Austrian National Tourist Office has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria possesses a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage that has shaped its identity over the centuries.

The nation’s diverse geography spans from the imposing Alpine peaks to the rolling hills of its wine country, while its cities, such as the historic capital Vienna, exhibit architectural wonders and a dynamic artistic environment.

Sustainability in Austria

Sustainability in Austria is a top priority, and the country has been taking significant steps to reduce its environmental impact while promoting sustainable tourism practices. Austria has several sustainable tourism initiatives such as the Alpine Pearls, which promote sustainable mobility and environmentally friendly travel. 

Austria has a comprehensive framework for sustainable development, with a national strategy and action plan that integrates the SDGs. The Austrian Federal Government is committed to the target of climate neutrality by 2040 and is following a consistent decarbonisation path with its current government programme. Austria is addressing the need for action by adopting a variety of measures in areas such as public transport, housing, regional planning, phasing out fossil fuels, bio-economy and circular economy, as well as through technological innovations. 

Austria is committed under European law to a 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in sectors outside the emissions trading system by 2030 compared to 2005 levels (targets according to the EU Effort Sharing Regulation). In addition, a target was set to increase the share of energy from renewables to 46–50% of total energy consumption.*

As the Austrian National Tourist Office, we have made the decision to apply for membership in the GSTC. This move will enable us to strengthen our positioning as a leading global tourism destination that is committed to sustainability, thereby enhancing our credibility in this field. By engaging with other GSTC members, who are pioneers in sustainability, we can learn from their diverse array of examples while also sharing our own expert knowledge and best practices. Our membership represents yet another step forward in our ongoing efforts to develop Austria as one of the world’s most sustainable travel destinations. We are immensely proud to now be counted among the ranks of GSTC member organizations,” said Astrid Steharnig-Staudinger, CEO of the Austrian National Tourist Office.

*Data from “Austria and the 2030 Agenda Voluntary National Review – Report on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”

GSTC Welcomes Austria

“We welcome the Austrian National Tourist Office’s decision to become a member of the GSTC. It’s vital to have dedicated members who are committed to promoting sustainable tourism practices and we look forward to working with them to advance together towards this common and important goal” said 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 the Austrian Tourist Office

The Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) is Austria’s national tourism organization. Since 1955 the main objective of this association has been the promotion of Austria as a holiday destination. Its central goal is to secure and expand Austria’s competitiveness in cooperation with all Austrian tourism partners. By doing so, ANTO contributes essentially to increasing Austria’s market share in international tourism.

Core Competencies of the Austrian National Tourist Office:

  • Development of the brand “Holidays in Austria”: This brand differentiates Austria from other holiday destinations and conveys the emotional added value of a stay in Austria;
  • Opening up the internationally most promising markets through innovative and modern marketing;
  • Partnering Austrian tourism businesses and acting as an essential platform for tourism networking. The tourist industry profits from ANTO’s always up-to-date expert knowledge.

For more information visit: (b2b) and  (b2c)

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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Picture: © Österreich Werbung