Accreditation for Certification Bodies

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides and manages Accreditation.

How to apply for Accreditation?

To become a GSTC Accredited Certification Body, entities shall apply by using the GSTC Accreditation Application Form and submit the application form to the GSTC Secretariat at accreditation@gstcouncil.org, using the subject line “GSTC Application for Accreditation”.

What are the Requirements?

For Industry Certification the requirements involve using GSTC Accreditation Manual for Certification of Hotel/Accommodation & Tour Operator v.3.1. 

For Destination Certification, the GSTC is currently revising the Accreditation Manual for destination certification. As a result, that accreditation process will be temporarily paused and is expected to reopen in 2024.

GSTC Accreditation Procedure

GSTC Accreditation Procedure v.2.0 serves as guidelines to be followed by both applicant and accredited certification bodies.

GSTC Accreditation Fee Schedule

GSTC Accreditation Fee Schedule, February 2024.

Important Note: Please be aware that there will be no charges for license fees for certified destinations or Annual Maintenance Fees for the accredited CBs within the scope of Destination Criteria through the end of June 2025. Fees will be applicable starting from July 1, 2025. GSTC will announce the fees for destinations before July 2024.

GSTC Scope Extension

Please submit the GSTC Scope Extension Form to the GSTC at accreditation@gstcouncil.org , with the subject line “GSTC Scope Extension.”

For GSTC Accredited Certification Bodies seeking to extend their scope using the GSTC Technical Scope, they can request the application form by contacting accreditation@gstcouncil.org.

Licensing Agreement

Certification Bodies (CBs) enter into a licensing arrangement directly with GSTC to use the GSTC logo for certified businesses. The agreement specifies the terms of use for the GSTC name and Seals, outlines the licensing fees to be paid, and defines the conditions for both usage and withdrawal of the GSTC trademarks.

GSTC Accreditation Related Documents

GSTC provides several procedures related to the accreditation process including:

  • GSTC Accreditation Procedure v2.0
  • GSTC Finding Procedure v.1.0.
  • GSTC Challenge & Appeal Submission Form v.1.0.
  • GSTC Challenge & Appeal Procedure v.1.0.
  • GSTC Surveillance and Sampling Procedure v.1.0.
  • GSTC Witnessing and Compliance Assessment Procedure v.1.0.
  • GSTC Opening and Closing Meeting Procedure v.1.0.
  • GSTC Impartiality Policy v.1.0.
  • GSTC Privacy Policy v.1.0.
  • GSTC Grievance Procedure for Accreditation v.1.0.
  • GSTC Whistleblowing Policy v.1.0.

GSTC Accreditation Document Revision

DocumentsApprovalTransition
GSTC Accreditation Manual for
Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator v.3.0 
12 July 2023 and will be effective on 13 October 2023.3-month transition period
Report – Public Consultation
GSTC Accreditation Manual for
Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator v.3.1
1 October 2023 and will be effective on 13 October 2023.No transition period due to minor revision
Report of Changes
GSTC Accreditation Procedure v.2.016 February 2024 and will be effective on 1 March 2024.1-month transition period

Auditors Training and Qualifications

CBs will need to provide the auditors and the persons in the certification management positions that have specific knowledge of sustainable tourism and the GSTC Criteria.

To confirm auditors and the persons in the certification management positions have the needed specific knowledge, they are required to attend an auditor training approved by the GSTC and satisfactory pass of test(s). The completion of the auditor training with passing the test(s) is one of the requirements for the auditors and the other requirements will be evaluated and confirmed by the GSTC accredited certification body. See the required auditor qualification here.

GSTC Auditor Training Schedule

DatesCourse ID
Format/ Language
Trainer(s)PriceRegister
February 25-27, 2024AT2402-MilanOnsite/EnglishDr.Mihee KangUSD980-LEARN MORE
REGISTER NOW
February 29-March 2, 2024AT2402-IstanbulOnsite/English&TurkishDr.Mihee Kang/Mustafa SöğütUSD980-LEARN MORE
REGISTER NOW
April 21-23, 2024AT2404-StockholmOnsite/EnglishDr.Mihee KangUSD980-LEARN MORE
REGISTER NOW

*Note: Those who have passed the STTP exam before 2019 are exempted from taking the Auditor Training tests. This exemption will only be applied to 2023 and will NOT be valid from 2024 onwards.

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 at auditor.training@gstcouncil.org.

Dispute Mechanism

To submit complaints/ appeals regarding the accreditation procedure and requirements, please review GSTC Grievance Mechanism and please fill the Grievance Form PDF / Word

Please send the completed Grievance Form to complaints@gstc.org