Why Become a Certified Destination?
Being certified sustainable by a Certification Body that is Accredited means that your destination complies with the highest social and environmental standards on the market. As public concern grows about the harmful effects and the positive impacts of travel and tourism, certification provides you with a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues.
Travel providers should proudly display information regarding their certificate and the certifying body that issued it. Doing so informs your stakeholders — from customers to ownership and to your supply chain — that your business is operated with sound management that looks to the future and not merely at today.
To view destinations that have been certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body, see the GSTC Sustainable Destinations Map.
How To Become Certified
GSTC can assist destinations in the early stages of their journey to sustainability, before they are ready to apply for certification, see the GSTC Destination Program
To become certified, tourist destinations must:
1 – Choose a Certification Body (CB) from the list below
2 – After working with a CB towards achieving full GSTC requirements compliance, your operation will receive its GSTC Certificate.
The Certification Bodies listed here have been accredited by GSTC to certify destinations. As such, these CBs and their certificate-holders are authorized to display the designated GSTC Logo (upon completion of a licensing agreement with the GSTC).
GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodies for Destinations
EarthCheck is a leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. Since 1987, we have helped businesses, communities and governments to deliver clean, safe, prosperous and healthy destinations for travellers to visit, live, work and play. The EarthCheck program is built on Agenda 21 principles and is currently used in more than 70 countries across the globe in six languages. EarthCheck patented software and systems have set a benchmark for sustainability reporting for the travel and tourism industry.
Green Destinations (GD) is a non-profit organisation of experts and destination ambassadors working in 80 countries. GD supports a large community of local, regional and country destination managers and stakeholders, enhancing destination sustainability, market visibility, and tourism quality. The GD Certification Committee supervises certification and benchmark awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) based upon the GSTC- Recognized GD Standard, and other (e.g. national) standards. GD offers destinations and countries with state-of-the-art tools for baseline assessment, monitoring, reporting and strategic development, also in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Vireo Srl is a certification company whose commercial activities consist of providing Italian and foreign companies with environmental certification services. Vireo provides worldwide recognized environmental certification schemes such as FSC, MSC, and GSTC – as a GSTC-Accredited certification body. The professional approach and deep knowledge of standards are the key elements that mark Viero’s services. Based in Padova, Italy, Vireo has international experience and works with professional and highly qualified auditors.
- Certification by a certifying body whose standard is “GSTC-Recognized” does NOT constitute being Certified by GSTC. “GSTC Recognized” relates to a published set of standards and NOT to the process of certification. Click here to learn more about GSTC-Recognized and to view lists of standards that are Recognized by the GSTC as aligned with the GSTC Criteria.
The above standards have been Accredited as in compliance with the requirements of the GSTC Accreditation Manual. The Accredited mark means that the certification procedures largely meet international standards for transparency, impartiality, and competence.