Travelers and tourism professionals want to know where sustainable tourist destinations are. Such destinations are sometimes referred to as eco-destinations (or eco tourist destinations), although the environment is only one aspect of sustainable tourism according to the GSTC Criteria.
The management teams at these destinations understand that “sustainability” is a journey and that work to implement the GSTC Criteria is never complete. Sustainable destination management requires continuing commitment and ongoing collaboration among wide-ranging stakeholders in everyday decision-making. However, these destinations have traveled a long way down the path of sustainability. They are to be commended, and they should be promoted as destinations worthy of travelers’ support.
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.