In a previous post we talked about the fact that customers are removed from the certification process. They aren’t fully aware of what a business is doing and/or if that business is making improvements in order to maintain its status as a certified sustainable business.

True. These same concerns surrounded the establishment of programs for organic foods, FSC wood products and MSC seafood. But here’s a question: As a consumer, when was the last time you were out on a fishing boat ensuring your cod was line-caught? When you bought your fish at the store you trusted the labeling. Why? Because there is credibility in these labels.

The GSTC Accreditation program will bring that same credibility and faith into the world of sustainable tourism certification and standards programs.

The GSTC accreditation program is designed to ensure that claims from tour operators and hotels certified by third-party certification programs are plausible and reflect compliance with a credible standard that includes and goes beyond the GSTC Criteria.

To permit this, the certification programs must demonstrate that their standard includes, at a minimum, the GSTC Criteria, and that their procedures are transparent, impartial, and financially accessible. Their auditors must demonstrate competence to evaluate conformity with the standard according to best international practice.

Credibility reflecting the local social, environmental and economic needs of the community. That is what Accreditation is all about.