Andalucia joins GSTC

Andalucía has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Andalucía is gracefully seated in the southernmost part of Spain, famous for its rich history, culture, nature and traditions. Andalucía showcases a diverse mosaic of Spain’s cultural and natural landscapes, with its charming whitewashed villages, beaches and expanding olive groves.

Sustainability in Andalucía

In 2018 The Andalusian Strategy for Sustainable Development 2030 (EADS) was launched, a strategic plan of the Regional Government of Andalusia to guide public and private policies towards a type of socio-economic development that considers economic prosperity, social inclusion, gender equality, and environmental protection in an integrated manner.

For its evaluation and follow-up, 46 indicators were defined and an evaluation calendar was designed which included biennial reports and intermediate evaluations. This monitoring system makes it possible to assess the degree of effectiveness of the proposals and the progress made toward the planned objectives. 

Andalusia has implemented a Sustainable Tourism General Plan (Plan META 2027) which aims to balance the Andalusian tourist sector and guarantee a sustainable and competitive tourist model from the social, environmental and economic point of view, based primarily on having a distinctive selling point.

The GSTC2022 Global Sustainable Tourism Conference that took place on December 12th-15th in Seville, Andalusia, Spain, brought together 350 delegates from 61 countries, along with hundreds of viewers that watched the live broadcasting of the conference. The conference was held at FIBES Sevilla, the city’s Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The regional Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sports, Arturo Bernal, emphasized that the region is recognized as a reference in tourism planning and innovation. He highlighted that the tourism industry plays a crucial role in achieving sustainability and is essential for the region’s prosperity and well-being.

In this regard, Bernal has stated that “future tourism depends on the actions carried out today in the territory,” so he has considered that “we must act now, so the tourism industry continues generating benefits in a sustainable and sustained manner.”

GSTC Welcomes Andalucía

“We are pleased to welcome Andalucía as a new member of the GSTC. Andalucía’s commitment to sustainability reflects a respect for the region’s heritage and a forward-thinking approach to its future. We look forward to working with Andalucía to advance sustainable tourism practices in their special region” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in tourism development and management to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can help achieve certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body.

About Empresa Pública para la Gestión del Turismo y del Deporte de Andalucía S.A.

Turismo & Deporte de Andalucía´s main objective is to support andalusian tourism and sports industries in order to achieve sustainable growth and optimized competitivity through a wide array of activities and services: 

  • To carry out annual marketing action plans aimed to support the growth and development of the tourism and sports industry.
  • To design and develop strategic plans, research studies and market analysis regarding tourism and sports trends and products.
  • To promote the use of technology in tourism, encouraging the incorporation of tourism and sports SMEs to the digital economy and applied technology.
  • To stimulate R+D+I within the tourism and sports industries through smart data specialization and improved statistics.
  • To improve regional visibility and recognition through the participation in European cooperation projects and international networks.  

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 assurance role for 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 provides accreditation to 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, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

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