European Travel Commission’s new Handbook Recommends GSTC
European Travel Commission’s new handbook ‘Sustainable Tourism Implementation: Framework and Toolkit’
European Travel Commission (ETC), representing 32 national tourism organisations in Europe, has published a new handbook ‘Sustainable Tourism Implementation: Framework and Toolkit’ – an ultimate roadmap for European destinations on how to tackle every step on a journey towards sustainable transformation.
This handbook is for European National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), to support efforts to develop national approaches that advance sustainable tourism. It is intended as a practical document to aid implementation, for all European nations regardless of where they are on their sustainability journey. It is intended to support both those NTOs considering a national certification scheme, and those who are not, to advance national efforts to improve sustainability outcomes.
Taking National Approach to Sustainability
An important part of a national approach towards planning, developing and implementing sustainability in tourism can be certification. It is easier to adapt or adopt an existing scheme than create a whole new one. Since many schemes are underpinned by the GSTC Criteria the focus in this chapter is on the so-called GSTC Recognized Standards and Accredited Certification Bodies.
GSTC accredits certification bodies and recognises sustainability standards. Refer to Tool #3 for examples of GSTC Accredited CBs and GSTC Recognized Standards.
Since it is believed to be easier to adapt or adopt an existing standard or a scheme than create a whole new one, the use of GSTC Recognized Standards is recommended. However, if an NTO decided to create its own standard, it is recommended that the GSTC Criteria are used and its standard is built upon them. Eventually one might decide to even have the standard recognized by the GSTC.
Developing the Solution
Two modules are provided, involving the use of GSTC Recognized Standards, and a case study of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism.
«Sustainable tourism is likely to offer better quality products by being more experiential and emotionally engaging. Today’s travellers expect more from their holiday than just relaxing» – Luigi Cabrini, GSTC Chair