WASHINGTON, D.C. (February, 2014)– The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announced that the Chilean national system for distinction of sustainable tourism has achieved ‘recognized’ certification status. This commendation acknowledges its commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services recognized by the GSTC.

“Chile has shown clear leadership and commitment to sustainable tourism.  As a country steeped in beauty, culture, and adventure, tourism remains a positive economic development tool and under their plan will be a tremendous asset for positive change in the country.  Chile continues to move towards excellence in sustainable tourism and as such, will be a major competitor on the global stage.” Expressed Dr Kelly Bricker, Chair, GSTC Board of Directors.

The development and promotion of a sustainable tourism industry is a key factor in this competitive global market. Aware of this trend, the tourism industry in Chile has decided to move towards a sustainable tourism development in joint efforts from the government and the private sector. As a result, they implemented The National System for Distinction of Sustainable Tourism: “Distinction S” -the certification program of the SERNATUR (Servicio Nacional de Turismo) – that identify andrecognize the efforts of tourist accommodation that have progressed in the field of sustainability.

SERNATUR is a governmental institution whose mission is to execute the National Tourism Strategy, promoting Chilean destinations and encouraging the competitiveness and sustainable development of the tourism industry, through the implementation of plans, programs and public policies.

Rigorous review and authorization procedures have determined that The National System for Distinction of Sustainable Tourism Standards is considered equivalent to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria; the worldwide minimum requirement for tourism businesses of all size to approach sustainability.

To date, 19 standards including The National System for Distinction of Sustainable Tourism have received the GSTC-recognized status including:

·         Austrian Ecolabel for Tourism  (Österreichisches Umweltzeichen)

·         Biosphere Responsible Tourism

·         Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) for Hotels

·         EarthCheck Company Standard

·         Eco-Certification Malta

·         Ecotourism Australia’s Ecotourism Standard

·         Ecotourism Australia’s Advanced Ecotourism Standard

·         Ecotourism Ireland Certification Programme

·         European Ecotourism Labeling Standard (EETLS)

·         Fair Trade in Tourism (FTT)

·         Green Globe Certification

·         Japan Environmentally Sustainable Accommodations International Standard (ESAIS)

·         Hoteles + Verdes (Asociacion de Hoteles de Turismo de Argentina)

·         Rainforest Alliance Standard for Tourism Operations

·         Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program (STEP)

·         Travelife Standard for Hotels and Accommodations

·         Travelife Standard for Tour Operators and Travel Agents

·         TourCert Standard for Tour Operators

Each of the GSTC-recognized organizations has taken the first of three steps in establishing the GSTC process. Phases of establishing the global benchmark include recognizing the GSTC standard; evaluation of certification process for transparency by a third party; full GSTC-accreditation (beginning December 2014).

The GSTC will continue to work with standard owners around the world to provide GSTC recognition. All standards are encouraged to apply for GSTC-recognized status and all certification programs to apply for Approval. To learn more about the GSTC process please visit the GSTC website

About GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, are the keystone of this initiative. For more information visit

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