IMG 2430(May 27, 2015) In a collaboration between the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) a six day GSTC Sustainability Training Course concluded this past Sunday in Kasane, Botswana.

The GSTC Sustainability Training Course had 20 participants from the BTO including Auditors of the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, and key managers for Botswana’s tourism development and sustainable management of tourism destinations. Training was held on the Chobe River and involved classroom studies reviewing the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria. Field work was undertaken to give a practical application of the GSTC Criteria, including a Chobe River game boat tour and visits to Chobe Game Lodge, Chobe Marina Lodge and Bakwena lodge.

GSTC Trainer Guy Chester said, “The BTO Trainees obviously had a good grasp of sustainability for the tourism sector and the training was a pleasure. Trainees engaged in informed debates of what best practices can apply in Botswana for its already leading ecotourism industry, and discussed practical cost effective sustainability measures for the more traditional existing hotels and lodges.”

“Our field trips saw some true best practices with examples of a non-chemical sand and biofilter swimming pool, sand bag buildings, electric safari Land Rovers and boats and lodges with a majority of local village women employed as safari guides and trained and empowered as managers”, Mr. Chester commented.

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The Botswana Tourism Organisation is a longtime leader in sustainability, having been an “Early Adopter” with the GSTC’s Destinations program for the Okavango Delta. A key part of the Sustainability Training Course in Kasane was to review the alignment of the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System with the GSTC Criteria. BTO plans to undertake minor changes to the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System and seek GSTC Recognition and ultimately GSTC Approval for their program.

The GSTC conducts offers in-depth training classes through the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program. Training can be customized for an organization or curtailed for wider participation in collaboration with regional/national tourism bodies.

For more information about the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Training Program, contact training [at]