The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) is pleased to announce that the Cabo Verde Sustainability Standard for Tourist Accommodation and Cabo Verde Sustainability Standard for Tour Operators have gained GSTC-Recognized status, meaning it has been fully recognized as equivalent to the GSTC Industry Criteria

In addition, the Cabo Verde Sustainability Standard for Destinations has gained GSTC-Recognized status as equivalent to the GSTC Destination Criteria.

The Cape Verdean standards, NCV 023:2023 – Sustainability for Tourist Accommodations – Requirements, NCV 024:2023 – Sustainability for Tour Operators – Requirements and NCV 025:2023 – Sustainability for Destinations – Requirements, recognized by the GSTC, were developed by the Technical Commission for Standardization of the Tourist Offer (CTN 007) which is coordinated by the Institute for Quality Management and Intellectual Property (IGQPI), based on the experience, the reality of the country and the requirements contained in normative and technical documentation and the GSTC Criteria.

“We are glad with the recognition of the 3 Capeverdean Standards (NCV) of Sustainability by the GSTC which will provide the necessary guidelines for Tourist Accommodations, Tourism Operators and Destinations to comply with best sustainable tourism practices and be environmentally responsible, socially fair and economically viable.

The tourism sector plays a key role in the development of Cabo Verde, and this international recognition is an important milestone for the country, as it will contribute to generate positive impacts through the implementation of good environmental, social, and economic practices, making Cabo Verde an increasingly sustainable destination,” said Ana Paula Spencer C. Barros, IGQPI Chair of the Board of Directors.

“Embracing the Four Pillars of our GSTC Criteria is not just about environmental concerns. It’s about seeing the bigger picture of sustainability as Cabo Verde has done by successfully gaining GSTC-Recognized status on their three standards. 

“When we talk about the GSTC Criteria, we’re talking about a holistic vision of sustainability that reaches far beyond the environment to engage communities, honor diverse cultural elements, and establish a sound, dynamic management structure to drive sustainable tourism forward. Congratulations to Cabo Verde on their triple achievement!” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

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 coverage of the GSTC Recognition of the standards is in Cabo Verde. The GSTC Recognition is valid until either the standard or the GSTC Industry Criteria are changed.

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. 

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About Cabo Verde

Inserted in the geographic context of Macaronesia, the Cabo Verde archipelago is a group of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa. It is composed of 10 (ten) islands, namely: Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista, Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava, plus some smaller islets and rocks.

Cabo Verde has been an independent country since 1975 and has Praia, located on the island of Santiago, as its capital. The official language is Portuguese, although Capeverdean Creole is widely spoken in the archipelago. The country’s economy is based mainly on tourism, agriculture, fishing, and services.

Besides its natural beauty, Cabo Verde is known for its music, with diversified genres. Each island has its unique characteristics, and tourists can enjoy activities such as diving, hiking, animal watching, and exploring the rich local culture, which is a blend of African, European, and Brazilian influences. 

The Cabo Verde archipelago offers a unique combination of culture, beautiful landscapes, and Capeverdean hospitality.

Tourism has been consolidating itself as one of the central economic pillars of the country, as established in different official documents. The main goal is to develop tourism in a sustainable way, enhancing its natural and human resources, in order to contribute to the well-being of Capeverdeans. 

In this sense, the Tourism Operational Program establishes the basis for a strategy aimed at defining a well-structured network of tourism products, embodied in the following vision for the sector: “To make Cabo Verde a consolidated tourist destination by 2030, distributing the benefits of tourism to all the islands, gaining the sector’s trust and working together to strengthen its tourism competitiveness conditions”.

More information about Cabo Verde here: