Managing destinations sustainably requires a process of continuous improvement. The GSTC Criteria provides the framework and GSTC’s network of expert partners and resources can be applied to simplify the process of making destination policies and management practices more sustainable. GSTC believes that sustainability is a journey. We offer this roadmap in that journey toward greater sustainability.
The first steps include raising awareness of sustainable tourism concepts by key leaders and stakeholders, and of the current situation at your destination. We recommend training and conducting some form of evaluation or assessment of the destination’s current practices.
To manage for continuous improvement we strongly recommend compliance to Criterion A1 of the GSTC Destination Criteria, the creation of a multi-sector group that ensures sustainability is inherent in all practices of the public and private sectors at the destination.
GSTC Destination Assessments are conducted by GSTC’s own internal expert assessors. A GSTC Destination Assessment is made of how well your policies and practices adhere to the GSTC Destination Criteria, a useful tool for understanding how sustainable are your current practices and learning where to improve and where to maintain good practice. GSTC Assessors utilize the GSTC Destination Criteria.
GSTC Accredited Certification Bodies can also conduct assessments based on their GSTC-Recognized standards. Destinations that are considering sustainable certification in the future may wish to engage directly with one of those organizations.