5 May 2015 – Quito, Ecuador. The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) have partnered to create standards for sustainability in the travel and tourism sector throughout Ecuador. The GSTC has conferred it’s mark of “Recognition” that Ecuador’s sustainability standards adhere to the universal standards that the GSTC has developed for sustainability in travel and tourism.

The move was announced in Quito by Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism Sandra Naranjo during the International Ecotourism Society’s annual Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference. GSTC Chair of the Board Luigi Cabrini presented to Minister Naranjo a plaque celebrating the accomplishment of the Ministry and the nation.

“GSTC applauds the nation of Ecuador and its Minister of Tourism Sandra Naranjo for taking this important step. GSTC Recognition does not mean that sustainability has been achieved, but that the standards used to measure progress toward sustainability include the 41 GSTC Criteria. Creating such a framework is an important step in working toward sustainability at the destination and national level” said Randy Durband, CEO of the GSTC.

Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism Sandra Naranjo states: “We are honored to receive this recognition by The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). It means that we both share the same values and recognize the importance of working towards a world where sustainability guides our public policies and private initiatives in the tourism industry. The extraordinary GSTC effort is an example of social and environmental responsibility. Its set of criteria benefits all who care about our planet.

I thank the GSTC and its representatives for honoring us with this important recognition, I would like to give a special thank to Mr. Taleb Rafai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, for taking a moment to encourage Ecuador to keep the leadership in sustainable tourism in South America. It definitely strengthens us to keep on working towards improving tourism practices in Ecuador, guided by your sustainable standards.”

The standards include 41 specific elements that specify what travel and tourism destinations and organizations must enhance in order to be considered “sustainable” in their practices.

The announcement came one day after the completion of GSTC’s Latin America Regional Meeting where participants from Ecuador and throughout the world learned how to apply the GSTC Criteria to enhance destination and enterprise sustainability practices.

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.

Media Contact: info@gstcouncil.org