Why Become a Certified Hotel/Accommodation ?
Being certified by a GSTC Accredited Certification Body means that your travel or tourism product or service 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 a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues.
Travel providers should proudly display information regarding their certificate and the certification 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.
Increasingly, travelers and your fellow travel provider clients are seeking confirmation that sustainability practices are in place. Also increasingly, travel companies are looking to product that is not only certified sustainable, but certified sustainable by a Certification Body that is GSTC Accredited.
How To Become Certified
To become certified, travel and tourism companies and touristic destinations must:
1 – Choose a Certification Body (CB) from the list below — these are organizations that GSTC has accredited based on the quality of their certification process
2 – After working with a CB towards achieving full GSTC requirements compliance, your operation will receive its GSTC Certificate.
The Certification Bodies listed below have been accredited by GSTC to certify hotels as sustainable. As such, these certifying bodies and their certificate-holders are authorized to display the designated GSTC Logo (upon completion of a licensing agreement with the GSTC).
To be clear: GSTC does NOT certify anything. GSTC provides accreditation to Certification Bodies. Certification and accreditation are different things.
GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodies for Hotels/Accommodations
Control Union Certifications offers a global one-stop-shop for a wide range of certification programmes. We understand the importance of impartiality and objectivity, and how to professionally manage conflicts of interest. From the beginning, sustainability has been the main focus of our certification services. Control Union Certifications presents a wide range of programmes in agriculture, food, feed, forest products, textiles and bio energy. In 2016, Control Union Certifications became the first Accredited CAB for the GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which provides the highest level in terms of credibility within the GSTC Integrity program. This means that Control Union Certifications can certify hotels and tour operators directly against the GSTC Criteria.
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.
Ecotourism Australia is a not for profit organisation that is focused on inspiring environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism. Ecotourism Australia was formed in 1991 and is the peak industry body for ecotourism in Australia, managing four certification programs for tourism operators. Their primary product development tool, ECO certification, is a world recognised program with a UNESCO World Heritage Centre MOU and is Approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. They work with and represent Ecotourism operators, Protected Area Managers, State and Regional Tourism Organisations, Government agencies and other stakeholders.
The Rainforest Alliance works with hotels, restaurants and other tourism businesses to help them improve their environmental, social and economic practices. Through training and technical assistance, we teach them how to operate sustainably and verify their progress toward this goal. Those enterprises that meet our requirements are eligible to receive promotional benefits, including the use of the Rainforest Alliance Verified™ mark.
- Certification by a Certification Body whose standard is “GSTC Recognized” does NOT carry the same meaning as certification by a Certification Body that is accredited by GSTC. “GSTC Recognized” relates to a published set of standards and NOT to the process of certification or accreditation. Click here to learn more about GSTC Recognized and to view lists of standards that are Recognized by the GSTC as adhering to the GSTC Criteria.
The above Certification Bodies have been Accredited for compliance with the requirements of the Manual for GSTC Accreditation. GSTC-Accredited mean that the certification procedures largely meet international standards for transparency, impartiality, and competence.