. These are referred to as GSTC-Recognized Standard Owners (RSO).

Logo: There is no specific GSTC-Recognized Standards logo, their owners can display other GSTC logos they are otherwise eligible for.

GSTC Certification Scheme (CS)

For RSOs that separate consultation from certification by having all the certification process and operation done by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body(s); they must send all 100% of clients seeking certification to gain that certification from an ACB; the ACB(s) need to apply for a scope extension for being accredited to certified to the GSTC-Recognized Standard; the RSO and ACB(s) must have a Certification Scheme Licensing Agreement (CSLA) in place with GSTC;

Logo: GSTC Certified logo (for hotel/accommodation, tour operator, or destination according to the standard and scope); the certification document includes the GSTC Certified logo together with the GSTC-Recognized Standard logo and optionally the ACB logo; no other logo outside the certification document.

GSTC-Acknowledged

Full implementation of a significant program based on the GSTC Criteria and Assurance Program; For the public sector or multi-faceted private sector players (only TGA in 2023).

Logo: various GSTC logos for specific elements in multi-faceted program(s).

GSTC-Committed

The GSTC-Committed is a commitment of organizations to include the GSTC Criteria as their policy and/or practice guidelines to their stakeholders or members – such as system service providers, and supply chain by selling, distributing, and contracting.

GSTC-Committed does not ensure certification, accreditation, or recognition, but only that the GSTC Criteria is implemented to the organization’s policy, plan, and operation. Therefore, organizations involved in the verification/certification of tourism businesses are not eligible to apply for GSTC-Committed.

Logo: GSTC Member logo; there is no specific GSTC-Committed logo.

GSTC Member Organization

As a not-for-profit organization, the GSTC engages with a worldwide network of members, who represent a wide range of tourism stakeholders – from leading international tour operators to government organizations and national tourism boards, and to local and international hospitality brands.

Becoming a GSTC member means actively participating in a global community contributing to the important work of the GSTC in promoting the widespread adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles.

Membership means engagement with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and its network; it is not related to certification and membership is not a prerequisite for certification by ACBs.

Logo: GSTC Member logo

GSTC Sponsor

GSTC Sponsors are GSTC Member organizations that provide unrestricted funding to GSTC of $10,000 or more per year.

Logo: GSTC Member logo; GSTC Sponsor’s logo appears on GSTC website and at conferences.