Accreditation for Certification Bodies
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.
GSTC Accredited status is the most reliable and cost effective way to ensure confidence and credibility of sustainable tourism certification, and worldwide acceptance. The GSTC encourages CBs to pursue Accreditation.
The purpose of the GSTC Process is to acknowledge and reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and assurance with consumers. Based on this, many travel and tourism organizations and major distributors have publicly committed to offering sustainable products and service that have been through the GSTC Process exclusively. GSTC and our partners are working to create awareness and demand for certified products among travel providers and by extension consumers.
- 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 Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Indicators (Hotels, Tours and/or Destinations) as the standard for certification.
(Note: For option 2, CBs will need to conform to the GSTC Accreditation Manual and have auditors/decision makers that have specific knowledge of sustainable tourism and the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. Attendance at GSTC approved training and satisfactory pass of GSTC examination are additional requirements).
For Accreditation, 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.
GSTC invites interested CABs that fulfill these general criteria to apply for GSTC Accreditation.
To apply for an accreditation, begin with reviewing the information on ASI website (Assurance Services International), GSTC’s partner in managing the accreditation process.
Download and review: the GSTC Accreditation Manual – the ASI Price Sheet. 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@example.com and complete the ASI application form, with any supporting information considered appropriate/requested.
The GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.4 provides detailed technical requirements. CBs are required to comply with ISO 17065 and GSTC specific requirements.
Currently, the GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.4 is under revision. Download the draft GSTC Accreditation Manual v2.5 here and visit this page for instructions if you wish to participate in the public consultation.
Note: If the CB intends to conduct certification against the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Criteria (Hotels, Tours and/or Destinations) successful completion of an approved GSTC training course and examination prior to application is a requirement.
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.