Adventure Green Alaska is Now a GSTC-Recognized Standard
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Adventure Green Alaska Standards for Accommodations and for Tour-Operators have achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.
Adventure Green Alaska began in 2007 as a statewide effort to grow sustainable tourism in Alaska and promote model businesses practicing economic, environmental and social sustainability. It is Alaska’s only sustainable tourism certification program and was created entirely by volunteers. The program came under the Alaska Travel Industry Association in 2015, whose goal was to grow the program in Alaska and increase the programs credibility through the development of a new level of standards, AGA Summit, that meet the GSTC Criteria for tour operators and accommodations.
Achieving the GSTC-Recognized status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. Additionally, an organization that meets GSTC requirements must administer the standard.
“We commend the Alaska Travel Industry Association for taking sustainability seriously, including the development of the Adventure Green Alaska program,” says Randy Durband,GSTC CEO. We’re pleased that the standards driving that program comply with the GSTC Criteria and as such have formally gained GSTC-Recognized status.”
Sarah Leonard, ATIA’s President and CEO, welcomed the achievement. “Alaska’s visitors come to Alaska to see our wild landscapes, mountain scenery, glaciers, and wildlife in their natural habitats and experience Alaska’s rich native cultures. The GSTC recognition is a vote of confidence in the AGA program’s efforts to promote sustainable management practices – environmental, cultural, social and economic choices as part of business practice.”
“The GSTC recognition for the Adventure Green Alaska will help grow the program with more businesses interested in receiving this type of certification for their business, Leonard said. This recognition lends credibility with consumers when visitors are choosing their experience in Alaska.”
To date, 11 destination standards, and 32 hotels and tour operators standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms.
The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria.
GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to complete the Accreditation process which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparent, and rigor. Learn more about GSTC Accreditation.
About the GSTC
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. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire 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.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s role as the global Accreditation Body for 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 accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
About the Alaska Travel Industry Association:
The Alaska Travel Industry Association, Alaska’s leading nonprofit membership association for the travel industry, works promote Alaska tourism industry as a major economic force while to providing statewide marketing resources, education opportunities and advocacy to members. For more information, visit www.alaskatia.org.