Ambassador Level of La Buena Huella Standard Gains GSTC-Recognized Status
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) is pleased to announce that the Ambassador Level of La Buena Huella’s Standard set out in “ARC360. LA BUENA HUELLA. V.7” has gained GSTC-Recognized status, meaning it has been fully recognized as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria.
The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the content of the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental principles.
GSTC Recognition of Standards does not relate to the process of certification (which is a third-party assessment, through an audit, of a tourism enterprise for conformity to a standard). GSTC Recognition of Standards does not relate to accreditation (formal verification that a certification body operates in a competent and neutral manner according to international standards of how to properly certify, which is the highest level of assurance).
The stated scope of the standard is ‘Tourist Accommodation’ and coverage is in Europe and America. The GSTC Recognition is valid until either the standard or the GSTC Industry Criteria are changed.
“Very happy for the recognition, this is not an end, but an exceptional process which has allowed a series of improvements to be applied to a standard created to help the tourism industry so that a regenerative operation is competitive,” says Víctor Fernández, La Buena Huella CEO.
“We congratulate La Buena Huella for joining the growing movement of programs aligning with the Four Pillars of the GSTC Criteria. Taking this holistic approach to sustainability is part of the journey for a better tomorrow,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.
Currently, 15 destination standards, 22 tour operator standards, 43 hotel standards, and 5 systems have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. 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 follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practices, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.
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 Accreditation of Certification Bodies 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 national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
La Buena Huella is a strategic sustainability consultancy focused on tailored training and plans for both private businesses and public administration. With the belief that being an asset to the planet is profitable, they have developed the RSCC (Competitive Corporate Social Responsibility) and ARC (Competitive Regenerative Activity) models. These models present a sustainability vision grounded in strength, concrete results, and the return on responsible actions.
La Buena Huella operates as an adhocratic structure, with highly qualified specialists in each area, all sharing a holistic vision and a strong commitment to outcomes and impact. With a presence in Europe and America, the majority of their projects are custom-designed. This global reach is possible thanks to their horizontal growth strategy, based on stable and long-lasting alliances, allowing them to integrate as a broad-spectrum solution, meeting the needs and expectations of their clients. They are particularly proud of their support for the Spanish Network of the United Nations Global Compact and actively participate in the SDG Ambition programs, also being part of the national Tourism working group.