Destination DC joins GSTC

Destination DC has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Destination DC (DDC) is the official destination marketing organization for the United States of America’s nation’s capital. It is a private, non-profit membership organization committed to marketing the area as a global convention, tourism, and events destination, with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural, and historic communities. 

Sustainability in Washington, DC

DDC launched its Sustainability District initiative in 2023. The program is DC’s gateway for working with businesses and destination suppliers throughout the hospitality industry committed to promoting a more sustainable place to live, visit, and meet. The program is open to DDC members, including hotels, museums, attractions, shops, restaurants, catering companies, transportation companies, tour operators and venues.

With this initiative, DDC aims to:

  • Raise awareness of DDC members’ existing sustainable efforts.
  • Inspire DDC members to make sustainable choices and changes that impact Washington’s overall social, economic, and environmental health.
  • Recognize the impact sustainability has on its community’s health, safety, wellness, diversity, and equity.
  • Share resources and best practices. 
  • Cultivate and leverage the messaging of sustainable tourism. 
  • Help visitors, planners and partners identify businesses that are best suited to provide sustainable services to their clients. 
  • Support the city’s initiatives and goals to make it a more sustainable, equitable and responsibly managed place to live, visit, and meet.

Sustainability Summit DCThe Sustainability Summit DC hosted last March 2024, marked the beginning of DDC’s 2024 Global Destination Sustainability Index performance efforts. DDC aims to surpass last year’s achievements while retaining the top spot in the U.S. DDC is developing a destination-specific sustainability strategy with GDS-Movement for FY2026.

On its website, DDC showcases a DC Sustainability Guide, a green travel resource for Washington, DC’s sustainable hotels, eco-friendly attractions, locally sourced food, and more.

“We are thrilled to announce Destination DC’s membership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Joining the GSTC aligns with our ongoing commitment to sustainability, which is vital for preserving the rich cultural, historical and natural heritage of Washington, DC. As we integrate the GSTC’s rigorous standards, we aim not only to enhance DC’s appeal as a premier travel destination but also to lead by example in promoting sustainable tourism practices. This step is a critical part of our broader strategy to ensure that our growth as a destination does not come at the expense of our environment or community. By prioritizing sustainability, we are securing a better future for all who live in and visit our nation’s capital,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, President and CEO, Destination DC.

GSTC Welcomes Destination DC

Constitution Gardens DC “We welcome Destination DC as a new member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Their commitment to sustainability not only reflects a deep respect for the city but also symbolizes their proactive approach towards an emerging sustainable future. We look forward to their continued progress and success in their journey towards making a lasting positive impact on both the environment and the community,” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC.

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in tourism development and management to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can help achieve certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body

About Destination DC

Destination DC is a private, non-profit corporation with a membership of 1,000+ businesses and organizations that support the DC travel and tourism sector. A contracting arm of Events DC, the organization is funded by a percentage of DC’s hotel occupancy tax, along with membership dues and co-operative marketing fees.

Formerly known as the Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation (WCTC), the organization was renamed in 2008 to reflect the organization’s increased emphasis on the city’s unique assets. WCTC was established by business and community leaders in April 2001 by merging the Washington, DC Convention and Visitors Association and the DC Committee to Promote Washington. The Washington, DC Convention and Visitors Association was founded in 1931 to promote convention and leisure travel to the nation’s capital.

More information here: 

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are three sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators, and MICE Criteria for Venues, Event Organizers, and Events & Exhibitions. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s assurance role for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services, but provides accreditation to those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

Information for media and the press: 

Statements expressed in this announcement are presented for informational purposes only and should not be taken as an endorsement or recommendation by GSTC, unless clearly stated.

[Photo Credit: Destination DC]