GSTC Accredited means that a Certification Body (CB) awards certification according to processes that comply with international standards and good practices. Businesses certified by an Accredited CB can — if they choose — use the GSTC logo along with the CB’s mark, in accordance with GSTC licensing requirements.
GSTC Accredited status is the most reliable and cost-effective way to ensure confidence and credibility of sustainable tourism certification, and worldwide acceptance.
Benefits of Accreditation
- International credibility that the certification is Accredited. The certification standard has been found to be in compliance with universal criteria for sustainable tourism and its procedures meet international principles for transparency, impartiality and competence.
- Use the GSTC logo for the CB’s purposes, in accordance with a licensing agreement with the GSTC
- Certified hotels, tour operators and destinations may use the GSTC logo, also in accordance with a licensing agreement with the GSTC, which can add further credibility to the CB’s logo and brand
- CB featured on the web page of the Accreditation body that manages Accreditation for GSTC (Assurance Services International, or ASI)
- Co-branding and -marketing opportunities with GSTC
Who can apply?
CBs may apply for accreditation under two options:
Option 1: Any CB that uses a GSTC-Recognized Standard; or
Option 2: Any CB that proposes to use the GSTC Industry Criteria and Indicators (for Hotels/Accommodations or for Tour Operators) or the GSTC Destination Criteria (for Destinations) as the standard for certification.
CBs should have rules and procedures for the application of the standard, transparent and impartial certification procedures, and auditors who are technically competent in sustainable tourism and conformity assessment.
The GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5 provides detailed technical requirements. CBs are required to comply with ISO 17065 and GSTC specific requirements.
The GSTC Accreditation Manual version 2.5 was approved on 27th April 2021 and becomes effective on 15th May 2021. The transition period to the GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5 runs for 1-year starting from the effective date.
Auditors Training and Qualifications
CBs will need to conform to the current version of the GSTC Accreditation Manual and have auditors and certification decision-makers that have specific knowledge of sustainable tourism and the GSTC Criteria.
To confirm auditors and certification decision-makers have the needed specific knowledge, they are required to attend an auditor training approved by the GSTC and satisfactory pass of an examination. This should be done prior to application.
IMPORTANT: this refers to specialized GSTC auditor training and NOT the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Course or the GSTC Sustainable Hotel Course described elsewhere on this website for general tourism practitioners and stakeholders.
For auditor training, contact GSTC’s technical team at [email protected].
To apply for an accreditation, begin with reviewing the information on ASI website (Assurance Services International), GSTC’s partner in managing the accreditation process. You can access directly the ASI Price Sheet.
Download and review the GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5
We strongly recommend that prior to launching your application, you carefully review ISO17065 and work towards full compliance, because compliance to this standard is an important feature of the GSTC Accreditation Manual’s requirements.
Contact ASI at [email protected] and complete the ASI application form, with any supporting information considered appropriate/requested.
Fees of Accreditation
ASI Fees are listed along with applications and instructions on ASI website. The ASI accreditation procedure can be found in the ASI document library.
Before the application review takes place, the CB signs an agreement with ASI and a GSTC licensing agreement with GSTC for use of the GSTC Certified mark. Signature of all agreements is required before the Accreditation application proceeds.
To submit complaints/ appeals regarding the accreditation procedure and requirements, please review the Dispute Management Information on ASI Website.