Aug 11, 2015 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the EarthCheck Destination Standard and EarthCheck Company Standard certification programs have achieved ‘GSTC-Approved’ status. EarthCheck is one of the first of three certification bodies to achieve GSTC Approval for its sustainable tourism certification of hotels and tour operators and only the second to achieve GSTC Approval for its destination certification program. These outstanding accomplishments exemplify EarthCheck’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism products and services.
EarthCheck operates in more than 70 countries and is considered a global leader in sustainable tourism.
Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck, said the company’s access to world-leading research, science and technology to address sustainability challenges facing the travel and tourism industry helped EarthCheck earn GSTC Approval.
“EarthCheck has been working tirelessly with leading operators and destinations for more than 25 years. GSTC Approval of our Company and Destination Standards is a tremendous coup; one that reinforces the credibility of our benchmarks,” Mr. Moore said.
“The recognition comes at a time of a rising number of conscious travelers around the world. GSTC Approvals confirm that EarthCheck Certified members are world leaders in responsible and sustainable tourism.”
In order to become a GSTC-Approved standard, a certification program is required to have previously completed the GSTC-Recognized process. “GSTC Recognized” means that the standards include the 41 GSTC Criteria, which were created as global baseline standards. “GSTC Approved” means that the independent, objective and neutral GSTC Accreditation Panel has determined that the processes and practices utilized by the owner of the standards are applied professionally and objectively. Attaining both levels speaks to compliance with the GSTC Criteria and to excellence in utilizing their own standards. The GSTC programs recognize and reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.
“GSTC heartily congratulates Earthcheck for attaining GSTC-Approved status for not just one, but two sets of standards – sustainability standards for companies and for destinations,” says GSTC CEO Randy Durband. “Earthcheck has a long history of excellence in certification and other sustainability solutions, but recognizes that gaining the GSTC-Approved mark adds another layer of credibility to their global brand. GSTC’s independent Accreditation Panel has judged their process to be transparent, impartial, and competent. We encourage travel companies and public destination management authorities to consider certification by Earthcheck.”
Currently, EarthCheck is one of the first of three certification bodies to achieve GSTC Approval for its sustainable tourism certification of hotels and tour operators and the second to achieve GSTC Approval for its destination certification program.
The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market benefit of proof that these national standards adhere to international norms.
The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition, Approval & Accreditation of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Approved standard owners are encouraged to complete the Accreditation process in order to achieve improvements in their sustainability frameworks, further distinction amongst other certification programs, and receive increased market benefits.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. The GSTC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and 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, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit www.gstcouncil.org.
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